Shoulder holsters were once a popular and stylish way to carry a sidearm. Today, many law enforcement officers pass over shoulder holsters in favor of the more comfortable and accessible hip holster. However, the traditional shoulder holster still has a place in the concealed carry world. But finding the best shoulder holster can be challenging.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help you understand what qualities make a quality holster. Plus, we have a list of some of our favorites for you to consider.
If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for the best rated shoulder holsters:
- Galco Miami Classic Shoulder System
- Alien Gear ShapeShift Shoulder Holster – Best for Concealed Carry
- Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder Holster – Best Vertical
- Desantis New York Undercover Shoulder Holster – Best for 1911
- UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster – Best Budget
- Uncle Mike’s Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster – Perfect for Hunters
- Under Control Tactical Shoulder Holster – Best Lightweight for Glock 19, Glock 26
- LINIXU Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster – Best for Women
- Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster
- Bianchi X16 Agent X Shoulder Holster
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Shoulder Holster?
- Best Shoulder Holster on the Market Review
- 1 Galco Miami Classic Shoulder System
- 2 Alien Gear ShapeShift Shoulder Holster – Best for Concealed Carry
- 3 Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder Holster – Best Vertical
- 4 Desantis New York Undercover Shoulder Holster – Best for 1911
- 5 UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster – Best Budget
- 6 Uncle Mike’s Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster – Perfect for Hunters
- 7 Under Control Tactical Shoulder Holster – Best Lightweight for Glock 19, Glock 26
- 8 LINIXU Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster – Best for Women
- 9 Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster
- 10 Bianchi X16 Agent X Shoulder Holster
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Best Shoulder Holster?
Just about anyone can carry a weapon using a shoulder holster. They come in a variety of designs. Most also have multiple adjustment points that allow you to customize the fit.
The Advantages of a Good Shoulder Holster
Although shoulder holsters have fallen out of favor with many modern shooters, they still have plenty of advantages. In some situations, a shoulder holster may actually work better than the more popular hip holster.
Here are just a few advantages.
- Shoulder holsters provide great balance and support, especially for heavy handguns.
- Shoulder holsters distribute weight evenly over a larger area of the body, making them more comfortable for all-day wear.
- When driving, your seatbelt will not interfere with access to your firearm.
- Many shoulder holsters fit multiple handguns, allowing you to carry different weapons with the same holster.
Things to Consider
Choosing a holster, whether for your EDC or duty weapon, is a highly personal choice. The best option will not only fit your body type, it also needs to fit your weapon and allow you to draw it easily when necessary.
Here are a few key things to consider in your search for the best rated shoulder holster.
Right- or Left-Handed
Most high-end holsters can be adjusted to accommodate both left- and -right-handed shooters. However, some are designed to work only for one or the other. Before you invest in a quality holster, make sure it works for shooting with your dominant hand.
To ensure a comfortable fit, look for a shoulder holster that has adjustable straps. Adjustable straps will ensure a comfortable fit, whether you opt to wear it under or over your clothing. Adjustable straps are also handy in case you gain or lose weight.
Safety is an important feature to consider when choosing a shoulder holster. You want a holster that allows you to easily draw your weapon. However, a good shoulder holster will also keep your weapon secure during physical activity.
Look for a holster that features a thumb break (or restraining strap) to hold your handgun in place until you need it. If you use multiple handguns, look for a model with an adjustable thumb break to accommodate different size firearms.
Comfort may be the most important thing to consider when searching for a good shoulder holster. You’ll be spending a lot of time in it, so you want something that doesn’t pinch, bind, or cause you to sweat. You also want a holster that allows you to move your body freely.
Look for a holster made with pivot points or flexible material. Some models feature special padding and breathable fabrics to maximize comfort.
Although some shooters choose to wear their shoulder holster over their clothing, most choose this type of holster for concealment. For this reason, you want a holster you can easily hide under your clothing.
That will mean different things for different people. A holster’s concealability often has more to do with your wardrobe than the holster itself. A man who normally wears a suit coat will have no trouble concealing a leather shoulder holster. However, if you need to conceal your weapon and holster under a shirt, blouse, or lightweight jacket, a nylon holster that fits snug against the body will provide more effective concealment.
Best Shoulder Holster on the Market Review
Unfortunately, there is no one perfect shoulder holster that will work for everyone in every situation. However, here are some of what we consider the best options on the market today.
1 Galco Miami Classic Shoulder System
Galco’s Miami Classic may be the most imitated shoulder holster in the world. This model is a direct descendant of the original shoulder system first introduced in the 1970s by the Famous Jackass Leather Company.
Comfortable and well-balanced, the Miami Classic is perfect for large full-size handguns. Made from durable, high-quality leather (center-cut steer hide), this holster system is highly adjustable and includes the holster, harness, ammo carrier, and a set of system screws. All four points of the harness pivot independently to provide plenty of freedom to move. You can also customize the fit and draw angle to suit your individual shooting needs.
2 Alien Gear ShapeShift Shoulder Holster – Best for Concealed Carry
One of the newest and most versatile shoulder holsters to hit the concealed carry scene, the ShapeShift from Alien Gear combines the best aspects of a traditional leather holster with the sturdy security of Kydex.
One of the most comfortable holsters on our list, the ShapeShift features a unique CoolVent neoprene backing for optimal breathability. It is also padded in all the right places and has a slim design that makes it easy to forget you’re wearing it.
Perhaps the best feature of the Alien Gear ShapeShift is the modular Kydex holster shell. With a patented locking system, you can switch out holster platforms quickly and easily. All you need is the appropriate expansion pack, and you can seamlessly swap out weapons and holsters in just a matter of seconds.
3 Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Shoulder Holster – Best Vertical
One of the best vertical shoulder holsters on the market, the Gould & Goodrich Gold Line is a versatile leather holster that fits a variety of handguns. Although made from durable leather, the straps are surprisingly comfortable. It’s so comfortable, you can wear it directly against your skin without worrying about chafing. You can certainly wear this one all day long and forget it’s even there.
While the Gold Line holster is designed to be hidden, you’ll have to fight the urge to show it off. The quality of leather is superb, and the craftsmanship is impressive. You can choose from classic black leather or striking chestnut brown.
4 Desantis New York Undercover Shoulder Holster – Best for 1911
Desantis is a well-respected name when it comes to holsters, earning a place as one of the top brands in the shooting world. The company’s New York Undercover Shoulder Holster is perfect shoulder holster for 1911 Colt Commanders.
The New York Undercover features extra wide straps that balance and distribute the weight of a heavy sidearm better than any hip holster. It is also perfectly molded to fit your firearm. All four junction points pivot to provide complete freedom of movement, and the holster adjusts to comfortably fit all body types.
Crafted from top-grain cowhide, this durable and attractive shoulder holster is shipped fully assembled and comes with a convenient double ammo carrier.
5 UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster – Best Budget
Perhaps the most versatile holster on our list, the UTG Deluxe Universal holster is designed to fit most popular pistols and revolvers. If you often switch between firearms, this holster allows you to swap out sidearms without swapping out your holster. You can use this one for an M&P Shield or for a Ruger LC9s. However, it also comfortably accommodates bigger weapons like the Glock 20.
The system features a soft lining to protect your firearm’s finish, as well as adjustable Velcro straps and a web belt to optimize weapon retention.
Not only does this holster fit most popular sidearms, it also fits most shooters. It has a modular design that works for both left- and right-handed shooters, and the components are fully adjustable for a truly custom fit.
The UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster is surprisingly affordable, and should be well within the price range of even the most budget-conscious shooters. For an affordable price, you score big in the areas of comfort and versatility. We think this one is definitely the best budget shoulder holster on the market today.
6 Uncle Mike’s Sidekick Vertical Shoulder Holster – Perfect for Hunters
Perfect for hunters and outdoor sportsmen, this comfortable nylon shoulder holster provides a comfortable and secure way to carry your handgun in the field. The high-quality Kodra nylon won’t rip or fray, and it holds up well even in wet weather. With a vertical orientation, this holster securely holds substantial guns with longer barrels, like those commonly used for hunting.
Not only does this shoulder holster accommodate big guns, it also comfortably fits big guys. Fully adjustable, Uncle Mike’s Sidekick fits chests up to 48 inches without constricting your breathing.
Not only will you breathe easy from this holster’s comfort, you’ll also breathe easy knowing your weapon is secure. The Sidekick features a retention strap, an adjustable buckle, and a snap to keep your firearm in place even when you’re moving around in the field.
7 Under Control Tactical Shoulder Holster – Best Lightweight for Glock 19, Glock 26
Undoubtedly the best lightweight shoulder holster on our list, this highly-rated holster from Under Control Tactical is made from durable, waterproof nylon. The shoulder straps are completely adjustable to provide a custom fit and hold your handgun firmly in position.
The holster itself is perfectly sized to fit most popular handguns. With ample room, this shoulder holster is more than adequate for both compact and full-size pistols. You can use it for Glock 26 or for Glock 19 shoulder holster. It even handles larger 1911s without breaking a sweat.
We also appreciate that Under Control Tactical is an American-based, family-owned business. They even back their products with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
8 LINIXU Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster – Best for Women
This shoulder holster from LINIXU is in a class of its own. Designed for deep concealment, this elastic holster keeps your weapon flat against your body, allowing you to wear it undetected whether you’re sporting a suit jacket or not. It won’t print through most clothing, so you can confidently wear it even under a regular shirt.
The design of LINIXU’s Deep Concealment shoulder holster helps distribute the weight of the firearm across your shoulders and back, so you can comfortably carry all day without fatigue. It’s also fully adjustable, and because it’s made of elastic, it fits practically any body type. This is actually one of the few shoulder holsters that works well for women.
9 Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster
The Yeeper Deep Concealment Shoulder Holster perfectly balances comfort and function. It is fully adjustable and made from elastic for a truly comfortable custom fit. It also comes in different sizes, making it ideal for smaller shooters who don’t want the hassle of trying to conceal extra material. The holster also features velcro straps that can be attached to a belt or vest for extra security.
Its universal design makes it suitable for a wide array of pistols. It also allows you to draw your weapon smoothly and easily. The holster itself also features a soft internal lining that protects the finish of your weapon from body sweat and scuffing. This Yeeper holster is surprisingly affordable and provides great value for the money.
10 Bianchi X16 Agent X Shoulder Holster
If you want a traditional leather shoulder holster, you’ll need a little extra room in your budget. Quality leather isn’t cheap, so most leather shoulder holsters are quite expensive. While the Bianchi X16 Agent X is made from high-quality premium grade leather, it is priced well below most other leather holsters.
The Agent X is both practical and comfortable. The holster itself is suspended from a soft leather harness and positioned at an angle optimized for both wearing comfort and an easy draw. It also comes with tie down straps and a molded double magazine pouch.
This is a standard, unlined holster for concealed carry. Models are handgun specific due to the molding of the leather. Be sure to purchase one that matches your EDC or duty weapon.
Shooters may choose a shoulder holster over a hip holster for many personal reasons. Designed for comfort and concealment, especially for larger, heavier handguns, a shoulder holster has plenty of advantages. When shopping for the best shoulder holster, don’t forget to consider fit, comfort, safety, and concealability.