If you’re a survivalist like me, (and you probably are if you’re reading this article) you like to have a backup plan to your backup plan.
ENTER: BOOT KNIVES
Boot knives have been around forever, they’re just more convenient these days. Many people carry a second firearm just in case shit really hits the fan. Same with blades. You likely carry one on your belt; why not have a solid backup just in case you can’t get to it, your disabled in a fight or player 2 needs a weapon.
Hey, you have to think of your battle partner- maybe he/she isn’t as prepared as you!
You’ve likely read our article on neck knives. If not, check it out. Boot knives are a similar concept; it’s there when you need it in a survival situation or part of your everyday carry (EDC). Yes, I give you permission to carry both a neck knife and a boot knife.
“When you need it, and don’t have it… you sing a different tune.” Burt Gummer.
Yes, we just quoted the survivalist character from the movie, TREMORS.
How do you choose a boot knife?
The same way you choose any other knife; quality, reliability, brand and price. Obviously, there are plenty of other factors that go into your boot knife purchasing decision, but those are the basics.
The most important aspect of choosing a boot knife is to make sure it fits your specifications. The best boot knife on the market will not only take care of your survival needs, but will also excel for everyday tasks and uses just like any other pocket knife or survival knife would do. Just because it’s a boot knife doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be able to be used as part of your everyday carry (EDC).
A good boot knife should be a part of your everyday carry just as much as a quality pocket knife. They’re small and compact and can easily be strapped to your ankle; giving you a hand-up on self-defense and will always be there for you when you need it. Plus, it’s out of sight, so, no one will even know you’re carrying it. Pair one of these with a tactical pen and you’re covered.
There are millions of boot knives currently on the market; some good, some great and others a waste of money and time. I’ve had more than one that could barely handle everyday tasks such as cutting hay bales, opening thick bags and shaving limbs to prepare a fire. Only thing these cheap knockoffs were good at was stabbing and I’m not even sure they could have handled that without breaking. See, quality matters when choosing boot knives just as much as any other blade in your arsenal because you never know what you’re going to encounter out there.
So, how do you choose a boot knife from the million on the market? Here at ApocalypseGuys.com, we do the hard work and find the best survival and outdoor gear on the market. We collectively spend countless hours in the wilderness testing gear and learning new and exciting survival techniques, as well as tried and true ancient techniques. It’s what we do.
WHAT ARE THE BEST BOOT KNIVES ON THE MARKET?
That’s a tough question to answer! It depends on what you want to use them for, your expectations, how much you want to spend, what materials you prefer, etc. What we can do is provide you with a list of our favorites that we have checked to ensure they are of high quality and fits the parameters of a quality blade.
Here are the Best Boot Knives We Found for Under $50
GERBER GHOSTRIKE FIXED BLADE BOOT KNIFE
The Gerber Ghostrike Fixed Blade features a blade length of 3.3 inches made from 420HC blade steel with a black ceramic coating that protects from corrosion. It’s compact, with a steel frame that makes it lighter, weighing in at 3.6 ounces, which makes it a perfect size for a quality boot knife. The entire knife is only 6.9 inches; large enough for most survival situations with a little planning and perfect for everyday carry (EDC). You can actually use this awesome boot knife as your ‘everything’ knife. Although, we suggest using it as a secondary blade and carrying a larger belt knife or folder.
SOG SNARL FIXED BLADE BOOT KNIFE
The SOG Snarl has graced our pages more than once. It’s a high-quality neck and boot knife that gets our praises. Sure, it has faults- such as being a little on the small side, but hey, no one’s perfect. It makes up for this by doing what it was designed to do better than most boot and neck knives on the market- cutting and concealment. This beast is 4.3 inches overall with a blade length of only 2.3 inches, so, much smaller than other entries on this list, but it’s still a top contender. One thing we really liked about the SOG Snarl fixed blade boot knife is the way you can control your cuts with the handle; place your pointer finger in the finger hole and you have complete control over the blade. Drop it around your neck or use as a boot knife and you won’t be disappointed! One of the big discussions among boot knife users is the Sog Snarl vs. Crkt Minimalist. They’re both amazing knives that will serve you well.
SOG INSTINCT MINI FIXED BLADE BOOT KNIFE
This compact boot/neck knife has a sleek 1.9 inch drop point blade made from 5Cr15Mov steel. It’s one of the top entries on our list for a reason; it has more of the features you’re looking for in a quality boot knife. The SOG Instinct is available in multiple sizes and 2 handle types- so you have options. You can carry it on your belt as part of your everyday carry (EDC), wear it around your neck or clip it to your boot and wear it as a boot knife. A lot of people wear it in the “scout carry” orientation on the back of their belts. This is a great cowboy boot knife since it is easy to clip on and is a high-quality boot knife. A lot of people search for the best boot knife for cowboy boots and the SOG Instinct is a great place to begin your search. The SOG Instinct is also a great self defense boot knife that is easy to use and always sharp.
KERSHAW SECRET AGENT BOOT KNIFE
Everyone already knows that Kershaw makes a great blade and is one of the biggest knife manufacturer. It would make sense that the Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife would be a fan favorite! This is one of the best boot knives for under $50. Perfect for a hidden boot knife that can still do work. A 4.4 inch single edge steel blade with dual carry molded sheath with non-reflective black oxide finish so it won’t catch light when you pull it from your sheath. You don’t want to show your weapon too early. This is also one of the best boot knives for cowboy boots if that’s your thing. I wear them all the time, even to court (I’m a lawyer by trade). This may not be the best boot knife in the world, but it will get the job done and won’t break the bank. This is considered one of the best boot knives for cowboy boots by those who wear them.
SMITH & WESSON FIXED BLADE BOOT KNIFE FOR OUTDOOR TACTICAL SURVIVAL AND EVERDAY CARRY
Smith & Wesson is a knife brand you’ve heard of since you were a kid. They’ve been in the knife business for a long time and know how to make the best boot knives. A 4.7 inch dagger point blade and TPE handle, this is a great boot knife for outdoor, tactical uses, survival situations and everyday carry. Great boot knife for police officers who want a little extra protection, as well as any other industry that is exposed to threats on a daily basis. You can access this dangerous boot knife quickly and easily with a boot sheath and you can rest assured that blade won’t slip with the hand guard in place. This Smith & Wesson boot knife comes equipped with a lanyard hole for alternate carry positions and a blood groove, cause, why not?
COLD STEEL KOBUN FIXED BLADE BOOT KNIFE
This is an interesting boot knife by Cold Steel. Most boot knives have a dagger point, this one has a tanto point blade which is great for piercing hard materials with a strong point. This may not be the best blade style for an all-purpose knife, but that may not be what you’re looking for in an effective boot knife. You may just want a blade that’s amazingly efficient at piercing tough materials like puncturing through layers of clothing or a jacket. Most people use boot knives for self-defense and would be more interested in being able to stab, rather than having an ‘everything’ boot knife. Besides, that’s what you carry your belt knife for, right? The tanto style blades have an extremely strong point, the tip has a lot of metal, which makes it great at absorbing impact from stabbing or piercing. The more you know!
These boot knives come to you razor sharp straight out of the package. Blade length of 5.5 inches and made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel. It’s on the larger side of everyday carry (EDC), but that could be exactly what you’re wanting.
Let’s talk about the sheath since that’s a big issue with some of even the best boot knives. We’ve heard from other users that the clip on the sheath isn’t strong enough to keep it from staying on the knife during a quick draw. It’s an easy fix, but wanted to point it out that you may pull out a sheathed knife in a fast situation. You can adjust it with a vise or even plyers. The manufacturer may have remedied this issue by now. Other than that, this is one of the best boot knives for under 50 dollars.
CRKT SHRILL FIXED BLADE BOOT KNIFE
CRKT makes great outdoors and survival gear and the Shrill Boot Knife is no different. The blade is razor sharp out of the box and it has a sturdy point that’s great for stabbing and piercing (The main thing you will likely be doing with a good boot knife). The sheath could be better, but that seems to be a recurring issue with even the best boot knives. But, we are here to discuss the blades more than the sheaths because you can always upgrade those if you need to. A number of users make their own kydex sheaths, but I doubt you would need to. A 4.8 inch edged blade, this beauty only weighs 4.3 ounces. You will know it’s in your boot, but it won’t be a burden. The CRKT Shrill Fixed Blade Boot Knife is designed with a Micarta handle that’s tough and will last a long time, even if you don’t take the greatest care of your fixed blade knives. The balance on this knife is nice! You can easily draw it from the sheath, quick and effective. Fits nicely into dress boots like cowboy boots, as well as work boots such as my Doc Martens.
Can you Buy a Good Boot Knife for Under $50?
Absolutely! You don’t need to spend a fortune to have access to some of the best boot knives on the market. Boot knives aren’t that expensive and you can easily find high-quality brands without breaking the bank. A boot knife is primarily used as a secondary blade that you can access in an emergency, but they are also used as concealed or hidden knives. You may not even use your boot knife as your daily cutting knife, so you probably don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on one. Plus, brands such as SOG, CRKT and Gerber make boot knives that are high-quality and aren’t at all expensive.
How Much Do Boot Knives Cost?
Boot knives range in price from under $20 to upwards of $100 and even more for specialty blades. You can get a decent mid-range boot knife for $20 – $30 and a really good knife for around $50. We like the idea of splitting the cost and getting a boot knife and a neck knife so always have a knife available. You can read more about neck knives right here. Keep in mind, many neck knives and boot knives are interchangeable due to the way you carry them. For example, the CRKT Minimalist can be carried around your neck or in your boot. It all comes down to preference.
How to Carry a Boot Knife
There are multiple ways to carry a boot knife. You can carry inside the boot, outside the boot, right or left leg. Most important thing is to carry how it is comfortable to you and in a location you can easily grab in an emergency situation. Test out different carrying options to see which works best for you.
What are the Best Boot Knives for Cowboy Boots?
Any boot knife will work with cowboy boots. I wear cowboy boots everywhere – work, play, doesn’t matter, I’m usually in cowboy boots. Cowboy boots are not only super comfortable, but also allow you to tuck away and conceal any size boot knife. We recommend carrying a boot knife as part of your EDC because you will get into the habit of always having a secondary blade on you at all times. You never know when you will need it and its good practice to start carrying a boot knife when you leave the house and while working in the yard.
Do You Have to Carry a Boot Knife in Boots?
No, boot knives refer to smallish knives that are easy to conceal. Many of them come with carry options that allow you to easily slip them in your boot to conceal. You can carry them on your belt, the small of your back, around your neck, in your boot or wherever else you can stash your blade. Just because a knife is advertised as a boot knife doesn’t mean it only can be carried in your boots. Boot knives are usually meant as a backup knife to your primary blade. Carry one on your belt and keep an extra in your boot just in case you or a friend needs a blade.
One Final Word on Survival Boot Knives
If you’re looking for a great way to conceal your blades, boot knives are the answer! They can be used as part of your everyday carry (EDC) as an easy self-defense solution as well as great for survival situations.
If you have a better understanding of some of the best boot knives on the market and their uses- then we’ve done our job here at ApocalypseGuys.com!
Let us know which boot knives you use in the field in the comments. We love to hear from our readers!
"we'll get you through the wastelands."
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.