Best IWB Holster for M&P Shield

Best IWB Holster for M&P Shield in 2020 – Reviewed By Expert

If you want to use your Smith and Wesson M&P shield to its fullest potential, you need to buy an excellent holster for it. With the best IWB holster for the M&P shield, you can unlock a new level of comfort and concealment that you never thought possible before trying one out yourself.

For people who do not know, the M&P is a time-tested handgun that is beloved in the world of guns for its short recoil and high accuracy. This automatic handgun is one of the prime choices for anyone because of its compact nature. However, despite its small size, with a truly concealed carry holster, you will have a hard time concealing it from sight.

That is where we come in. If you spent any time on the market, you should know by now how difficult it can get to find a decent IWB holster. Let’s face it; the market is highly saturated with subpar units by knock-off brands trying to make a name for themselves.

 If you love your guns, you should settle for nothing but the best for your precious firearm. In this article, we will give you a quick rundown of the best concealed carry holster for the S&W shield that you can find on the market.

Top 5 Best IWB Holster for M&P Shield

Picking out the perfect unit for your requirements takes a lot of patience and research. However, with our help, you can throw it out the window. Since we did all the hard work already, you can simply look up our thoughts and ideas that can help you reach your decisions quickly and easily.

 Here is our roundup for the best IWB holster for the M&P shield that you can buy without any second thoughts.

1. Galco KT652B Kingtuk Inside The Waistband Gun Holster

Starting up our list, we have one of the best IWB holsters for shield you can find on the market. The Kingtuk IWB holder by the brand Galco is definitely one of the finest units that you can find on the market. It comes with excellent concealment options and improved design features that make it truly exceptional.

Setting the carry height with this unit is quick and simple. It comes with removable plastic clips in the front, which you can move to different positions without any hassle. In addition, the holster pocket is made of Kydex, which enables you to draw and holster your weapon effortlessly.

This unit features a high-quality leather construction that can survive the test of time. It features a lined leather backing plate to ensure it does not cause you any discomfort when you have it equipped. The addition of the Napa leather front further enhances its style and durability.

 Finally, the retention of the unit is also top-notch, allowing you to store any shield handguns without sacrificing your draw speed.  Regardless of how many years you are using it, it will stay fresh as long as you take care of it from time to time. For anyone on the market for a premium quality IWB holster, this unit offers amazing value.

Pros :

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Rigid holster pocket for easy holstering
  • Premium leather construction
  • Adjustable carry height and cant angle


  • Plastic clips seem flimsy

2. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Pro Carry LT CCW IWB Leather Gun Holster Black

Up next, we have a compact and lightweight holster by the brand Pro Carry for people who want a minimalist option. This unit might not be much to look at, but when it comes to delivering supreme performance and comfort, it is hard to beat at its price range.

It features a simple metal clip at the back that can hang on to either your belt or belt line easily. Because of its soft construction, you can wear it all day long without feeling any discomfort. Not many IWB holsters allow for all day wearing, but thankfully, this one suits the needs of everyday users.

The metal clip also supports cant level adjustment to some degrees to provide easier access to the handgun. Thanks to this option, you can wear it in a few different positions such as the appendix, or behind the hip. Since this holster is made specifically for the shield type guns, you do not need to worry about the retention.

 The best thing about the unit is its compact and lightweight design. Its high-quality leather construction guarantees durability and improved strength. To further enhance its longevity, the connecting points of the leather are sewn to perfection. Overall, it is a perfect blend of quality and affordability.

Pros :

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Suitable for all day wearing
  • Allows for multiple carry positions
  • Quick and easy access to the firearm


  • No audible click while holstering the weapon.

3. Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster (Black)

Making a list of high-quality IWB holsters is quite impossible without mentioning a product by the brand Concealment Express. This company is a well-known and respected name in the industry that has been in the game for quite some time. And with this specific holster, you can clearly see why they are held in such high regard.

First off, this unit is one of the finest when it comes to adjustability options. It allows you to set the retention and cant angle with zero hassle giving you complete freedom over how you want the holster to feel. Its two screws on the side of the unit allow you to tighten up the retention to ensure you get a smooth yet secure draw.

In addition, the unit allows you to set the cant level from anywhere between -5 to 20 degrees. With this feature, you can easily set the carry angle of your weapon that best suits your requirements to help you get a faster draw. It also features a Posi-Click feature to let you know when you securely holster your weapon with a loud and audible clicking noise.

 The build quality of the unit is also top-notch, featuring a high-quality Kydex Undercut trigger cut. It also comes with a full-length sweat guard to ensure your weapons remain free from issues. Its open-threaded design allows you to even equip a handgun with a suppressor attached easily.

Pros :

  • Excellent construction quality
  • No visible printing under the clothing
  • Allows for a lot of adjustment
  • Amazing value for the price


  • No apparent cons

4. BLACKHAWK Serpa CQC Holster

Next up, we have a highly versatile holster on our list by none other than Blackhawk. This brand is working tirelessly over the years, making a solid mark on the industry with their innovative gun holsters. This option, for instance, supports not only the M&P shield but also a plethora of other compact handguns.

The standout feature of the brand that we often find and love in their holsters is the Serpa auto-lock technology. It ensures immediate retention as soon as you holster your weapon, ensuring that your gun is locked and secured. You even get a satisfactory click sound when you put your gun inside to let you know that it is activated.

In addition, you can adjust the retention level in the unit using the screws on the bottom side quite easily. The design of the unit allows you to get a full combat grip on your weapon, which can further enhance your draw speed and technique. This model comes for both left and right-handed people, so make sure you buy the one that suits your needs.

 It features a strong polymer construction that can survive any sort of abuse you throw at it. Despite featuring a rigid body, it does not feel uncomfortable on the skin. And since it has a rigid construction, you do not need to fiddle around when you want to holster your gun.

Pros :

  • Trademark Serpa auto-lock technology
  • Allows for a comfortable grip
  • Comes with both a belt and a paddle platform
  • Adjustable retention


  • Does not include a trigger guard

5. Relentless Tactical The Defender Leather IWB Holster For S&W M&P Shield

To wrap up our list of reviews, we will be looking at a high-performance holster by the good folks at Relentless Tactical. If you are a sucker for leather construction and cannot resist the feel and comfort of this material, The Defender might be one of your best options in the market.

The unit features a strong metal J clip on the side to attach it to your belt or waistband. This clip allows for a limited degree of carrying angle adjustments. You still get enough options to try it out in different positions to find which one gives you the best draw speed.

Since it does not come with any adjustment options, the preset retention needed to be set accurately. And after breaking it in, the holster can fit almost any compact handguns without hassle. Another great thing about this holster is that it leaves no visual printing when you put it on.

 At first glance, the holster does not look very special. It is compact, lightweight, and feels decent at best. However, the moment you pick it up, you can clearly see the thought that went behind its construction. It is designed to attract the attention of people who care about quality over how it looks.

Pros :

  • Premium quality leather
  • Compact and durable build quality
  • Excellent retention level
  • Three different color options


  • Requires some breaking in

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Holster for the M&P Shield 

Considering the different aspects of a gun holster is not an easy task. Since it is such a small and compact tool, you might easily overlook a simple feature that might come back to haunt you later. If you want to make the most out of your purchase, you need to be critical of a few essential factors.

For this reason, we have compiled a complete breakdown of a few things that you should consider when buying the best holster for the M&P shield to help you get the best results and none of the regrets.

  • Concealment

The primary function of an IWB holster is its concealment. Ideally, when you are carrying a concealed weapon, you need to ensure that any visible sign of you wearing the weapon is completely removed. That means not only your gun itself but also the holster that you are wearing.

You should also look for any printing when you have your gun holstered in the unit. Some IWB holsters, despite being compact in nature, can leave a visual sign underneath your clothes like a bulge. Your gun is not truly concealed when that happens, so make sure the holster that you are buying does not have this issue.

  • Trigger Guard

Another important factor of consideration when you are buying an IWB holster is the trigger guard. A trigger guard is a basic safety feature that you may or may not get with your holster. However, we always prefer to buy a unit that comes with a built-in trigger guard, as it means we do not have to worry about any extra components.

It is basically a small bit of extra material in the holster that hugs the trigger of your firearm when you have it holstered. Thanks to this, you cannot pull the trigger as long as the gun stays in the holster. This feature can drastically reduce the risk of accidental discharge when pulling out your weapon.

Even if you buy a holster that does not come with a trigger guard, you should strongly consider buying an aftermarket one. You could even make one yourself using bits of plastic, Kydex, or leather if you do not want to spend the extra money on it.

  • Comfort

People who carry their guns in a concealed carry holster usually keep it on for the entirety of the day. That is why comfort is one of the primary issues that you must address when you are buying your IWB holster for the M&P shield. If the holster is not easy on your skin, you will not be able to wear it for too long.

The comfort of the unit mostly depends on its design and material selection. For instance, leather is a highly comfortable material that feels good on the skin and does not cause you too many issues. Although it does require a break-in period, after it relaxes, you should have a comfortable experience with it.

  • Retention Capacity

You also want your IWB holster to grip your M&P shield with a secured strength. However, you do not want it to be too tight, or it might scratch the finish ruining the good looks of your handgun. On the other hand, if it is too relaxed, your gun might simply fall out of the holster when you bend down or jump around.

This capacity of a gun holster is called the retention capacity. If you are going for polymer constructed holster, you should have the option to adjust it to some degrees to get a custom fit for your weapon. However, with leather holster, you have to pretty much rely on the level set for you by the manufacturers.

If you are buying a leather unit, you need to be extra careful so that the retention level is proper. With polymer holsters, you can be somewhat lenient on this factor as you can always tighten or loosen the screws to set it up yourself. But make sure you do not set it up too tightly.

  • Cant Adjustments

Another important feature to consider with an IWB holster is the carry angle, also referred to as the cant angle. It is what contributes to the comfort and smoothness of your weapon drawing. Ideally, you want to go for units that allow you to change the cant angle by at least 10 to 15 degrees.

With greater cant adjustment options, you can carry the gun in multiple positions. Not only does it allow you to have a better draw, but it also improves your comfort and overall experience with the holster. Without a proper and comfortable carrying angle, you will face a lot of issues when pulling out your gun from the holster.  It is an often overlooked feature, but an important one nonetheless.

  • Hand Preference

Your gun drawing hand also plays a strong role in choosing your handgun holster. Although most holsters come with the option to pick between the lefty and righty models, there are some units that are solely focused on righties. If you are a left-handed individual, this could be a problem for you.

However, you can also find some ambidextrous models out there that can work with both lefties and righties. Although rare, these units are a great option as they provide a wider range of carrying options. Whatever you do, do not buy a right-handed model if you are a lefty as it would drastically impact your experience.

  • Protection

Would you buy a gun holster if it continuously scratches your precious weapon? Of course, not. Sadly some of the lower-end models available in the market cannot keep your weapon secure while keeping the finish intact. If you care about your firearm, you should avoid these units at all costs.

Furthermore, you should also set the retention properly whenever you get the chance. If you tighten the screws too much, even high-end holsters will ruin the cosmetic quality of the gun. As a rule of thumb, avoid units that feel too stiff right out of the box.

  • Grip

The grip is also another important issue that people often forget to consider when buying their holster. But overlooking this issue can sometimes lead to disastrous results. For instance, if you cannot get a full combat grip on your weapon when it is holstered, you will not be able to draw it perfectly.

It impacts your overall technique and speed on a massive level. Although speed is not the primary concern with IWB holster, a unit that negatively impacts it can cause problems in the future. In high-stress situations, you need to be able to equip your weapon at a moment’s notice.

  • Durability

No matter what item you are buying, durability is always something you want to consider. If the product that you buy does not last you a decent time, there is no point in investing your hard-earned money. When it comes to gun holsters, you want it to last a lifetime. So durability is even more of concern for it.

To understand how long your IWB holster will survive, you need to consider all of its components critically. The quality of the leather, the steel hardware, mounting plates or clips, each contributes to the overall lifespan of the unit. So make sure you check each of them carefully before coming to your decision.

  • Price

The last element on your list of considerations is, of course, the price of the holster. Although IWB holsters are not notoriously expensive in the first place, if you set your budget in a smart way, you can get a better value. There are a few expensive models out there that might not give you the best value per cost.

 If you set yourself on a spending limit, you would automatically filter out most of those eye-candy products. This way of thinking is quite helpful for people who are on a tight budget. As long as you have a realistic budget, you can find a product that will suit your needs perfectly.

Final Thoughts

Without the perfect gun holster, even the best handgun in the market will fail to meet your expectations. That is why when it comes to the best IWB holster for the M&P shield, you cannot afford to make any mistakes.

We hope our extensive article could shed some light on which products you should look at when deciding to buy an IWB holster to get the best value.


Last Updated on November 22, 2020 by Ronald K. Smith

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