How to Wear a Boot Knife
Boot knives are obviously knives that are carried concealed inside of a boot, and sometimes on the outside of the boot. But how exactly do you carry these knives? And what is the point? What function do boot knives serve? Boot knives can be more useful than you think. There are numerous methods of carry, and the best option is the option that suits you best.
Depending on the knife you carry and the boot you wear, some knives can be carried by simply slipping it into the boot, as long as the boot has a high ankle. The boots that I wear have a nine inch ankle, and a few knives can be carried in that fashion. Knives such as old hickory paring knives with homemade leather sheaths fit perfectly, as do bird and trout style knives. Care must be taken when carrying your boot knife like this. The knife must fit deep inside the boot and be a bit snug, so that it does not fall out while hiking. You must consider comfort, so small, thin knives are best for this.
Another option for carrying a boot knife is a sheath that fits onto the outside of the boot. It can either be fitted by sewing directly onto the leather of the boot, or stitching straps onto the side of the boot, similar to MOLLE webbing. There are commercial offerings that can be found online for sheaths that fit onto boots. You just have to find one that fits your boot and your knife. Some sheaths have snap closures, and some are pouch style sheaths, so you also have to pick the sheath that fits your style.
A boot knife can certainly have its advantages. It has been utilized by military pilots since World War II, to be used in case of parachutes becoming tangled in trees or pilots being otherwise unable to access a belt knife.
A boot knife can certainly come in handy for the average sportsman as well. A boot knife allows you to carry a small backup or skinning knife into the field. This can be appreciated by hunters, bushcrafters, and hikers alike. If you are squirrel or rabbit hunting, this allows you to keep a small knife on hand, well, technically on foot, to butcher your game in the field. The same goes for fishing. If you're fishing in the mountain streams for trout, you'll want a small knife for cleaning your catch. A boot knife is barely noticeable, but comes in handy when your cuts need more attention to detail than your belt knife can provide. Things such as carving, wood shavings, and other things that would help in bushcrafting are where a boot knife can excel.
A boot knife is not without its drawbacks, however. Sometimes there are just better places to carry your knife, such as on your belt or backpack shoulder strap that offer easier access. This is something that you will have to try for yourself, to see what works for you. However, like any other type of gear, you must decide if it works for you. Personally, I love the convenience of my boot knife, but you just have to try it for yourself.