Best Holster For The M&P Shield – Long Term Field Test

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After conducting extensive field testing on over 20 different holsters, we found the best M&P Shield holsters. Our favorites included the Harry’s Holster’s Shorty, which we all prefer, and the Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip, which is exceptionally comfortable.

Our team personally carried the M&P Shield, M&P Shield EZ, and M&P Shield Plus concealed during our daily routines to test the reliability and comfort of various holsters. We also took these holsters to the range to test their effectiveness in a defensive situation. All of this testing helped us choose the best holsters for different situations and people.

Best Holster for the M&P Shield
Jason showing all of the holsters that he uses for the M&P Shield
Some of our favorite M&P Shield holsters

We have over 25 years of experience carrying concealed handguns. We also have competitive shooting, range safety officer, and military experience. So, we have put our time in at the range. We also have years of concealed carry experience and have taken 100s of hours of courses.

Therefore, we’re pretty confident in our choices for the best M&P Shield holster.

Keep reading to find out what they are. Also, check out our full concealed carry guide!

Table of Contents

Quick Summary of our Favorite M&P Shield Holsters

BEST OVERALL
Harry's Holsters Shorty

Harry’s Holsters Shorty

IWB

Full Kydex

Fits most Shield Models

MSRP: $95.36

MOST COMFORTABLE
Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip

IWB

Hybrid Design

Fits all Shield Models

MSRP: $89.95

BEST KYDEX
KSG Armory Lexington

KSG Armory Lexington

IWB

Full Kydex

Fits all Shield Models

MSRP: $80.00

BEST APPENDIX
BEST LEATHER OWB
1791 Gunleather BHC OWB Leather Holster

1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Holster

OWB

Leather

Fits all Shield Models

MSRP: $61.99


Best Holster for the M&P Shield

Harry’s Holsters Shorty – Best IWB M&P Shield Holster

Harry's Holsters Shorty
  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Kydex
  • Shield Models: Shield, Shield EZ, Shield Plus, Shield 2.0 3.1”
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $97.75

The Harry’s Holsters Shorty is our favorite holster for the M&P Shield.

We have used this holster in the appendix position, the 3 o’clock position, and the 5 o’clock position.

The adjustability, comfort, and concealment wing features stood out over the other holsters we tried.

Jason showing the Harry's Holsters Shorty with the M&P Shield
The Harry’s Holsters Shorty has smooth rounded edges

The clip is a Monoblock metal clip made by Discrete Carry Concepts. Various holster manufacturers use this clip, and I have found it provides one of the most secure methods of attaching a holster to my belt.

This clip is attached to the holster with screws and square nuts that ride in channels. This allows me to adjust both the ride height and the angle of the holster more than most others. I find that different clip positions are needed depending on the carry position I use. This flexibility makes this holster a great choice for people of all different body types.

Jason wearing the Harry's Holsters Shorty holster with the M&P Shield
Jason wearing the Harry’s Holsters Shorty holster with the M&P Shield

The full, rounded design makes this holster comfortable, especially in the appendix position. I find that holsters with abrupt edges along the barrel of my handgun can be uncomfortable when I bend over or sit down, but I did not experience any discomfort with this holster.

I think the concealment wing is a genius idea. Other holsters usually have a separate wing or claw that pushes the grip of my handgun against my body. This holster has a built-in wing with a gradual slope. This makes it much easier than other holsters to put on and just as effective.

The only real negative I have found is that no weapon mounted light (WML) options are available with this holster for the Shield.

Recommended for:

The Harry’s Holsters Shorty IWB Holster is for anyone looking for an IWB holster for the M&P Shield that will work in multiple carry positions. It is one of the best we have used.

PROS

Rounded Design

Wing Feature

Clip Adjustability

Comfortable

CONS

WML not Available


Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip – Most Comfortable M&P Shield Holster

Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip
  • Type: Appendix
  • Material: Hybrid – Leather and Kydex
  • M&P Shield Models: Shield, Shield EZ, Shield Plus, Shield 2.0 3.1”, Shield 2.0 4”
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $89.95

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip holster is one of the most comfortable holsters we have used with the M&P Shield.

We have used this holster with many different guns, and it continues to be one of the most comfortable.

This holster is a hybrid design, meaning that it combines leather and Kydex. This design blends the benefits of Kydex (retention and durability) with the comfort of leather.

Jason showing the Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip holster with the M&P Shield
The hybrid design is one of the most comfortable holsters for the M&P Shield

I like how the Amish-made leather has a suede backing. This rests against my skin and is more comfortable than a stiff wall of Kydex. It breathes and does not make me sweat as much as Kydex does. It also has rounded edges around the perimeter, so there are no uncomfortable corners or hard edges.

The polymer clip is not quite as secure on my belt as some other metal clips I have tried. It has a tuckable design, so I can tuck my shirt around it. Most other clip holsters do not allow this. (See my guide on the best concealed carry belt for my favorite dress belt with this holster.)

When I ordered my holster, I could choose if and which type of optic my handgun had. They have a unique cover for red dots built into the Kydex shell called a “doghouse.” I do not have an optic on my Shield, but I have used it with other handguns, and it works great. It helps keep my dot clean and protects it from hitting my belt buckle.

Jason showing the optics cover on the Hidden Hybrid Single Clip Holster
Note the cover for my optic on this holster

I also like that this holster has a concealment claw. The Shield doesn’t have a huge grip to conceal, but I find it helps when wearing a T-shirt in warm weather.

The overall size of the holster is larger than some of the other full Kydex holsters. We found that for people with very small waists, it tends to be noticeable but still conceals well.

Jason wearing the Hidden Hybrid single clip holster with the M&P Shield
Jason wearing the Hidden Hybrid single clip holster with the M&P Shield

This holster is available with a Streamlight TLR6 option plus some Crimson Trace options. So, if you have a weapon-mounted light, this holster is a good option.

Recommended for:

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip holster is for anyone who wants a very comfortable appendix holster. This one is the most comfortable I have used for the M&P Shield.

PROS

Comfortable

Hybrid Design

Tuckable Clip

WML Option

CONS

Width of Holster


KSG Armory Lexington – Best Kydex M&P Shield Holster

KSG Armory Lexington Holster
  • Type: Appendix
  • Material: Kydex
  • Shield Models: Shield, Shield EZ, Shield Plus
  • Return Policy: 60 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $80.00

The KSG Armory Lexington appendix holster is one of the best Kydex holsters we have used for the M&P Shield.

The options available with these holsters set them apart from everyone else.

These are available in different colors, belt clips, three different concealment claws, different lengths, and options for sweat guard height.

Jason showing the KSG Armory Lexington Holsters options
The Lexington Holster can be customized with many options

I have tried all their clip options and prefer the DCC monoblock clip similar to the Shorty above for smaller handguns. For larger handguns, I like the dual DCC clips. Since the Shield is a smaller handgun, go with the DCC monoblock.

Plenty of holes in this Kydex holster allowed me to adjust the ride height and angle right where I wanted. It took some trial and error since I had to remove the clip all the way off. Once I got it where I wanted, I used the Vibratite that comes with the holster. I find that Vibratite works better than regular blue Loctite.

Jason showing the KSG Armory Lexington with the M&P Shield
The Lexington holster and the M&P Shield

I also tried all the concealment claw options. I prefer the Modwing because of its adjustability, but I didn’t really find a huge difference between the three. Since the Shield has a smaller grip, it is less noticeable than larger handguns.

These holsters are also ambidextrous if ordered without a full sweat guard. You can see in the pic above the differences. For my M&P Shield holster, I went with the full sweat guard. I prefer this since I mainly wear this holster in the warm months.

What is interesting about these holsters is the length option. Instead of just stopping the holster at the end of the barrel, I can choose to extend it further. Handguns with short barrels can be uncomfortable to carry if the holster is also short. It doesn’t give enough room for my belt to prevent it from falling away from my body, causing the bottom of the holster to push into my stomach.

Jason wearing the KSG Lexington holster with the M&P Shield
Jason wearing the KSG Lexington holster with the M&P Shield

These holsters also come with a foam wedge that serves two purposes. It pushes the grip of my handgun into my body, helping to conceal it. It also keeps the bottom of the holster away from my body, eliminating any discomfort when I bend over or sit down. I typically don’t use a wedge, but found it works great on this holster.

The only negative I really found was the lead time and lack of support for weapon-mounted lights (WML). Since these are custom-made, they can take up to 70 days before they ship. I received mine in 30 days, so it can be much quicker than the advertised time.

Recommended for: 

The KSG Armory Lexington appendix holster is for anyone looking for an appendix holster for their M&P Shield. The number of options allows me to customize it how I want.

PROS

Many Options

Extended Length

Clip Adjustability

Price

CONS

Lead Time

WML not Available


CYA Path Holster – Best Appendix M&P Shield Holster

CYA Supply Path Holster
  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Kydex
  • Shield Models: Shield, Shield EZ, Shield Plus, Shield 2.0 3.1”, Shield 2.0 4”
  • Return Policy: 30 Days
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $74.74

CYA Supply now has three levels of holsters: the Base, Ridge, and Path.

Jason showing the three holster options from CYA Supply, the Base, Ridge and Path holsters
The three options from CYA Supply: Path, Ridge, and Base (left to right)

The Base has the lowest cost and has fewer features, followed by the Ridge, which has a concealment wing and more adjustment. The Path is their newest holster and includes more adjustability and a few other touches that make it my favorite appendix holster for the Shield.

When carrying an appendix holster, I have found that one key to making it comfortable is to make it as low profile as possible. This holster is one of the lowest-profile holsters I have used. There simply isn’t anything extra in the design that adds width to this holster.

Jason showing the CYA Supply Path holster with the M&P Shield
The CYA Supply Path holster and the M&P Shield

The clip is the same as the Shorty above, the DCC monoblock, which I like for smaller handguns like the shield. It is fully adjustable for ride height and cant angle, and we found we could adjust it to all our body types.

The concealment claw is similar to the modwing on the Ridge holster but has a unique design upgrade. I find that holsters with concealment claws are usually difficult to put on. As I hold the clips open and slide them over my belt, the wing gets caught on my belt. It ends up being a fight back and forth between the clips and the claw.

This claw solves that since it has a ramp on the bottom half. As I slide the clips over my belt, the claw slips right behind my belt without any issues.

Jason wearing the CYA Supply Path holster with the M&P Shield
Jason wearing the CYA Supply Path holster with the M&P Shield

I have found that shipping time is always super quick with CYA. I usually receive my holsters in a few days.

My only negative is the length of the holster. It stops right at the end of the barrel. Since the barrel of the Shield is short, it would be better if it extended a little longer to provide more support. I find that it can tip away from my body depending on what pants/shorts I am wearing. It is not a huge amount, but it is more than the other holsters above.

Recommended for:

The CYA Supply Path holster is for anyone looking for an appendix holster for the Shield. The low-profile design makes it easy to conceal.

PROS

Fully Adjustable

Concealment Claw

Low Profile

Fast Lead Time

CONS

Holster Length

WML not Available


1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Leather Holster – Best M&P Shield Leather IWB Holster

1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster – Best Universal Appendix Holster

Save 15% at Checkout with code SS15!

  • Type: IWB
  • Material: Leather
  • Shield Models: Shield, Shield EZ, Shield Plus, Shield 2.0 3.1”, Shield 2.0 4”
  • Return Policy: 30 Day
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $45.99

The 1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment Holster is one of the best leather IWB holsters we have tried with the Shield.

This is a “universal” fit holster that I typically avoid. But, as we mentioned in our Best Appendix Holster Guide, we have tried it with several sub-compact concealed carry handguns, like the M&P Shield.

Jason's 1791 Gunleather SCH and the S&W M&P Shield
The 1791 Gunleather SCH and my M&P Shield

The holster is intentionally made to be a little on the small side and requires a break-in period of a few days. I simply left my Shield handgun in the holster for a couple of days, and it formed itself to the shape of the gun.

As you can see in my pictures, this holster fully guards the Shield’s trigger. I find that when I wear it, the retention is good, and it stays in place well.

The leather this holster is made from is amazing. It is both soft and durable and has that great leather smell. It is also very comfortable and has no hard edges as many Kydex holsters do.

I also like how this holster is very low profile. There is no extra material other than the thickness of the leather.

The metal clip works well for me. I can easily clip it and unclip it on my belt. It is attached to the holster with a reinforced piece of leather and keeps the holster where I put it on my belt. The only real drawback is since this is a leather holster, the clip is not adjustable. Some positions like the 5 o’clock IWB position don’t work well for me.

Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather SCH with the M&P Shield
Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather SCH with the M&P Shield

Since this holster has such a low profile, it does collapse when I am wearing it after I draw my gun. This is not a huge showstopper for me, but it is an inconvenience during training at the range. I have to remove my holster from my belt in order to re-holster my gun.

The sweat guard is a little large for my Shield, but it really didn’t give me any issues during my draw. It is flexible, so my thumb just pushes it out of the way, and I don’t really notice it.

My father has been using this holster for the past year with his Shield, and he likes it over the other holsters on this list.

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather Smooth Concealment IWB Leather Holster is for anyone looking for a comfortable leather appendix holster. The quality of the leather is amazing.

PROS

Soft and Durable Leather

Fits the Shield Well

Very Comfortable

Low Profile

Affordable

CONS

Not Adjustable

Collapses


1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Leather Holster – Best M&P Shield Leather OWB Holster

1791 Gunleather BHC OWB Leather Holster

Save 15% with code “SS15” at checkout!

  • Type: OWB
  • Material: Leather
  • Shield Models: Shield, Shield EZ, Shield Plus, Shield 2.0 3.1”, Shield 2.0 4”
  • Return Policy: 30 Day
  • Warranty Policy: Lifetime
  • MSRP: $61.99

Sometimes, a quality leather OWB holster works best in cooler weather or when I don’t want to carry IWB. The 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB holster is one of my favorite options.

This holster is made with what leather should be: top-grain American steerhide with that great leather smell.

The quality really stands out, and the price is great as well (and even cheaper with our discount code!)

The 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Holster and the M&P Shield
The 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Holster and the M&P Shield

This holster is a universal fit holster, meaning that it will fit similar sizes of handguns and is not molded to fit exactly like Kydex. This seems like a bad thing; however, this holster has a molded shape and was very stiff when I first got it.

My M&P Shield was very tight initially, so I followed the break-in procedures. I used a plastic bag between my gun and the holster and allowed it to sit for a few days. After that, it felt more like a custom molded holster than a universal one. Over time it just gets better and better, with retention not being an issue.

I like how the loops are on the side of the holster. This keeps it close to my body and easy to conceal under just a long sleeve shirt. The loops are flexible and pre-molded into a curve, so it is very comfortable to wear (I find some stiff Kydex OWB holsters to be uncomfortable against my hip.)

Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Holster with the M&P Shield
Jason wearing the 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB Holster with the M&P Shield

The top of the opening of this holster is reinforced with additional leather. I have found this really helps keep the opening of the holster rigid and prevents it from collapsing or getting in the way when I holster my shield.

The biggest negative with this holster is the lack of any adjustments. But that is because it is leather and its design. For me, the cant angle of my Shield is a little farther forward than I prefer, but not by a huge amount. After some dry fire repetitions, I can quickly draw and don’t have any issues with it.

As you can see, this holster fully guards the trigger, which is something I look for, especially with universal fit holsters. The sweat guard is slightly bigger than the M&P Shield’s grip, and it did hamper my draw some. But, it is easy to trim away with some shears since there is no stitching in the area.

Recommended for:

The 1791 Gunleather BH2.1 OWB leather holster is for anyone looking for a leather OWB holster for the M&P Shield.

PROS

Molded Design

Flexible Belt Loops

Quality Leather

Good Retention

CONS

Not Adjustable


Other OWB holster options for the M&P Shield

If you are looking for a good OWB holster option for the M&P Shield, take a look at Stealth Gear and our review on the Best OWB Holsters for concealed carry. Stealth Gear has a hybrid OWB holster that I mainly use for larger handguns, but it also works great for the M&P Shield.

Jason wearing the Stealth Gear OWB holster
Jason wearing the Stealth Gear OWB holster

Tips for Choosing the Best M&P Shield Holster

The M&P Shield has been one of the most popular concealed carry guns, and it is one of our favorites. We even included it as one of our best concealed-carry handguns.

I purchased my first Shield about six years ago, and my father has been carrying one concealed daily for over five years. He has been a big help in testing these holsters over the past year!

The size of the Shield makes it perfect for concealed carry in the appendix position. We focused mainly on IWB and OWB positions in this guide but there are also options like Belly Bands that we detailed in our best concealed carry holster guide.

If you are unsure how you want to carry the Shield, be sure to check out our best concealed carry positions guide and our tips on choosing the best concealed carry holster.

M&P Shield Holster features to focus on

There are a few features to look for when choosing your holster:

  • The holster should fully guard the trigger.
  • The holster should retain the gun securely.
  • The holster should be comfortable.
  • The holster should allow a full grip on the handgun when drawing it.
  • The holster should be adjustable.
  • The holster should not collapse after drawing the handgun.
  • The holster should be concealable.
  • The holster should be Kydex, Leather, or a Hybrid design.
Jason showing a holster that fully guards the M&P Shield's trigger
A fully guarded trigger is the most important feature to consider

Comfort is an important aspect of concealed carry and one of the hardest ones to evaluate without trying it yourself. We have tried all of these and would not recommend them if they were uncomfortable to wear. Most of our recommended holsters also have an excellent return policy, so it is easy to return if you find one that is not for you.

Since the M&P Shield is suited for appendix carry, there are a few tips to keep in mind if this is your chosen carry position. Even the best holster will be uncomfortable if it is not used correctly. Also, see our guide on the best appendix holster for more tips.

  • Your pants should not be tight and have extra room around the waist to accommodate an IWB holster.
  • Wear a sturdy gun belt.
  • Pull your pants up! Make sure your waistband is in the proper position just below your belly button. This will provide enough room for an appendix holster. The design of your pants or a lot of belly fat may make this difficult.
  • Individuals with a lot of belly fat may find the 3 O’clock IWB and OWB position more comfortable and more concealable.
  • When carrying the Shield in the appendix position, I may need to push the top of the holster away from my stomach when bending over.
  • I find that while driving and wearing the Shield in the appendix position, my seat belt goes directly across the holster. I prefer not to wear it like this in case of an accident, but this is a personal decision.

The Best M&P Shield Holster For You

Based on our experience, all of the holsters above have worked well for us. I sometimes change them up depending on what I am wearing or what I plan to do while carrying my M&P Shield.

I find that the Shield works great for concealed carry in the appendix position due to its size and weight. But I also like to have a few other options.

The Harry’s Holsters Shorty is comfortable and compact, making it a great choice for almost anyone.

The Hidden Hybrid Holsters Single Clip is a very comfortable holster that I can wear with my shirt tucked in if I want.

Keep in mind that the ideal holster really depends on your body shape. We have found what works for one of us doesn’t always work for someone else on the team. It could take a little bit of trial and error with your clothing, holster adjustment, and lifestyle. Don’t expect every holster to be perfect right out of the box.

Don’t forget that a good belt is just as important as your holster. Check out our best concealed carry belt guide for the best ones we have found. Also, see our guide to the best pistol magazine pouches for spare magazine options.

Now, check out our other self-defense guides and gear reviews. Our full concealed carry guide is constantly being updated, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter for updates if you have not already.

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Jason has an engineering and problem solving background. He is an avid outdoorsman, survivalist, and competitive shooter. He enjoys researching the best and most practical solutions for the problem at hand, studying stoicism, and finding innovative ways to be prepared.