After purchasing a S&W Shield 9mm, I needed to find a hybrid inside the waistband holster to carry it. I’ve always used Crossbreed Supertuck holsters, but due to their several month backorder at the time I decided to look for a more local option that would get me the holster sooner for less money out of pocket.
I had read many fantastic reviews of the Stickywire Holsters Hybrid IWB holsters over at Carolina Shooters Club, and decided to give them a try. They are based in South Carolina, and I’m always happy to support small business. I emailed about getting a mini holster made for the S&W Shield, as their website was only listing the fullsize holster for the Shield. They responded quickly, and let me know that he had some already made and ready to ship. I sent $53 on November 7th, 2013, and received the holster in about a week.
When the holster arrived, I popped open the envelope and gave it a good once over. My first thought was that the leather was a lot thinner and more flexible than either of my Crossbreed holsters, the kydex was molded with good definition and the rivets were smooth.
As I mentioned above, my first thought was that the leather was thinner than my Crossbreed Supertuck holsters. I was initially disappointed with this, but after wearing the holster for just a few minutes I realized that with the more flexible leather, the holster doesn’t need weeks of breaking in. The edges of the leather are cut nicely, but not burnished or beveled. On the back of the holster, the leather has a rough texture which aids in holding the whole thing in place. (On my Crossbreed holsters I’ve went so far as to roughen the leather with sandpaper to gain the texture that the Stickywire holster has.)
The holster has a generous combat cut which makes getting a full firing grip on it while holstered very easy. This comes standard with Stickywire, but other brands charge a premium for it.
The kydex was molded nicely with good definition, and not too tight so the draw is smooth. The edges of the kydex are a little rough, especially around the trigger guard. I’m not sure how Stickywire finishes the edges of the kydex, but it could use a little more smoothing. I’ve been meaning to smooth the edge around the trigger guard with a little 600 grit sandpaper, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
The clips used on this holster are your standard steel clips. Nothing special, but they do their job, no complaints there. The clips are held onto the holster with screws and plastic spacers. I haven’t adjusted them, and unlike other hybrid holsters I’ve purchased in the past, they haven’t come loose, so it appears that Stickywire has this figured out.
The Stickywire IWB hybrid is very comfortable. The thinner leather conforms to my body nicely. It stays in place, and holds the pistol close. The full sweat guard keeps the sharp edges from the pistol off my body, and the combat cut allows a full grip.
The Stickywire holster is functional, but rough around the edges. Unfinished edges on the leather, and some rough spots on the kydex.
I’ve been comparing this holster to both of my Crossbreed holsters because the Crossbreed Supertuck holsters are the highest quality hybrid IWB holsters I’ve used. The Crossbreed holsters come at a premium price, ($69.75 at the time of this review for the base model, but to upgrade to horsehide, and combat cut it comes in at $92.25) and the last one I ordered also took over 3 months to arrive.
On the other hand, the Stickywire Hybrid IWB came standard with horsehide and a combat cut. I also had it in about a week. I gave $53 for the Stickywire shipped. It comes with a lifetime warranty, and a 2 week money-back guarantee.
Is having burnished leather, perfectly smooth kydex edges, and custom branded clips worth the extra $39.25 and a long wait for the Crossbreed? Probably not.
I give the Stickywire Mini IWB Hybrid holster a solid B. It’s a decent value, and I was happy to support a Carolina based business. It’s a little rough around the edges, but nothing a couple minutes in the garage won’t remedy.
By Lucas Apps