May 20, 2013
Easing duty-belt discomfort
During the last 20 years, I’ve tried every trick in the book to relieve the discomfort caused by the duty belt on my hips.
I’ve tried load-bearing harnesses and suspenders. Harnesses and suspenders do add some relief; however, department policy, cost, and appearance can make them a less than ideal option.
I’ve tried relocating gear, but as the years have progressed our gear has increased, and there really isn’t any room left to move gear and remain tactically sound (not to mention department policy regarding the placement of our gear that some agencies mandate).
One piece of gear that has been my biggest source of aggravation is my TASER X26 holster, which has two elongated tabs on the bottom rear of the mounting plate that were designed to allow quick release of the holster from a duty belt. The unintended side effect is the two pointed corners digging into my hip.
Well, I’ve found a quick (and cheap!) fix for my most annoying problem. First I removed the mounting plate from the holster and turned it upside down so the release tabs point up instead of down. It functions just as it did before and is no less secure on my belt. The next discovery I made was a Doctor Scholl’s gel heel insert. The heel insert is made to add comfort to your shoes. What the good doc never intended was that the heel insert is exactly the right size to cover the rear mounting area of a TASER X26 holster.
Using some black electrical tape, I secured the pad to the outside of the mounting plate. This added just enough padding — between the plate and my under belt — to keep the hard plastic from digging into my hip. The addition of the pad is not visible with the belt on, I have found no safety concern, and I can go through the shift with just a bit less pulling and tugging on my belt.