As previously discussed, a holster is what holds a handgun to your body. If you are carrying a handgun, it belongs in a holster since tucking a handgun into a waistband is negligent. It is important to routinely check one’s holster’s for wear and tear, as a failure of the holster when carrying can be dangerous and/or unlawful.
My holster of choice is the SmartCarry. I’ve used that holster daily for about 8 years with my Springfield XD-40 pistol. I’m now on my 3rd SmartCarry holster as the first two have worn out from use. I don’t see that as a shortcoming of the holster as wear and tear is a fact of life. I also wash my SmartCarry holster about once a month, and I’m sure the washer adds its own wear and tear too. Getting about 3 years out of a holster that costs under $70 is fine with me.
About a year ago, I went to put on my SmartCarry and noticed that one of the velcro straps was separating from the elastic band that goes around the waist. It wasn’t enough that it would have caused failure that day, or even that week, but it was clearly a problem. Since the holster was already well worn, I replaced it. Had that happened earlier in the holster’s lifespan, I would likely have just sown it back together.
Even other holsters that don’t have an elastic waistband can fail. Rivets can pop, screws can come undone, plastic can crack, leather can tear, etc. Some designs can be more or less durable than others, but since a holster is being exposed to body heat, moisture from sweat, abrasion from clothing, etc., some parts will eventually fail if given enough time.
That wearing out of my holster shows how important it is to routinely examine holsters for wear, since undetected wear and tear can lead to a failure of the holster. The result can be a handgun falling to the floor. In the best of circumstances, all that is endangered is a person’s toes (imagine dropping a four pound pistol from waist height to a toe when wearing shorts). A drop to a hard floor can scuff or damage one’s handgun as well. More seriously, depending upon the condition in which one carries, a falling handgun coupled with the incorrect reaction of trying to grab the falling handgun can result in a negligent discharge of the handgun. Even absent a discharge or injury/damage, suddenly having one’s pistol visible due to a holster failure is embarrassing at best and criminal in many situations (such as states that allow concealed carry but not open carry).
Just as it is prudent to routinely maintain one’s firearms, holster maintenance is important too.