I know several people who carry a handgun on their ankle. Some as a primary carry, others as a backup. They claim it’s the easiest method to carry a gun. When wearing long pants, ankle carry is considered the most concealable way to carry. But is it effective? Personally, I do not feel that ankle carry is the best CCW method however, it can be effective. It depends on how fast the firearm can be retrieved from various positions. This takes a lot of practice.
I have participated in several defensive training classes. Never once was ankle carry a preferred method of carry. The reason being, it takes too long to retrieve compared to a handgun on the hip or AIWB (Appendix Carry Inside Waistband). That is not to say that ankle carry isn’t a worthy way to carry. It can be provided the carrier is competent. For those who drive long distances, ankle carry may be a great way to go. For those who carry a backup, ankle carry surely would be effective.
Acquiring a handgun from the ankle typically means stepping forward, lifting the pants and drawing the firearm. This requires enough space to perform the movement. It would be difficult to do in a crowded area. The carrier could step backwards to draw the pistol however time is working against them. Similar to the practice needed to draw a handgun from the hip, ankle carry requires even more practice to be efficient. In my opinion, simply having the gun on the ankle is not enough. Much like drawing from the hip, the carrier depends on muscle memory because they practice the movements thousands of times. Ankle carry requires the same commitment.
There are some ankle carry benefits that are seldom discussed. The ankle carrier may be in a better position to draw their pistol when on the ground. Nobody expects to be blind-sided and tackled but it happens. Reaching for the ankle could be easier than reaching for the hip in that situation. Another benefit is when seated. For example, the ankle carrier could be effective when seated at a restaurant. The firearm could be drawn without other people noticing.
The bottom line is this. We all carry a firearm for protection. If you feel ankle carry is the best method for you, go for it. But please practice often. It would be hard to argue ankle carry is the most effective strategy for daily CCW. However, it can be quite effective with practice and confidence.