The Springfield XD is one of the most popular handguns in current usage. When carrying the XD the most popular options are inside the waistband (IWB) for deep concealment, duty carry on a belt for uniformed or tactical law-enforcement/security missions, and outside the waistband (OWB) for in-between. OWB will allow the concealed carry user to have the best access to their firearm while using an outer garment for concealment. It's also the default method of plainclothes officers or those who open carry. It is a few of the popular holsters for this type of carry that we will look at.
The Israeli-designed Fobus holsters are one of the most economical designs on the market at about $29 (or the Roto design for about $5 more.) They offer a low profile design for concealment (with a jacket or vest), and a passive retention around trigger guard that allows for rapid presentation, yet securely locks handgun in place. The Fobus simply slips into the waistband with a rubberized paddle that provides extra stability and increased comfort. It's good for if you don't ever intend on encountering a threat that goes hand-to-hand, or for range use. However if you do wind up getting into a wrestling match, even though the Fobus has a steel reinforced rivet attachment system, odds are your XD will be rattling along the sidewalk without your permission. I have also seen these holsters stripped off the wearer by a strong downward pull by an assailant.
Both Uncle Mikes and Revolution make a very similar Kydex paddle holster for about the same price.
For a few dollars more than the Fobus, BlackHawk (owned by ATK, the same company that owns Federal ammunition), sells what they bill as the CQC Serpa holster. Without the use of a complicated twist-and pull or thumb break type of retention, the Serpa actively holds your XD by the trigger guard until released by the pressure on a toggle switch activated by your outstretched trigger finger. The release is made using your normal drawing motion, with the trigger finger beside the holster body. This gives you more positive control over your firearm and keeps it holstered, even in a close-quarters tussle. Military units overseas in the sandbox often use them. By shopping around you can find them new for $35-$40.
(Yes I know its a Glock, just imagine a XD in the picture, same holster- CE)
A holster that contains many features, such as the ability to switch between either IWB or OWB carry, is the Hybrid Convertible by Blade-Tech. Made in Kydex and leather with positive control. It uses conventional leather button straps to fit belts 1.25" to 1.75" in width. To increase the holster's overall versatility, every HYBRID holster comes with an extra set of leather button straps that allows it to convert from a belt holster to an inside the waistband (IWB) holster. Unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the Serpa but without the retention.
Custom holster makers
(Lobo's XD holster)
There are many custom leather makers such as Dragon Leather Works , Lobo Gun Leather , Diamond D, and others that make their own versions of proprietary designs. These makers make beautiful works starting at about $60 and go up from there. If you want something with more swagger to it than your commercial off the shelf plastic holsters mentioned above, be prepared to not only pay a little more but to wait a little longer. However, for many the wait is well worth it as these holsters are not only functional and made to your specifications but are also works of art.
Bottom line is get something that suits you, fits you, and you like, no matter what your choice.