The Best IWB Holster for Shield Smith & Wesson M&P [TOP 4]
The M&P Shield by Smith and Wesson is the lightest and smallest 9mm handgun the company has ever built. To be sure, it offers some impressive features and palm-size firepower that is tough to beat. Measuring just 6” long, 4.5” high, less than 1” thick, and weighing just 19 ounces, the M&P Shield offers the best characteristics any CCW handgun could afford a shooter. This is why it's important to find the best IWB holster for Shield handguns to keep them concealed.
The Shield features a unique polymer frame with an embedded stainless steel chassis that offers the best of both frame worlds: Lower weight than conventional all-steel guns, without sacrificing the rigidity and general ruggedness of the aforementioned. A max capacity of 8+1 provides enough opportunity for good shot placement under duress.
Based on the full-size M&P design, the Shield is already a proven tool of defense – but carrying this small, thin, lightweight gun means investing in a holster that’s equally efficient. This striker-fired handgun and its round, relatively smooth polymer lower could make drawing a tad more considered. There aren’t as many grippy, pointy bits to hastily reach for in a pinch. That means your holster must be perfectly designed for good retention and drawing. Such a small gun also requires a holster that’s minimalistic without sacrificing comfort or features.
The Best IWB Holster for Shield Handguns
With these considerations in mind, let’s break down our top picks for the best Smith & Wesson 9mm concealed carry holsters:
The SuperTuck Concealed Carry Holster from CrossBreed certainly satisfies all those requirements we mentioned for a good M&P Shield holster: It’s minimalist, it’s perfectly canted for an ergonomic draw, it can be configured for lefties and righties, and it’s highly concealable for deep, long-term carry in comfort.
The CrossBreed SuperTuck is a Kydex holster, a best-of material that’s suited well for fitting and hiding small, compact, lightweight guns like the Shield. An open bottom reduces unnecessary bulk, pop riveted seams mean that less Kydex is needed to form the holster bucket, and a low-cut top keeps the snubby rear end of the Shield easily accessible for a quick, seamless draw.
Retention is good and tight without getting in the way of said draw, while an elongated upper cowhide leather backing helps separate your gun from your skin or inner layers. This also provides a smooth surface for your drawing hand and fingers to glide across, reducing any guesswork while drawing.
Simple but effective loop-through belt attachments will fit any daily wear, and that’s really all there is to say about this holster:
It’s perfectly formed and fitted, it provides wonderful smith and wesson m&p shield holster concealment, and there aren’t any features or quirks that’ll get in the way of saving your life.
What’s more, each belt loop is adjustable, allowing you to raise and lower the position of your holster relative to your waist – an awesome feature for any intuitive IWB holster. Nearly all reviews glow about this holster, making it a no-brainer pick for someone who wants all-day CCW comfort without any bells and whistles.
For some folks, even Kydex and cowhide leathers don’t provide enough foundation for a good, confident all-day carry. Ironically, small and lightweight guns like the M&P Shield can almost feel too flimsy and ready to jostle around.
If that’s the case for you – or if you simply like even more comfort and material to distribute holster pressure – then Galco’s KingTuk IWB Holster is perfect for your M&P Shield. This holster features many of the same features and materials as CrossBreed’s more minimalist holster, except in a more padded and robust configuration.
Galco’s KingTuk also affords your M&P Shield just a bit more forward cant than the CrossBreed– this subtle difference may boil down to personal preference, but for some shooters, even 2 to 3 degrees makes the difference between a good draw, and one that’s slow and unintuitive. The kingTuk features a Kydex holster bucket that’s built similarly to CrossBreed’s design, but with more padding material and slightly more surface area to distribute the holster’s weight.
Premium Napa leather on the front keeps things from rubbing and snagging against your clothes and weapon, while a backing plate made of lined saddle leather offers a balance of rigidity and natural body molding. The KingTuk also features adjustable belt clips to get the perfect setup for your body and it comes available (of course) in a left- or right-hand configuration.
Lastly, the KingTuk’s metal belt hooks are a tad more low profile in design compared to the CrossBreed, sitting flush against your belt. They’re also slightly more spaced out, which may serve larger shooters better. Over hundreds of happy users rate the KingTuk favorably, making it a great alternative to the CrossBreed if you’re a bigger shooter, or if you simply want something with a little more cant, material, and spacing.
Perhaps double belt-loop systems with large leather padding aren’t your thing – after all, the M&P Shield is a more compact, slim, and lightweight version of Smith and Wesson’s most popular model. If you’re like so many others, your Shield’s holster should follow that same logic.
If that’s the case, take a look at The Defender Leather IWB holster from Relentless Tactical. It doesn’t get any simpler and easier than this. This simple, one-belt-clip, leather bolster provides the classic vertical cant and open-top configuration that so many veteran CCW customers love for ultimate simplicity.
The Defender does a great job at masking the Shield’s lines and general profile compared to our top Kydex picks, making it a great option for deep concealment or for folks who may be slimmer, or wearing fitted clothing. Thick stitching and perfectly cut leather keep all the edges on this holster uniform, organic in shape, and comfortable against the body.
This holster’s thick bullhide leather also resists deformation when attempting to re-holster your weapon after drawing – a small but nice bonus. Because this holster requires no padding or leather backing, some consider it the easiest holster to draw a small gun like the Shield.
The Defender’s open belt loop will accommodate any standard belt you’ll wear, and the open-end design lets you holster other compacts if you carry something other than just your M&P Shield on occasion.
The Defender is made in the U.S.A. and comes backed with a lifetime warranty, letting you know this holster’s simplicity is not to be confused with something cheap. We like The Defender’s reinforced, double-leather tongue that rests just behind the top of the Shield’s receiver. This ensures a quick draw can be performed without any deformation. The Defender is tied for least expensive holster in our lineup next to our last pick, making it a simple purchase that’ll be reliable for years to come.
Perhaps you love the one-piece design of The Defender, but you also enjoy those customizable features and the Kydex construction of our first two picks. If you want the best of both worlds, look at CYA Supply Co.’s IWB Holster for the M&P Shield.
This setup truly offers the best of both worlds, with a simple one-loop clip design and self-contained holster, on top of offering the compact, slim benefits of a Kydex holster. The CYA Supply Holster measures just .08” thick, making it our slimmest, most low-profile holster in our top picks. It also affords the shooter with the ability to adjust vertical cant forward, up to 15 degrees, ensuring the perfect draw is made every time.
The CYA Supply is simple at first glance, but a Posi-Click Audible Retention System provides active retention without any thumb release or button press. To improve stiffness and rigidity, the CYA Supply Holster follows the full length of the Shield. This might cause drawing issues otherwise, but because this holster is so thin and ergonomically molded, it doesn’t get in the way of drawing quickly when it counts.
We particularly like how wide and springy the CYA Supply Holster’s belt clip is. This larger, wider clip provides some added security and a snugger fit than most other single-clip holsters. Available in left- or right-hand draw, the CYA supply Holster will easily fit any shooter, small or large.
We could keep picking apart the subtleties of this simple-at-first-glance holster, but we’ll let the thousands of raving user reviews do the talking: This is by far the highest rated holster on our lineup. If you trust popular opinion to make a purchase, the CYA Supply Holster requires little thought.
If we had to pick a favorite holster from our lineup, it would be our last choice:
The M&P Shield is a beautifully crafted compact, balancing features and accuracy with a small, lightweight design. The holster that houses it should be no different, and the CYA Supply Co just manages to get everything perfect.
This holster is the lightest, thinnest, simplest, and arguably most well-equipped holster by far. It’s also the only holster in our list to offer an active retention system that requires no button press. In our opinion this is the best IWB holster for Shield pistols. The CYA Supply Co Holster perfectly espouses the qualities a shooter wants in the M&P Shield, making the combination of these two tools a no-brainer by every measure.
Featured image by Justin Moore