Even though some people think of boot knives as something worn by special forces or by the secret agents found in most political thrillers, they’re one of the best options for people who want to ensure that they’re prepared for anything that might arise. The best boot knives are capable of giving the user not only a tool that can be used at work but can also provide the user with a way to defend themselves if they ever end up in a dangerous situation. We should know because we’ve reviewed some of the best ones available, so all of our readers can obtain one of these highly useful knives.
Quick Summary of the Best Boot Knives
- Best Overall
CRKT Sting EDC Boot Knife (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
SOG Instinct-Mini Small Fixed Blade Knives (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
Kershaw Secret Agent Concealable Single-Edge Knife (Amazon) – Review
Best Overall: CRKT Sting EDC Boot Knife
The first thing that we thought when we first reviewed these knives was that they looked exactly like the kind of knives a person would expect a secret agent to have equipped to their boot. They have a very tactical design to them and have a black appearance. These knives are designed to provide the user with a sharp knife anytime they need it, but to be so discrete that most people won’t even know that the wearer has it in their boot.
This knife features a blade that’s approximately 3.19-inches long and is dual-edged with a non-serrated plain edge. It’s made out of 1050 hot-forged carbon steel that’s been powder coated for increased durability and corrosion resistance. The blade has a thickness of approximately 0.13-inch, and the overall length of the knife is 6.85-inches. This is a knife that’s small enough to be comfortably carried as well and only has a weight of approximately 3.9-ounces.
Even though it wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been straight out of the box, we soon realized that it was quite easy to put sharp edges on this knife with a minimum of fuss. We assume that they aren’t shipped sharp for safety reasons, so it wasn’t too big of a deal after we found out that these knives could be sharpened to a razor-sharp edge. We soon found out that these knives were exactly the sort of boot knives that we were expecting.
These knives also come with a sheath that’s made out of nylon and is equipped with a glass-reinforced nylon insert. This sheath weights about 2.4-ounces and is easy enough to strap to just about anyone’s calf. It also ships with a clip for consumers to attach it to their belt, just in case they don’t want to wear it as a boot knife. Keeping all of these features in mind, we feel that these knives are good for everyday carry (EDC) or for tossing into a backpack for use on the trail or a bug out bag.
Best Value: SOG Instinct-Mini Small Fixed Blade Knives
Of all of the knives we’ve reviewed, we do have to say that this is one of the more versatile ones. These knives are incredibly compact and come with both a neck knife chain and a boot sheath, so they can be used either as neck knives or boot knives. And if none of those options suit the user, they can clip the sheath to their belt or tactical vest. no matter how they wear it, however, there is one thing they’ll notice: these are some fantastic knives for a very reasonable price.
These tactical knives are approximately 4.8-inches long and have a fixed blade length of 1.9-inches. They only weigh 1.4-ounces, so they’re perfect for EDC or for throwing into a backpack or glove box for use while on the trail or the road. Their blades are made from 5CR15MOV stainless steel that has a silky-smooth feel to it and has an extremely durable clip point. Its full-tang blade ensures that it will hold up to the toughest of conditions as well, so the consumer doesn’t have to worry about whether it’s going to fail them when they need it most.
Another thing that we liked about these knives was the fact that they were equipped with a textured G10 handle. This G10 handle has finger grooves and jimping that makes the knife extremely easy to handle and gives the user the grip they need for just about any task. This is a modern knife design that is based on knives created by Jason Brous—one of the most prestigious and prolific knife makers of our time.
It’s also worth mentioning that these knives are made by SOG, a company that’s known for making high-quality gear for outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists all over the world. These knives are not only good for everyday carry but are also good for anyone who needs a quality knife such as hunters, fishermen, or campers. All things considered, we do have to say that we feel that these are quality knives that most of our readers are going to appreciate.
Best Affordable: Kershaw Secret Agent Concealable Single-Edge Knife
Kershaw is another company that’s well-known for making quality knives, so we were quite enthusiastic to review this knife. This is especially true considering that it’s very reasonably priced and is less expensive than some of the other boot knives we’ve reviewed. Although we do have to say that it isn’t without its flaws, we do think that it’s a worthy addition to our list of the best boot knives available and one that some consumers might want to consider.
The main problem that we had with this knife was that it didn’t come from the manufacturer very sharp, and once sharpened, it didn’t hold its edge very long. Now don’t get us wrong, because this knife is made using 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, it was easy to sharpen—it just didn’t hold its edge for very long during use. It’s a small complaint really and one that’s understandable considering how inexpensive this knife is, but it’s also one that consumers need to be aware of beforehand.
This knife has a 4.4-inch blade that’s made from 8Cr13MoV steel and comes with a dual-carry molded sheath that’s easy to strap to a boot. The knife is suitable for both everyday carry or for throwing into a backpack or bug out bag. Overall, we do think that this is a knife that some people are going to want to consider. It’s a decent knife that gets the job done and has a very consumer-friendly price-tag. It’s not without its flaws, but it does seem like it will last quite a long time.
A Guide To Boot Knives
The main purpose of a boot knife is for the user to have a small, easily concealable blade that’s easy to reach in the case of an emergency. However, the size and the concealability of the blade aren’t the only two things that knife owners need to consider before they buy one. There are a few other things that the consumer should keep in mind.
To ensure that all of our readers know how to find the best boot knives for their needs, we’ve decided to write this guide. We hope that this guide will guide our readers to the boot knives that most serve their needs. Having said that, let’s get started and delve right into the subject matter at hand.
Consider The Knife’s Concealability
Even though concealability isn’t the only metric by which to judge a boot knife, it just so happens to be one of the most important ones. If the blade is too large, it will be difficult for the wearer to hide it, and if it’s too small, then the knife will be impractical to use. Therefore, consumers should make sure that it’s just the right size. What’s the right size for a boot knife? The right size for one of these knives is approximately 3-4 inches in length. That’s not the blade length either, that’s the overall length of the knife with both the blade and handle factored in. That’s the perfect size for concealment, but not so small that it doesn’t have the required reach the person might need.
Consider The Blades’ Design
The next thing the knife enthusiast is going to want to consider is the design of the blade. As a general rule, most boot knives come with either a spear-pointed double-edged blade or they come with a clip-pointed single-edge blade. These two designs are used because they’re the best ones for piercing and/or slashing, which increases their utility as a defensive weapon. As most of our readers can probably guess, the double-edged spear-pointed design is mainly useful for jabbing, while the clip-pointed single-edge ones are more suitable for slashing. Both of these designs are suitable for defensive knife fighting, so it’s up to the consumer to consider which might be more useful for them.
Consider The Materials Used
The next thing the consumer is going to want to think about is what their knife is made from. As is the case with most types of knives, boot knives are made with a variety of different blade materials. Some of them use more carbon-based steel, while stainless-steel is the norm for others. What the blade is made from is going to determine not only its durability, but also how well it holds an edge, so the consumer should consider it carefully. Which materials are suitable for boot knives? There are quite a few of them that make for great boot knives, and we’ve listed some of the more common ones below—distinguishing carbon steel knives and stainless steel knives.
Carbon Steel Blades
- A2 Tool Steel
- 1070, 1080, 1090 Carbon Steel
Stainless Steel Blades
It’s also a good idea for the consumer to think about what the knife’s handle is made from, as well as what material the sheath is made from. Although there are a variety of different materials for the consumer should choose from, they should make sure to do the research and choose a handle and sheath that’s going to hold up to frequent use. It’s also a good idea to choose a handle that’s resistant to slipping and is easy to hold onto. Some of the more common materials used for boot knife handles are listed below.
Materials Used For Most Boot Knife Handles
Consider The Knife’s Construction
When considering a new boot knife, the consumer should make sure that they purchase a boot knife that has either a full tang or a hidden tang. Full tang is the strongest of the knife handles and is designed so that the blade extends the full length and width of the blade. Hidden tangs are the next most durable ways for knives to be constructed. Hidden tang knives only extend most of the way down the handle, so there is room for the handle to be slipped over the end of the blade and secured with pins or epoxy. As a result, hidden tang blades aren’t as durable as full-tang blades, but they are more durable than blades that merely have the blade glued onto the handle.