Open carry, in some ways, is a lot less limiting than concealed carry. A holster should still be comfortable and properly secure the firearm in an accessible location on your body, but you don’t need to worry about printing or exposing the gun; in fact, by law, you’re often required to prevent clothing from obstructing the view of it.
Concealed carry can be a bit more difficult. Concealed carry holsters must be compatible with several different categories of clothing in order to be effective for their purpose, and this isn’t always the case. For example, some concealed carry holsters that work admirably with professional attire or several layers of clothing are terribly noticeable under thinner, casual clothing or athletic attire.
There are few serviceable gun holsters for running that are both discrete and well designed for athletic pursuits. Many gun holsters that have been marketed as suitable for athletes, such as some styles of belly band holsters, simply aren’t thoughtfully designed or practical for wear with athletic clothing or during athletic activities.
Why Some Have Experienced Troubles with Belly Band Style Holsters in the Past
Holsters for running must be made compatible with lightweight, athletic clothing, and because there are limited places on the body where a holster can realistically be worn during activities like jogging or running, belly bands appear to be the most practical option.
They sit around the midriff, which allows them to be easily covered, and at least theoretically secure the firearm in a location that enables practical access. However, poor design and lackluster ergonomics sometimes get in the way of their potential.
For example, many belly band style holsters are fairly discrete and don’t print when worn properly even with thin clothing such as running shorts and a t-shirt - at least, at rest. Once the wearer runs or jogs in them, however, some issues may start to manifest.
Belly hand holsters that are comfortable and appear to sit securely at rest may bounce or shift when the wearer begins to run or jog. In some circumstances, these styles of holsters may even roll, flop, or shift positions on the body.
This is not only uncomfortable for the person wearing the holster, but it can hinder access to the firearm as well. Furthermore, it not only limits the functionality of the holster but can also make it apparent that the runner or jogger is carrying a gun. Any shifting underneath the clothes is a signal - notwithstanding the discomfort it offers.
Moreover, some belly hand style holsters that are sold as gun holsters for running, in the interest of discretion and concealment, are made with thin fabric that does not secure the firearm adequately, or worse, enables access to the trigger guard area, which is dangerous and unacceptable. Some of the materials used stretch out quickly and do not maintain their shape.
One more thing to note is that in some belly hand holsters, a portion of the firearm is exposed, which, while it has the potential to enhance access to the firearm, may also allow the firearm to come into contact with skin. This will introduce sweat onto the firearm, which can be devastating not only to the finish but the internals, causing flash rust and even the seizing of parts. Also, exposed areas of the firearm, such as the grip, can rub on the user’s body and become uncomfortable with movement
With all of that said, you shouldn’t discount belly band style holsters entirely. Like all shooting accessories, they have advantages and disadvantages, and when designed properly can be serviceable.
Why You Shouldn’t Rule Them Out
At Pistol Wear, we have been sensitive to the needs of conscientious armed citizens. We designed our PT-ONE and PT-2 Concealment Holsters specifically in response to the needs of athletic-minded individuals. Both holsters are made with premium quality materials and will not bounce or roll when properly adjusted and secured. They also both entirely enclose the handgun, and feature a perspiration barrier to protect the handgun against sweat and a rigid outer wall to protect the firearm and prevent printing.
Ideal for runners because they will not bounce or shift on the body, the PT-ONE is compatible with any firearm up to a full-size handgun and the PT-2 is more suitable for compact handguns up to 7 inches in overall length. The PT-ONE itself contains a compartment for a spare magazine, and both holsters are compatible with belt accessories that will enable you to carry additional magazines or your phone. They’re also compatible with belt extensions to accommodate a wider range of waist sizes.
Belly band style holsters like these, when designed properly, can be a serviceable solution for a gun holster for running, incorporating security, comfort, and practicality. To learn more about these and the other purpose-built concealment holsters we offer, follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) or get in touch with us directly at 1-918-289-2976.