Regardless of the type of firearm that you choose to carry, the holster is one of the most important accessories you can buy as a gun owner. A good holster allows you to safely and securely carry your firearm, provides reasonable access when you need it, and is comfortable enough to wear for all-day carry. 

Since the 1911 platform is highly versatile, pistols are available in numerous configurations for various applications. 

The best 1911 holster on the market may vary for you, according to your preferences. All of the following options make great choices for your favorite pistol.

Best 1911 Holster Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Bianchi 7 Shadow II

Bianchi 7 Shadow II
  • Durable vegetable-tanned leather construction
  • Hand-burnished edges
  • Nylon lock stitching

Top 11 Best 1911 Holster Reviews

1. Bianchi 7 Shadow II: Best 1911 Holster

Bianchi 7 Shadow II

Why you’ll love this:

If you’d like the best 1911 holster for OWB that delivers on comfort and retention, consider buying the Bianchi 7 Shadow II.

What We Liked

  • Contour-molded and curved design for maximum comfort
  • Sweat guard protects both the gun’s finish and your skin
  • Snap-closure thumb break for secure carry

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not as fast as passive retention
  • Leather is more susceptible to moisture

The Bianchi 7 Shadow II is one of the best 1911 leather holsters on the market — a simple, sturdy design that excels in fit and function. Suitable for strong-side and cross-draw carry, the 7 Shadow II is equipped with 3 belt loops and features a thumb break with a snap closure for retention

This high-ride holster also cants the pistol forward, raising the butt and minimizing printing. To avoid a hot or cold slide from rubbing against your exposed skin and to protect the finish of your pistol, the holster also features a full-length sweat guard

Made from full-grain leather, the 7 Shadow II is both contour-molded and curved to ensure an almost-custom fit. Accommodating larger gun belts, the loops are compatible with belt widths up to 1.75”.  

2. Alien Gear ShapeShift Slide Holster: Best 1911 Holster for the Money

Alien Gear ShapeShift Slide Holster

Why you’ll love this:

If you want a durable, modular holster system that lets you choose how you’d like to carry your 1911 and provides the comfort and security you need, buy the Alien Gear ShapeShift. 

What We Liked

  • Accommodates multiple carry configurations
  • Ventilated neoprene backing for comfort
  • Retention adjustment bar

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not as concealable as other holsters

The aptly named ShapeShift is Alien Gear’s modular OWB slide holster system that lets you choose from a variety of different carry configurations, which is why it’s also the best 1911 holster for open carry. Using the modular holster shell, you can attach it to different holster types in the ShapeShift system. Appendix, strong-side on your hip, or drop-leg thigh holster, the ShapeShift provides you with an abundance of carry style options. 

The retention bar allows you to adjust how tightly or loosely you need the holster to carry your 1911 and achieve the ideal draw stroke. A cushioned and ventilated neoprene backing ensures that the holster is comfortable to wear. To keep the holster’s spine strong but pliable, it’s reinforced with ballistic nylon and spring steel.

3. Fobus Ankle Holsters – 1911 Compact Style: Best 1911 Compact Holster

Fobus Ankle Holsters - 1911 Compact Style

Why you’ll love this:

If you need deep concealment and you’re willing to compromise on rapid access, the ankle holster is an excellent choice.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight option for a backup weapon
  • Suede-lined Cordura pad
  • Passive retention with adjustment screw

What We Didn’t Like

  • Slow to access compared with other options

While unsuitable for full-size service pistols, the ankle holster is one of the most concealable subcompact 1911 pistols options. If you wear long trousers or jeans and spend most of your time sitting, an ankle holster is a superb choice for carrying a backup weapon. However, for your primary weapon, the ankle holster’s primary disadvantage is that it’s slower to draw than waist and shoulder holsters. 

Fobus, an Israeli holster manufacturer, has been in business for more than 40 years, and its latest product continues its legacy of quality craftsmanship. The Fobus Ankle Holster provides a comfortable way of carrying your backup 1911 using a suede-lined Cordura pad as the backing. Wrapping around the left leg (in its right-handed configuration), the holster closes using Velcro

Relying on passive retention, you can draw your weapon quickly. If you need the retention to be tighter or looser, there’s an adjustment screw.  

4. Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Handgun Holster System: Best Shoulder Holster

Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Handgun Holster System

Why you’ll love this:

If you’re interested in a well-made alternative to waistband holsters suitable for driving, sitting, and long-barreled weapons, consider the Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Holster. 

What We Liked

  • An alternative to waistband holsters
  • 4-point spider harness fits a variety of sizes
  • Premium saddle leather
  • Dual magazine pouches on opposite side

What We Didn’t Like

  • Horizontal cant can muzzle sweep bystanders
  • 1-handed reholstering is more difficult

Shoulder holsters are typically associated with plainclothes police and private detectives, bodyguards, and other suit-wearing professionals. However, the shoulder holster is a practical concealed-carry option for those who prefer to wear jackets or spend prolonged periods sitting, such as those who drive for a living. 

The Galco Miami Classic Shoulder Handgun Holster System is one of the best examples on the market. Made from saddle leather, the Miami Classic uses Galco’s spider harness design. The 4 leather straps that comprise the spider harness can move independently of each other and connect to the company’s clover-shaped point in the rear. For additional ammunition, the Miami Classic harness contains 2 magazine pouches on the side opposite to the holster. 

5. Bianchi Model 135 Suppression Allusion Holster: Best 1911 Commander Holster

Bianchi Model 135 Suppression Allusion Holster

Why you’ll love it:

If you need an IWB holster for your compact Commander-sized 1911 pistol, the Bianchi Model 135 Suppression Allusion Holster is a quick-draw option to consider.

What we liked

  • Full-grain leather construction
  • Dual tuckable C-clips for secure carry
  • Antimicrobial and comfortable foam backing

What we didn’t like

  • Clips may only accommodate thinner gun belts

Introduced in 1950, the Colt Commander is a compact variant of the full-size M1911A1 service pistol. Originally featuring a 4.25” barrel, rather than the standard 5”, the Commander had an aluminum-alloy frame to reduce weight and was available in lighter chamberings, such as 9mm. Today, Commander-type pistols are a popular choice for concealed carry, but the reduced dimensions call for a different holster. 

The Bianchi Model 135 Suppression Allusion Holster is a quick-draw IWB holster designed specifically for the Commander variant. Made from full-grain leather and a laminate liner, the holster features dual tuckable C-clips; the Model 135 delivers a high degree of retention while remaining highly discreet. 

The inside liner is padded for increased comfort and uses an antimicrobial foam material to ensure odors are kept to a minimum. 

6. Galco Kingtuk IWB Holster: Best 1911 IWB Holster 

Galco Kingtuk IWB Holster

Why you’ll love it:

If you’re looking for a hybrid holster that combines the best of Kydex and leather into an effective IWB holster, look no further than the Kingtuk.

What we liked

  • Kydex holster pocket for increased rigidity
  • Leather packing plate for increased comfort
  • Belt clips spacing enhances stability

What we didn’t like

  • May not attach well to some military-type belts

Most holsters are made from leather or Kydex, each with its pros and cons. Galco has chosen to incorporate the best of both materials into an IWB holster that serves a variety of concealed carry configurations. As opposed to traditional IWB holsters, which clip directly to the gun belt, the Galco Kingtuk holster is attached to a backing plate with 2 belt clips spaced far apart. This allows the holster to distribute the weight of the firearm evenly for a more stable and comfortable daily carry.

The holster pocket is Kydex, which offers increased rigidity, and chemical and water resistance. However, the backing plate is made from leather, which many shooters find to be more comfortable against their skin

Another feature worth mentioning is the sweat shield, a raised part of the holster covering the pistol’s slide. This is designed to protect the slide’s finish against perspiration and your skin against extreme temperatures and abrasion.

7. Dual Angle Hunter Hybrid OWB Belt 1911 Holster: Best 1911 Holster for Hunting 

Dual Angle Hunter Hybrid OWB Belt 1911 Holster

Why you’ll love it:

If you want a tough, durable holster that keeps your weapon secure in the field, the Dual Angle Hunter is now available for the 1911 platform. 

What we liked

  • Combination ballistic nylon and leather build
  • Heavy-duty leather thumb break
  • Pack cloth lining with closed-cell foam core

What we didn’t like

  • Slower to draw from than some competitors

While the 1911 is typically chambered in full-power service cartridges, such as 9mm and .45 Auto, there is a demand for a larger handgun chambered in this diminutive round. The reasons are simple. If you’re sensitive to recoil, have a wrist or hand injury, or are a beginner, the .380 offers the lightest-recoiling alternative for self-defense or target practice that isn’t rimfire. 

John Browning designed both the 1911 and the .380 ACP cartridge, so it seems fitting that the company bearing his name would fuse the designs. Unlike some other .380 CCW pistols, the Browning 1911-380 provides you with sufficient surface area to acquire a full firing grip, allowing you to maintain control of the weapon. This also helps to ease the snap that often accompanies dedicated CCW handguns in this caliber. 

Despite this increased height, the 1911-380 is not a full-size handgun; it’s based on the Colt Commander, the compact variant of the Government Model, substituting a 4.25” barrel for the standard 5”. That’s not the only difference. Its frame is polymer composite rather than steel, which is why it only weighs 18 ounces. However, the slide is blackened stainless steel. 

The 1911-380 also features a skeletonized hammer, upswept beavertail grip safety, an extended ambidextrous manual thumb safety, and a target crown. 

The magazine capacity is the same as standard 9mm and .45-caliber variants at 8 rounds.

8. Hogue PowerSpeed Universal Speed Holster: Best 1911 Retention Holster

Hogue PowerSpeed Universal Speed Holster

Why you’ll love it:

If you need a combination of speed and retention, the Hogue PowerSpeed Universal Speed Holster fits a variety of full-size pistols and is both fast and secure.

What we liked

  • Universal holster design
  • Secure locking system with thumb lever
  • Fast draw with no friction

What we didn’t like

  • Doesn’t protect the weapon against the elements

When speed and retention are needed together, the Hogue PowerSpeed Universal Speed Holster delivers both. Leaving the firearm largely exposed except for the trigger guard, which is covered, the locking system keeps the firearm secure until you depress a thumb lever as you place your hand on the pistol’s grip. At that point, the pistol is unlocked, and you’re free to draw it. 

The draw stroke is smooth as there’s no holster material enveloping the pistol to create friction. Instead, it’s laid against the frame of the holster with the locking system keeping it in place. 

A universal holster, the PowerSpeed can be used with a variety of full-size semi-automatic pistols.

9. Cardini Paddle Holster: Best 1911 Paddle Holster

Cardini Paddle Holster

Why you’ll love it:

If you want a paddle holster’s convenience and the low-profile design of a pancake holster, the Cardini Paddle Holster is an excellent choice.

What we liked

  • Hybrid paddle and pancake holster
  • Suede-lined interior for increased comfort
  • Compatible with 1.75” belts
  • 2-screw adjustable retention

What we didn’t like

  • Not as secure as other holster designs

The primary advantage of a paddle holster is convenience. Rather than the holster being directly secured to the belt using clips or loops, the paddle holster uses a piece of stiff leather or hard plastic that fits over your belt or the waistband of your trousers. Since it uses friction to remain attached, it’s convenient to remove quickly. Unfortunately, it also offers less security than holsters that rely on other methods of attachment. 

The Cardini Paddle Holster combines the convenience of the paddle design with the low-profile design of the pancake. Suitable for strong-side and cross-draw positions, the Cardini can be adjusted to cant the pistol forward, minimizing printing. 

Cardini has both curved the holster’s inside to more naturally contour to the body and lined it with suede for added comfort. This provides a soft backing that shouldn’t abrade or irritate the skin.

10. C&G Holsters Right Hand 1911 Government Outside the Waistband: Best 1911 Tactical Holster

C&G Holsters Right Hand 1911 Government Outside the Waistband

Why you’ll love it:

If you want a tactical OWB holster made from Kydex, an impact- and chemical-resistant thermoplastic, C&G’s offering is worth considering. 

What we liked

  • Kydex resists moisture and chemicals
  • Impact- and crush-resistant construction
  • Passive retention that you can feel and hear
  • 0–15° of cant adjustment

What we didn’t like

  • Kydex can accelerate holster wear

A tactical holster should be suitable for both combat and competitive shooting sports that are designed to mimic real-world defensive or duty-related scenarios. One of the tactical holster requirements should be durability, and Kydex supplies that in ample quantity

Naturally resistant to chemical solvents, lubricating oils, and water, this material is the perfect all-weather material. Besides moisture and chemical resistance, Kydex maintains its shape more effectively than leather, so reholstering is never an issue. 

Comfortable to wear outside the waistband and with a T-shirt, the C&G 1911 Government OWB Holster’s hardware is salt-bath nitrided for additional corrosion resistance, ensuring that these parts won’t rust when exposed to perspiration. 

Retention is passive, but Kydex holsters are also thermoformed to fit pistols like a glove. When you holster your 1911, you’ll feel and hear it click into place, and with an adjustable cant from 0–15°, you can carry your firearm the way that you want. 

11. PS Products Ambidextrous Hand Medium/Large Frame Auto Holster: Best Cheap 1911 Holster

PS Products Ambidextrous Hand Medium Large Frame Auto Holster

Why you’ll love it:

For those who are highly budget conscious or are still experimenting with different holster options, the PS Products Auto Holster offers a low-cost, ambidextrous, and simple holster

What we liked

  • Affordably priced holster
  • Belt loops or removable metal clip
  • Ambidextrous design for left- or right-handed shooters

What we didn’t like

  • Basic no-frills holster

If you’re on a strict budget, or are new to firearms and want to determine whether you want to carry a firearm, the PS Products Ambidextrous Hand Medium/Large Frame Auto Holster is a good place to start. Low cost and simple, this leather holster features 2 loops that can accommodate belts up to 1.75” wide. It also has a removable metal clip

Capable of fitting medium- and large-framed handguns, the PS Products Auto Holster can suit either your Commander- or full-size 1911 pistol.

You can wear this holster IWB or OWB, and it can also fit in the small of the back if that’s your preference. 

Despite its price, your hand choices aren’t limited. This holster is fully ambidextrous for right- and left-handed shooters. 

Best 1911 Holster Overall: Bianchi 7 Shadow II

Bianchi 7 Shadow II

The best 1911 holster overall is the Bianchi 7 Shadow II. This is a full-grain leather pancake holster with a snap-closure thumb break, 3 belt loops, and a forward cant designed to be worn either on the strong side or in a cross-draw position. 

Riding high, this holster is curved and contour-molded to fit like a glove, maximizing both comfort and concealability. The trigger guard is completely covered for safety, so your finger remains straight as you initiate the draw stroke. 


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