It’s a fairly well-known fact that knives are one of mankind’s oldest and most useful tools. But it should also be equally known that not every knife can or should be expected to do the same job. For instance, a fighting knife is suited to combat, whereas a butter knife is great at spreading condiments – but the two are not interchangeable. And while there is some crossover, sometimes purpose-driven blades are best used for their intended purpose.
One such purpose-driven blade is the boot knife. Different from an outdoor-focused fixed blade or even a tactical folder, boot knives should be looked at as more of a contingency plan than anything else. These knives are meant to be hidden away, only to be used in the case of an emergency – as one might be faced with on the battlefield or when in a pinch in the great outdoors. Still, carrying one of quality is still of the utmost importance, as this type of blade could be the difference between life or death. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following list of the 10 best boot knives you can get right now.
Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B Boot Knife
Though most well-known for their firearms, Smith & Wesson have also been making knives for a very long time. And, when it comes to boot knives, this offering of their is one of the best for its simplicity, reliability, and budget-friendliness. The dagger-style knife is made from 7Cr17MoV stainless steel mated to a TPE handle, and comes with a simple leather boot sheath. If you’re looking for an easy no-nonsense boot knife, this is it.
Blade Length: 4.7″
Kershaw Secret Agent Boot Knife
With a name that matches its sleek appearance and sneaky purpose, Kershaw’s Secret Agent boot knife is an impressive and durable dagger for a staggeringly reasonable price. Featuring a heat-treated high carbon 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade mated to a reinforced rubberized grip, this knife is a dependable last-resort blade that comes with a sturdy dual-purpose sheath – meaning it can be worn on the belt or boot, depending upon your choice of concealment. And the tail has a lanyard attachment, perfect for a bit of paracord to make grabbing it out of the sheath even quicker.
Blade Length: 4.4″
Handle: Reinforced Synthetic Polymer
SOG Instinct Fixed Blade Knife
Small and discreet, SOG’s Instinct boot knife is the perfect small-form boot knife for the user that wants to stay inconspicuous. But it isn’t without distinct style, as evidenced by the combination of a unique clip-point 5Cr15Mov steel blade mated to black G10 handle scales. Better still, this knife also comes with SOG’s lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry about it failing you in the line of duty.
Blade Length: 2.3″
CRKT AG Russell Sting Boot Knife
AG Russell has a long history of designing and crafting impressive knives, both when it comes to those that are fixed and his highly sought-after folders. His work with Columbia River Knife and Tool is no exception – especially when it comes to the Sting boot knife. Compact, simple, and built from sturdy 1050 steel, this is an excellent knife to have in a pinch – whether you’re on the battlefield or just out in the backcountry.
Blade Length: 3.2″
Cold Steel 36MB Boot Knife
Doing away with nearly all unnecessary styling and extraneous materials, Cold Steel’s 36MB boot knife is a purpose-driven blade down to the core. The entire thing, from tip to butt, is built from 52100 high carbon steel – lending plenty of toughness to it. But its pared-down form means that its beefy 9″ overall length is still manageable to carry, even attached to your boot. This fixed blade is about as no-nonsense as they come.
Blade Length: 5″
OKC Spec Plus SP41 Boot Knife
When a brand is known for supplying fighting knives to the U.S. military, you can bet they’ve got a handle on how to make a solid fixed blade – for any purpose. And that’s exactly what to expect from the Ontario Knife Company and their Spec Plus SP41 boot knife. With its 5160 steel blade and Kraton handle, this is a knife that will go through thick and thin alongside you and help you make it through the other side as unscathed as possible. For excellent reliability in any situation, you can count on this knife.
Blade Length: 3.5″
Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife
With a skeletonized design that both saves on weight and lends a bit of unique style to it, Gerber’s Ghoststrike fixed blade knife is a lightweight, yet incredibly durable little discreet boot knife. And while its 420HC steel blade is plenty durable on its own, it also gets a black ceramic coating to give it even more toughness – making this an impressive little workhorse. It also comes with a handy ankle-wrap sheath, so you don’t even need to be wearing combat boots in order to carry it.
Blade Length: 3.3″
Handle: Rubber Overmold 420HC
ESEE Knives Candiru Fixed Blade Knife
ESEE Knives is well known in the EDC and outdoor industries for making solid fixed blade knives, so it should come as no surprise that they build a superior boot knife. This versatile little knife is tough as nails with its Micarta handle and black powder-coated 1095 steel blade. But it’s also small and light enough that you just might forget you’re wearing it – that is, until the time comes that you need it.
Blade Length: 2″
Buck Knives Ops Boot Knife
Made in the USA and equipped with a lifetime warranty, Buck’s Ops boot knife sits squarely near the top of the ladder when it comes to hideaway fixed blades. And it’s because of that unique combination between American craftsmanship and superb materials – 154CM stainless steel and injection molded reinforced nylon G10, in this case. If you want a unique and incredibly reliable boot knife, this one is one of the absolute best options.
Blade Length: 3″
Handle: Injection Molded Reinforced Nylon G10
Boker Applegate Combat Boot Knife
Traditionally styled and handsome as hell, Boker’s Applegate combat boot knife might just be the ultimate last-resort fighting knife. And while some might decry the use of 440C stainless steel in a knife this pricey, let’s not forget that that blade steel was chosen for its combination of incredible corrosion-resistance, durability, and overall toughness. Perfect as a contingency blade to be used in all conditions, this knife is a safe bet in the worst of circumstances.
Blade Length: 4.75″
Handle: Fiberglass Derlin
8 Best Bowie Knives
For workhorse fighting fixed blades, it’s hard to go wrong with a good old-fashioned American-styled blade. And that’s all you’ll find here on our list of the best bowie knives.