The M&P Shield has become one of the most popular handguns on the market and for good reason. Smith & Wesson is known for quality firearms and this line up is no exception. It is a lightweight and slim gun that is perfect for concealed carry. It comes in .40S&W as well as the ever popular 9mm.
Since this a perfect option for concealed carry, you are going to want to find the perfect holster to go with it. The right holster can make the difference between life and death in this case so you should choose carefully. You want the gun to be easily concealed but still easily accessible. You are also going to want to make sure your firearm is secure and doesn’t move around from whatever position you decide to carry.
A great holster option for most people is an inside-the-waistband or IWB holster. These holsters sit inside the waistband of your pants instead of on the outside like more traditional holsters. This makes them easier to hide without having to wear bulky clothing to keep things covered.
In this article, we have done the homework for you and reviewed some of the best IWB holsters for you M&P Shield.
Best IWB Holsters by Brand
This is a great holster for anyone that doesn’t like the feeling of a bulkier holster pulling on your belt. The Remora is made from a rubberized non-slip material that basically sticks inside your waistband instead of having to use a belt clip. You can also use this holster to carry in your pocket and since there isn’t a belt clip, you can carry it at almost any angle you prefer. It’s waterproof and washable, so you can expect to keep your holster looking nice for quite some time. There is an option for a reinforced top that keeps the holster open when you draw which makes reholstering much easier, saving you valuable time during training exercises. This would make a great inexpensive holster that is quick to put on and easy to wear.
Blackhawk Serpa CQC
The Blackhawk Serpa CQC is a quality holster that is made to handle some of the toughest environments. Blackhawk is known for making quality products at a reasonable price. This particular item comes with a belt loop platform and a paddle platform. Both platforms are adjustable so you can choose the ride and cant that best fit your needs.
This holster also has a patented retention feature that makes it extremely difficult to remove your gun unless the lever on the side of the holster is pressed while drawing. To help ensure safety, you will hear a loud click once you have reholstered properly. The speed cut design means you will have a faster draw when you need it. If you are looking for something with safety in mind then this is the holster for you, it is a little bulkier than some of the other options, but the safety features more than make up for it.
FoxX Hybrid Holster for Smith & Wesson M&P Shield (9mm & .40)
FoxX is a relatively new brand of holster that is made in the United States. They make each holster individually using quality leather (black or natural tan) and kydex materials. They offer a lifetime warranty and a two week money-back guarantee.
This hybrid holster is made from 9 oz premium leather and .06” black kydex. It comes with steel belt clips and is fully adjustable for ride and cant. You can also purchase kydex clips if you prefer those instead of steel. This is a tuckable holster, so it’s easy to conceal and the leather will mold to your body after wearing it for a couple weeks. If you are looking for a good American made holster, with a lifetime guarantee and a great price then this is one I highly recommend.
Galco Kingtuk Holster
Galco holsters are made from high quality materials and used by both law enforcement and military personnel. They are a dependable and durable option for anyone that needs as reliable holster for everyday carry.
The Galco Kingtuk is a tuckable holster made from Napa leather and kydex. The Napa leather makes the backing plate extremely comfortable and soft while they kydex holster pocket allows for an easy draw and reholstering. It has removable metal belt clips that can be adjusted up or down so you can adjust the height and angle to your preference. You can also purchase molded nylon C-hooks which will allow for an even lower ride on your belt. If you ask me, this one of the best IWB holsters out there, it’s extremely comfortable, durable and easily concealed. You can’t go wrong with this one. They are a little pricier than some of the others, but I think they are worth it.
Uncle Mike’s Tactical Reflex Open Top Holster
With Uncle Mike’s integrated retention technology, this holster provides an extra level of security for your firearm. However, it does take a little getting used to. You just need to slightly twist the butt of your gun in toward your body in order to draw your pistol. It is designed to work smoothly with your natural gross motor function while keeping your gun securely in its holster.
This holster is made from kydex and has a pancake style belt loop that will fit belts up to 1 ¾”. It also comes with a paddle attachment for those of you that prefer them or for when you don’t have a belt available. All Uncle Mike’s holsters are precision engineered and tested in conditions including mud, sand and water by the Uncle Mike’s law enforcement team. For being an inexpensive holster, it is packed full of features and you will definitely get your money’s worth.
Best Holsters by Handgun Caliber
For 9mm: Concealment Express Holster
For those of you wanting a small lightweight holster for your 9mm Shield, this is a great option for you. The Concealment Express is handmade from .08” kydex and weighs in at just over 2oz. It attaches to your belt with the 1.75” belt clip and you can adjust the cant on this one from 0-15 degrees so you can achieve the angle you need for a comfortable draw. There is an adjustable retention screw to enable you to get the level of retention that you need to feel secure while still accommodating an easy draw.
This is a very minimalist holster and when paired with the slim profile if the Shield, it is a very concealable option. This is not a tuckable holster so it works best if you are wearing your shirt untucked.
For .40 S&W: Pro Carry LT CCW Holster
The Pro Carry LT is an entry leather holster designed for comfort. It comes with a gun blued metal belt clip for attaching the holster to your belt. You can get this holster for both right and left hand draw and it can be worn on the side or in the small of the back.
The black leather finish and smooth lining make it feel more expensive than it actually is while allowing for a faster smoother draw. The small design also makes it comfortable to carry your gun all day and in the sitting and standing positions. This holster will fit your Shield like a dream and you may even forget you are carrying it.
Best 4 Holsters by Material and Feature
Kydex: Galco Triton for Shield
This Galco kydex holster is made from the highest quality materials so it will be extremely durable as well as maintenance free. The Triton is thin which makes it very easy to conceal. There is a raised sweat guard which protects your gun from corrosions caused by sweat and also keeps your skin from being rubbed by the steel. It is available in black and the belt clip fits belts up to 1 ¾”.
There are two screws on the body of the holster to allow you to adjust the retention to suit your needs and comfort level. You want the tension tight enough to secure the gun during daily motion but not so tight that you pull the holster free when trying to draw your firearm.
Nothing beats leather when it comes to comfort but for a kydex holster, this is a very comfortable option. The intermediate price and full array of features make this a great holster.
Leather: OutBags LOB3S Holster
The OutBags LOB3S holster is specifically designed for IWB carry specifically. It won’t work for carrying OWB or in the small of the back. It is handcrafted from genuine leather and also hand-dyed with a protective clear coat and can be purchased in black or brown. The metal belt clip is well made and springy but stiff enough to hold securely to your belt.
The leather is cured and hardened in order to maintain the shape of your Shield. This is a great leather holster for a low price. As far as comfort is concerned, leather is the way to go and this holster should hold up to everyday use. The leather tends to be a little stiff at first but after wearing it will break in nicely and still maintain the retention that you need.
Hybrid: Hidden Hybrid Holster
The hidden hybrid holster is made from .093” thick molded kydex for durability and 9-10 ounces of suede leather backing for comfort and it’s made in the USA. Hybrid holsters give you the best of both worlds. This is another tuckable holster, so you can wear your shirt tucked in and maintain the confidence that your firearm will stay concealed. There are 1 ¾” belt holes so you can also outside-the-waistband if you prefer.
The black powder coated 1 ¾” belt clips are adjustable for ride height and cant so you can get your gun in your preferred carry position. With the adjustable retention screws, you can make sure you have just the right amount of retention and still maintain and smooth draw.
Nylon: Tagua RIPH-1200 Holster
Nylon is a traditional and inexpensive yet durable option for IWB holsters and this Tagua RIPH-1200 is a great option for carrying your firearm. The nylon is very thick and should allow you to get many years of use out of this holster. It has a belt hook for IWB carry as well as a belt loop for carrying OWB. The sweat guard will protect your gun from sweat while keeping the steel from your rubbing your skin. The reinforced top on this holster will help it keep its shape and remain open after you draw which will make reholstering your gun fast and easy.
Top Holsters by Feature
For Shield with Lasermax: SHTF Gear Ace-1 Gen 2 Holster
The SHTF Gear ACE (always combat effective) holster has the proprietary Comfort Curve. This is a feature that is unique to this company. They mold the Kydex so there is a curve in the back of the holster. This will a closer fit to the body and increase comfort. They also offer a lifetime warranty and 30 day money back guarantee!
The thick precision-formed kydex and leather construction as well as the Kevlar stitching will make a comfortable yet durable holster. With the flared opening, you will be able to achieve a rapid and smooth deployment with ease. This holster is also fully adjustable for ride height, cant and retention.
It can be hard to find quality holsters to fit your gun once it’s equipped with a laser sight but this one is loaded with features and has a quality construction for a great price.
For Shield with Crimson Trace: Desantis Mini Scabbard Holster
The Mini Scabbard is a bare-bones holster for the Shield. If you are looking for a small and light-weight option for your Shield with Crimson Trace sights, you have found what you are looking for. It is available in black or tan leather and the will fit belts up to 1 ½”. The leather is molded and the retention is adjustable so your gun will be secure. This holster is unlined which helps keep the weight and bulk to a minimum.
The slightly higher ride and slight cant make for a comfortable fit and an easy draw. It’s small enough to be easily concealed under a loose shirt or jacket. It is a pretty snug fit for the first few days but once you break it in, your gun will fit inside like a glove.
Tuckable: Precision Holster
Precision Holsters are machine formed for a perfect fit. It has a very small profile for ultimate concealment. Made from high quality top grain leather and Kydex materials, it is extremely comfortable regardless of which position you choose to carry in. It has a moisture resistant finish and is drum dried in order to achieve uniform coloring. If you need to look professional and keep your shirt tucked in while carrying, this tuckable holster will fit your needs.
This belt clips on this holster will accommodate up to a 1 ½” belt and there are other sizes of clips available as well. The cant is adjustable to 10 degrees and the ride height and retention are adjustable also. The flared opening ensures an easy draw. I highly recommend this Precision Holster for anyone that is looking for something tuckable.
What to Consider When Choosing a Product
When you are choosing a holster for your M&P Shield there are a few things you should consider.
You want to make sure your holster is comfortable. If it isn’t comfortable, you are going to miserable or you won’t carry your gun at all. You also want to make sure you get a holster made from quality materials. Holsters made from poor quality materials will not be durable and could result in a potentially life threatening equipment failure.
Another thing you want to consider is how easily you can draw your firearm. When put in a situation that requires a fast response time, you don’t want to be fumbling to get your gun drawn. It is also an advantage if the mouth of the holster is reinforced so it will remain while your gun is drawn which means reholstering will be much easier.
How easily your gun is concealed is another thing to think about. Many states have laws against printing or brandishing so you want to make sure that no matter what position you are in, your pistol doesn’t show or print. I advise having a good friend watch while you move around and change positions. They should be able to tell if you are printing and then you can make adjustments to prevent this issue from happening any further.
Where to Buy a Holster
There are many places to buy a holster. You can purchase from a big box store. They usually have a lot of options but sometimes you may find the customer service to be lacking slightly. You could also purchase from a smaller gun shop. Customer service and knowledge are usually top notch but the selection might be a little limited.
The other option is to purchase online. Head over to Amazon and take a look at all the different holster options. One of the advantages to this is being able to read reviews from other users to help you decide which holster might work best for you. Amazon also typically has some of the best prices to offer!