What to Look for in a Workout Holster

Back when I was a graduate student, I lived in a sketchy part of downtown Atlanta.  The neighborhood was bad enough by day, but the character changed much more after the sun went down.  I often left school in a hurry to make it home before the sun went down, only so I could throw on running shoes and do a couple of laps around the block.

It never occurred to me to take carry a concealed handgun with me.  I hadn’t imagined it was possible.  I had a hard enough time trying to figure out what to do with my keys.

But there are options

There are a couple of things to consider when looking for a work-out-holster. 

How concealed do you intend to be?  Clothes hide guns.  If you are jogging in a heavy sweatshirt, hiding a polymer framed compact is nothing.  If you are running in spandex, you’re going to have issues hiding anything.  So winter workouts are much easier to accommodate than those in the summer. 

The second consideration is a bit more complex.  Some Weapons are heavier than others.  A five shot .357 revolver will bounce around more than a lightweight .380.  When you move, your gun will move.  When you bounce, as in a simple jogging motion, your weapon will bounce.  It is best to keep a gun concealed until you need it, and not have it fall out and go skittering across the pavement.

So what are the options?

The Belly Band

Traditional holsters work best with belts, and I don’t know anyone who wears a belt when they work out.  The most common type of deep concealment holster replaces the belt.

A good belly band can be worn across the waistline, up higher on a belly, or higher on your chest.  I prefer to wear it high, with the weapon centered on my torso.  I find this to be the most stable place on my body.  That stability is important, as many belly bands don’t have any restraints (beyond the elastic holster itself).
Galco Belly band
As the technology is simple, many companies make them.  This one is a Galco.  I like the Galco because it seems to accommodate the gun (or guns, if you really must run with two), and other items as well.  This would be a great way to hold keys and identification.  MSRP on the Galco: $54.95.   

The more basic belly band above is a DeSantis.  It retails for $47.99. 

The downside to the belly band has to do with hiding it.  These holsters are easily hidden beneath a button up shirt or a jacket.  For workouts, they require something a bit heavier. 

Regardless.  Remember that when you’re measuring for a belly band, you need to measure across where you intend to wear it.  On some of us, there is a difference between our chests and our bellies. 

Holster Shorts

I find this idea to be very appealing, though not as practical for my workouts.  Holster shorts offer an extra level of deep concealment, and they work reasonably well for walking.  But they position the weapon on top of a large muscle group that moves a lot, especially when running. 
Undertechundercoverunderware
So they require a bit more vigilance.  The benefit of this type of holster is also its positioning.  This curve of the back is easily covered by a heavy t-shirt.  This is a solid choice for hot weather, though.

These are from Undertech Undercover.  They look better on this model than they do on me.  But this isn’t about being seen.  The shorts retail for $69.65.  They offer shirts, too.  Same price. 
Undertech Shirt
The holster shirts are an interesting option, but I don’t trust the materials for active workouts.  When I’m jogging, especially when I’m tired of jogging, my movements are jarring. The holster shirt can be very convenient, but the fit has to be perfect.  And as these age, watch for material fatigue. The fabric may stretch in ways that compromise the holster’s integrity.  Yet they have a strap. 

The Front Pouch

The enclosed holsters are gaining  a dedicated following.  They’re not terribly subtle.  Yet they don’t look like a holster, either.  This is the modern equivalent of a fanny-pack. 

The benefits are security and ease of access.  While you would still have to work a zipper, the gun is in a logical place.  Fanny-packs are often worn behind, which makes access awkward. 
The Jogger form Active Pro Gear
A good chest holster like The Jogger, from Active Pro Gear, allows for a gun to be securely worn, easily accessed, and easily monitored.  There is no chance that the gun can get loose, unless the holster itself comes loose.  It isn’t very attractive.   But the price is: $49.95.

How much does fashion matter?  I would like to think it matters very little.  I’d like to think that anyone who is concerned enough about their safety that they would carry a concealed weapon with them while working out would not be as concerned about matters of fashion.  But I know better.

Wrap up

I think the best option for me would be a belly band, though I would also want a strap, just for insurance. 

What would work for you?  Test them, if you can.  If you can’t, go with your gut.  But be sure to take it for a dry run, first.  Stick in a roll of pennies, or two–enough weight to replicate your gun, loaded, and do a couple of workouts.  See how they work dry.  See how they hold when you are good and sweaty.  Bounce around and see what movements, if any, will shift the load.

And then you’re set.  Just be sure you have a pocket for that permit.