When you decide to start concealed carrying a pistol, you begin to run into a series of small problems. One of which is, how do you want to carry it?
It may seem trivial, but it’s extremely important to carry your firearm properly. Most shooters find that IWB is the best compromise between concealability, comfort, and utility.
This surfaces another problem: which holster is the best holster for IWB carry of a S&W Shield? There’s literally hundreds of good holsters on the market, here are the best 5.
Summary: Top 5 IWB Holsters for S&W Shield
Editor’s Rating (out of 5.0)
When you compare holsters for IWB there are a few main things to look for:
- Simple Durable Design
All you rally for a need for an IWB holster is a trigger guard, a way to attach it to your belt and light retention. Gimmicky “features” like snaps, or mag holder built in, add weight, bulk, and cost and aren’t much more effective than just a holster, to begin with. If your holster has a sweat guard, it needs to be rugged, if it flops or bends it could prevent you from drawing your weapon when you need it most.
- Rugged Materials
The materials you use for your gun’s holster need to be either a high strength polymer, or a heavy-duty gun leather. Anything else is a bad idea. Nylon fabric isn’t a viable holster martial because it doesn’t form to the gun ad will flop around and offer no retention.
- Comfortable Shape & Size
This is important, lots of extra material will bundle up and cause problems. You’ll be wishing you bought a holster with a smaller footprint and softer finish if that extra material starts to dig into your belly or chafe along your belt line.
Reviews of IWB Holsters for S&W Shield
This is an excellent veteran owned company that makes good holsters for concealed carry. The main selling point f this holster is the Boltaron construction, fully adjustable cant, and extremely simple design.
The simple design makes it easy to conceal, extremely important for IWB carry. The Boltaron material makes it exceptionally durable. Much like kydex it won’t absorb water, degrade, and shrugs off abrasions like rain water. The clip used spins to adjust easily for can’t both forward and back.
Overall this is an exceptional holster for a great price from a great company. One of the best options for S&W shield IWB carry.
Pros: Low profile, slim, lightweight but durable
Cons: The hard shell can become uncomfortable
There’s no denying the simple versatility of a tuck and go holster. The guys at DeSantis have been making leather good for years and this is an example of their work. An expensive, but a high-quality holster for IWB carry.
It is tan leather with a steel clip that holds the gun close to your body. There’s not much material here, just enough to protect the gun and cover the trigger guard. That makes it simple, effective and easy to conceal. A good option as a backup holster if you don’t plan to carry it every day or as a hard use holster for cheap. You can’t go wrong with this holster.
Pros: Comfortable & durable leather
Cons: Leather will absorb water and sweat
For better or worse, appendix carry is the current trend. If you want a custom made kydex rig for appendix carry, you’re going to pay a pretty penny for it. Blackhawk solves this by offering a super concealable injection molded plastic holster for the S&W shield.
It is a hard-shell plastic with just enough material to cover the trigger guard, and a low profile reversible clip to attach it to your belt. Nothing more. It is perfect for appendix carry because of how concealable it is and it’s very narrow across the body so it won’t chafe your thigh as you walk.
Pros: Works in almost any IWB position, Low profile
Cons: The hard shell can bite into skin
This is one of those products that when you go to use it, you instantly know why it’s made the way it is and they person who made it was very experienced. Made by the giants at Alien Gear this is an IWB holster for concealed carry.
The neoprene is very comfortable until you get very sweaty, the leather is very stiff but will absorb sweat and the kydex holds the gun secure against the leather. The material around the clip is very flexible and comfortable.
The holster itself isn’t extremely concealable, but for a winter or cold carry climate, or even under a suit coat this is an ideal and top shelf solution.
Pros: Extremely comfortable, No break-in period
Cons: Bulky, Leather will absorb water
This is a high-quality American-made holster made out of American made leather. This is a pass-through style holster that will carry almost any striker fired a handgun. Great for people who own and carry multiple guns depending on the situation.
The leather is excellent unless it absorbs a lot of water and the metal clip is sturdy enough to hold the gun securely. Be wary of getting caught in the rain, dropping the holster in a puddle or getting it too sweaty because the leather fitting can be stretched and the holster will lose retention. The lifetime warranty is a good, nice to have, option but you’ll likely never need it.
Pros: Durable leather holster, Works with multiple firearms
Cons: Will absorb water and sweat, Doesn’t cover muzzle
Choosing a concealed carry holster isn’t difficult. Especially for a pistol like a runaway success that the Shield turned out to be. Decide on your method of carry, find a simple design that you can depend on, and train with it.
Simple designs like the S&W M&P Shield 9/40 IWB Holster Veteran Owned Company are the best, especially when small but meaningful improvements like the fully adjustable cant are included. No matter which you choose make sure you actually use it, be a good concealed carrier and you’ll actually have it when you need it! Thanks to your good holster.
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