The 8 Best Boot Knives

Buying Guides By James 

The 8 Best Boot Knives

Buying Guides By James 
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The term boot knife is going to come from American History. This was a time where there was more violence and it was not uncommon to see violence. This is where people carried boot knives to defend themselves from other people trying to attack them.

During this time, the boot knife was more reliable for protection compared to firearms. Firearms during this day were unreliable, large, and not very good. Plus, guns were often reported to explode when they were being held.

When the term came about, many men would be wearing leather boots, straight legged pants, and stovepipe uppers. The inside of a boot was a great place to carry a knife and keep in concealed.

This is why the term is defined as a specific fighting knife. Generally, a boot knife is going to be a double-sided blade with either a clip point blade or a saber grind. The blade will either be a flat grind or hollow grind. These are going to be the most popular designs today for a boot knife because it is easy to cut and slash with these.

A boot knife is made for calf-high boots. There are some smaller versions that can fit lower boots, but the most common boot knife is meant for larger boots. This knife is going to be a small blade that is fixed and has a sheath to protect the wearer from being cut accidentally.

Here are the 8 best boot knifes.

Smith & Wesson Boot Knife- SWHRT9B

Smith & Wesson Boot Knife- SWHRT9B

Many people do not think of knives when they hear Smith & Wesson, however, they do make some very nice knives. Plus, they have been making knives for a long time. They do not just make firearms as everyone probably assumes. When you are looking for a boot knife, they have a great option that is not only reliable but simple. It is also very budget-friendly.

The knife has a dagger blade and is made from very durable steel. The blade is mated to a very nice TPE handle and features a sheath made for leather boots. This is an easy to use, no complications boot knife. The knife is very dependable because it has a simple design and it is easy to use at a moment’s notice.

  • Blade Length: 4.7 Inches
  • Handle: TPE
  • Steel: 7C416MoV

Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife

Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife

This knife matches its name. It has a sleek design and it’s a great knife for concealing. This knife has a durable dagger that has a stainless-steel blade. The blade is mated to a rubber grip that is reinforced. It is reinforced to help provide durability and make it more dependable.

This boot knife comes with a sheath that is a dual-purpose sheath. This means that it can be work on a belt or on the boot depending on what you prefer. There is a place on the tail of the knife that a lanyard can be attached to make it easier and quicker to grab out of the sheath.

  • Blade Length: 4.4 Inches
  • Handle: Polymer- Synthetic Reinforced
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV


SOG Fixed Blade Knife – Instinct

SOG Fixed Blade Knife – Instinct

This knife is small which helps it remain discreet. This boot knife is perfect for those who want a small and inconspicuous knife. Just because it is small and discreet does not mean that it does not have style. It has a clip-point blade with a black G10 handle. Not to mention, it has a lifetime warranty so you never have to worry about not having a knife.

  • Blade Length: 2.3 inches
  • Handle: G10
  • Steel: 5Cr15MoV


CRKT Sting Boot Knife- AG Russell

CRKT Sting Boot Knife- AG Russell

The brand AG Russell has a very long history of making knives. The knives produced are specifically designed and crafted so that they are high-quality products. This Columbia River Knife and Tool or CRKT is no exception to this rule. This boot knife is compact and simple but built from sturdy steel. This is the knife you are going to want when you are in a pinch. This could be a great knife for protection or for camping. Either way, it is a great knife and it is very durable.

  • Blade Length: 3.2 Inches
  • Handle: 1050
  • Steel: 1050


36 MB Boot Knife- Cold Steel

36 MB Boot Knife- Cold Steel

When some knives are designed, many manufacturers are using extra materials which makes the knife bulkier and heavier. With Cold Steel, their design is purely driven by purpose. The whole knife from the tip to the butt is made from carbon steel. This ensures that it is tough and durable. However, this knife is a little beefier because it comes in at nine inches long. With this being said, it is still easy to carry and can attach to the boot.

  • Blade Length: 5 Inches
  • Handle:52100
  • Steel: 52100


SP41 Boot Knife- OKC Spec Plus

SP41 Boot Knife- OKC Spec Plus

This brand is known for supplying knives for fighting to the United States Military. If they are doing this, you can bet your sweet money that they know how to make a durable and solid knife for just about anything you can think of. This knife has a Kraton Handle and is made of steel. This knife is going to go through a lot and will make it through just about any mission. It is a great knife to be used for any situation that calls for a knife.

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches
  • Handle: Kraton
  • Steel: 5160


Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife- Gerber

Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife- Gerber

This design has a skeletonized design. This saves the knife from being too heavy and adds a sense of style. This knife is a small, compact, and lightweight knife that is very durable. It is also a discreet knife that is easy to carry around. It has a steel blade that is coated in black ceramic. There is an ankle-wrap sheath to carry the knife. This means you do not necessarily have to wear boots to carry this knife around.

  • Blade Length: 3.3 Inches
  • Handle: Overmold Rubber- 420HC
  • Steel: 420HC


Candiru Fixed Blade Knife- ESEE Knives

Candiru Fixed Blade Knife- ESEE Knives

ESEE Knives is a well-known company in the outdoor industries, as well as the EDC. It is known for making knives that are solid. This knife from ESEE is small and versatile. It is very tough and has a black steel blade that is powder-coated. It is small yet tough. Plus, it is lightweight. It is one of the knives that you forget you are wearing until you need it.

  • Blade Length: 2 Inches
  • Handle: Micarta
  • Steel: 1095


Why Buy a Boot Knife?

A boot knife is going to generally be used as a self-defense weapon. However, there are many uses a boot knife can have that makes it a universal and useful knife. The boot knife can be used for hunting and camping as well because it is easy to carry and are sharp. Boot knives are great for splitting bark and cutting rope. Plus, they can help keep you safe and they are concealed. Not to mention, during an emergency situation this knife could come in handy because it can quickly be pulled out and used.

What to Look for When Buying a Boot Knife

Many people who purchase boot knives are looking for a small knife that is easy to conceal. They are looking for a knife that will protect them when they need it and be hidden when they don’t. Many people want small knives that are not bulky and heavy to lug around. There are a few things that you should keep in mind if you are looking to purchase a boot knife. In fact, there are five main categories that you should keep in mind. This includes the size, type of steel, construction of the tang, design, and material. You are going to want to look at what type of material is used to make the handle.

1. Size and/or Concealability

When picking a boot knife, you are going to want to consider the size of the blade. You want a knife that is easy to conceal but still can get the job done. Whether you need the knife for camping or protection, size matters. Many experts are going to prefer a three- or four-inch blade because it is small enough to conceal and still does what you need it to. However, some people prefer a larger five- or six-inch blade. These blades are harder to conceal because they are bigger and have more weight to them.

2. Design of the Blade

Many boot knives on the market are going to have a double-edged blade. This will generally feature a spear point. If the blade is single edged it will have a clip point. There is more than one option because both of these designs are great for piercing and slashing if needed. Both designs are able to incorporate a shallow belly. This means that it makes it better for stabbing. Plus, both designs can have a deep belly which makes slashing easier.

Keep in mind that the double-sided blade was primarily designed to stab, whereas the single-sided blade was designed for slashing. The double-sided blade is going to have a saber grind and the single-edged blade will have a hollow or flat grind. If you have a double-edged knife with a flat grind, it is not going to be as sharp.

3. Type of Steel Used for The Blade

As discussed, boot knives were made for fighting and protecting. This means that the blade has to be hard. The blade needs to hold an edge very good and still needs to be tough to experience bending. This bending may occur if you are protecting yourself and the knife hits a bone.

This is why most boot knives are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is very well-known for holding an edge. Some steels are not the best steels for a knife but the ones used in boot knives are both able to withstand bending and holding an edge. These steels are the higher carbon steels such as 8Cr12Mov, 440C, ATS-34, AUS-8, and 154 CM.

Keep in mind that manufacturers have a hardness listed about their blades. This is determined after heat treating. It uses the Rockwell Hardness scale. Tough blades are going to have a rating of 51 to 54 HRC. Hard steel blades are going to range from 56 to 62 HRC. You are going to want to keep a note on what number is listed on the product before purchasing it. You will also want to keep in mind what the knife is primarily being used for as well.

4. Construction

Boot knives were made for fighting. With that noted, you should keep in mind that where the bolster or handle stops and the blade starts is going to be the weakest point of the knife. This is called the tang. The tang is where the knife is attached to the handle. It is important to look at the construction of the knife and especially the construction of the tang. This is very important when you are buying a boot knife.

Keep in mind that there are many different tang designs. The best one for a boot knife is the Hidden Tang and the Full Tang. Each type of tang is defined differently. The Full Tang is going to be a tang that will extend the length of the handle and the width as well. It is often considered the strongest type of knife tang. A hidden tang is narrower than a Full Tang and uses epoxy, pins, or both to secure the blade. This option is not as strong as the Full Tang. The third type of tang, a Partial Tang is very narrow and shorter. This makes it the weakest tang of them all. This is why boot knives that have a Partial Tang should not be bought.

5. Handle Material and Handle Design

The handle design and material are generally not worried about when a person purchases a boot knife. This is not something that should be overlooked though. It is important that you are looking at the design and material of the handle.

A boot knife should have a handle that is strong and easy to grip. It should have an ergonomic grip that allows you to keep control over the knife without slipping and hurting yourself. As discussed, full tangs or hidden tangs are best because they are the strongest. It is also best that the handle is made of a tough material that is also slip resistant. Some of the most popular materials used for boot knives are Micarta, G10, Zytel, Canvas Micarta, Hypalon, and Krayton.


It is important that a durable and sturdy boot knife is chosen. It should have the right handle materials, the right blade materials, and all the other comports considered. You should not purchase a boot knife if you do not feel like it is up to par with safety or grip. You do not want to cut yourself if you are protecting yourself or even using it for camping. A boot knife should be used for self-defense, camping, or hunting. The knife should not be used recreationally. When it is not in use you should keep it stored in a safe place to avoid accidental injury.