Boot knives, a type of custom knives, offer a unique way of carrying a blade, and many knife enthusiasts prefer them over pocket knives. As the name suggests, a boot knife can be attached to the boot using a special belt or strap. Some boot knives can be concealed within the boot itself. If you like to carry a knife without making it obvious, a boot knife offers the right blend of concealment and easy access.
Not to mention, people who spend a lot of time outdoors will wear boots that they can easily attach a knife to. With that said, a boot knife must meet a set of criteria to make it fit for carrying on the boot. In addition, there are specific safety criteria to fulfil when carrying or wearing a boot knife.
Since boot knives are not as standard as pocket knives, many people aren't sure if it's the right option for them or not. So, if you are planning on purchasing a boot knife but are wondering if it fits your needs, this article is for you. We will cover everything from the key features of a boot knife, how to wear it safely, and other critical aspects of these knives, so read on.
Key features of a boot knife
A boot knife doesn't necessarily have a set shape, but they are usually fixed-blade knives built to fit inside a boot easily. With that said, here are some key features you can expect from a boot knife:
Blade design: Most boot knives are double-edged; however, you can also find single-edged ones if needed. The blades of boot knives are usually made of stainless steel, and you can choose from a wide range of stainless-steel varieties. These knives are meant to be fighting knives, and they should be quickly deployable from the boot. Therefore, you won't find any folding boot knives as they take longer to pull out from the boot and unfold.
The blade length of a boot knife is generally between 2.5 to 5 inches. The right blade length will be determined by the height of the boots you wear. Higher boots allow a longer boot knife to be carried and vice versa.
There are both spear edge and clip point varieties available for boot knives. The spear point boot knives are preferred for piercing, while clip-point varieties are ideal for slashing. So, the type of boot knife blade you choose will depend heavily on the usage application.
Lastly, there are boot knives that come with serrated blades that can deal more damage during combat. Not to mention, serrated edges are great for cutting through foliage and ropes. However, straight-blade boot knives are ideal for making more precise cuts, making them suitable for hunting.
Handle design: Boot knives come with ergonomic handle designs made from a variety of materials. Leather is the preferred handle material for boot knives as it offers a good grip. On the other hand, handles made out of plastic and other synthetic materials can slip and feel uncomfortable during usage.
As far as the handle design is concerned, most boot knives have full tangs. However, you can find varieties with hidden tangs as well.
Comes in sets: Boot knives are usually manufactured in sets, with one blade to be strapped to your boot while the other to be secured to your belt. So, when picking up a boot knife, it is best to get a set.
The belt-strapped knife can be used when you are upright, while the boot-mounted option comes in handy when you are bent down.
Typical applications of boot knives
While boot knives were initially designed as combat knives, they can also be used for various applications. Here are some common uses of boot knives:
Hunting knife: Hunting knives are mostly made with a fixed blade design, and therefore, boot knives are great for field dressing, skinning, and cutting small animals.
Since hunters also need a knife to cut tree branches, clear paths and other utility purposes, a boot knife also makes a great hunting tool.
Self-defense: As mentioned earlier, boot knives were primarily concealed knives designed for self-defense and combat. Since a boot knife can be hidden inside the boot, the opponents don't anticipate their presence.
Not to mention, a boot knife can be drawn quickly when sitting down or bending, making it a perfect self-defense option from a low point.
Throwing knife: The small and lightweight design of a boot knife makes it perfect for use as a throwing knife. The pointy tip of a boot knife allows it to easily penetrate the target.
With that said, the handle design of a boot knife can determine if it can be used as a throwing knife or not.
How to wear a boot knife safely?
There are a few different ways you can wear a boot knife safely without the risk of injury. However, no matter how you wear a boot knife, it is essential to keep it in a sheath to ensure safety. With that said, here are some methods of carrying a boot knife that you can choose from:
Inside the boot: Some hunters and campers like to put their boot knives inside the boot. This method involves placing the blade inside a sheath and sliding it inside the shoe near the ankle. Then, all you have to do is tie your shoe up, and the knife will stay inside the shoe on the outside.
However, with this method of carrying a boot knife, there is a risk that the blade may fall out if the shoe is not tied tight enough. So, ensure the boot's laces are tied tight enough to keep the knife from falling out.
Strapped to the boot or the ankle: To carry your boot knife on your ankle or boot itself, you need a boot sheath or an ankle holster.
The choice between a boot sheath and an ankle holster boils down to the height of your boot. If you have a tall boot, you can use the boot sheath. For shorter boots, you can use the ankle holster to carry the knife.
Inside a boot pocket: Some boots come with built-in boot pockets, or you can attach one on the inside of your tall boot.
However, the issue with this carrying method is that you can only carry boot knives that can fit inside the boot pocket.
A boot knife is an excellent way to ensure that you can discreetly carry a self-defense tool. If you aren't sure what a boot knife is and how it can be used, this article should clear up all your queries.