I have a real affinity for shoulder holsters, and I don’t know where it comes from. I like to say its from living in Florida and being a Miami Vice fan. However, being in Florida doesn’t give me a lot of opportunities to wear a shoulder rig, and good shoulder rigs are expensive. Is the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster any different? 

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

I can purchase two quality waist mounted holsters for the cost of one good shoulder rig, which I can only wear in the winter. AlienGear aims to change that by adding a Shoulder Holster to their ShapeShift lineup. AlienGear was kind enough to send me a ShapeShift Shoulder Holster for test and review.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster is compatible with any of the ShapeShift shells, and the multi-use magazine pouches AlienGear produces. The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster is a well-made holster and is priced competitively with most quality shoulder holsters. The difference being its modularity for multiple guns, as well as your ability to swap shells with different platforms for different carry situations.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

The ShapeShift system is unique in the fact it’s incredibly modular. As a platform started as four holsters that all used the same shell. You could carry IWB, OWB, slide OWB, and Appendix. Over time the Shapeshift system has evolved rapidly into a system that can be used for nearly any situation.

This includes a leg rig, a MOLLE mount, a backpack mount, an ankle rig, and even more. The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster is only one cog in a massive machine.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster
Photo:Rick Dembroski
Alien Gear Shapeshifter

The ShapeShift Shoulder holster is made from leather and features some excellent design choices. The big thing about shoulder holsters and comfort is how poorly made ones do not support the weight of the weapon well. This leads to discomfort and shoulder pain. The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster has very wide straps that do support the weight of a firearm and magazines very nicely.

The second issue is the lack of adjustment for most shoulder holsters. The ShapeShift Shoulder holster has tons of adjustment uses a standard peg and loop style belt system. You can stretch the magazine to accommodate the vast majority of body types. The shoulder holster also has tie downs to secure the holster to the belt.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster
The Design of the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster is very well thought out and designed to be comfortable and fitted to the body. As a shoulder holster, it’s intended to be high quality and hit the shoulder holster benchmarks. What else can it do?

The Difference the ShapeShift Shoulder Holster Makes.

As part of the ShapeShift holster system, you can use this Shoulder Holster with a few dozen different guns, although each will need their own shell. This makes it modular, and once it’s purchased, you can use the system for multiple platforms at nominal additional cost. To me, this value adds to the design and makes it well worth the price a good shoulder holster costs.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

Outside of just being able to carry different guns, the ShapeShift Shoulder holster is quite modular. My model came with two magazine pouches on the right-hand side. The two pouches are adjustable for different angles and can accommodate almost all double stack magazines.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster
One pouch Removed with ease

They can’t be adjusted to fit something as small as a single stack 9mm magazine, but from Glock to CZ they work with double stacks. I can tighten or loosen the magazine pouch with an included tool quite easily.

You can ever purchase separate holsters to carry two guns at once, or you can run four magazines under your shoulders for a lot of extra ammo for a waist carried gun. You can change your ShapeShift Shoulder Holster to adapt it to whatever you want it to be.

Carry and Use

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster is very comfortable. I’ve carried both my Glock 17 and Walther PPS, and in both cases, it was superbly comfortable. A Glock 17 with three 17 round magazines is just as comfortable as the lightweight Walther PPS.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster comes with a leather strap to act as a retention device with a simple button. This device is straightforward to adjust and lengthen and shorten when needed.

The gun sits nice and tight in the holster with proper adjustment. When positioned correctly the retention strap is rapid to defeat with the thumb. You can use a natural grip, and when your thumb reaches the button, you can deactivate it with ease.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster
The holster system moves with you, so it remains not only comfortable but easy to conceal. It really helps keep your upper body free to move around with ease. When adjusted to your body it doesn’t swing right or left or forward and rearward. This prevents it from swinging out when bending over and creating suspicious bulges in certain positions.

Drawing your gun is easy and can be done in a flash with practice. With the tie downs, the holster won’t move and popping the retention device off and drawing the gun is easy.

The ShapeShift Shoulder Holster

Returning the weapon to the holster is simple and safe, and the internal polymer frame keeps the gun in the same place every time. Even between arms, the adjustments are quick to make.

All in all AlienGear not only has an excellent shoulder holster but an adaptable one that makes the build worth the money. Give them a look, and live out your Miami Vice fantasy with me.