Stirrups Put to the Test
Insanely grippy—as in, our tester’s horse spooked a few times and her feet didn’t budge an inch—these stirrup irons have “traction pins” in the pad that are interchangeable, so you can customize your grip. Our tester found these to be super lightweight at only 255 grams, which is great if you’re a lightweight stirrup lover, but did note that they took a ride or two to get used it. Finally, a polished chrome finish will have you ready to blind the competition, no matter what ring you’re in.
Buy it: americanequus.com; $299
2. Compositi Reflex 3D Swivel Action Wide Track Stirrups
Wide, shock-absorbing treads are the main feature of these stirrups—our tester said goodbye to joint pain when in the saddle! The swiveling treads provide some cushion to your ride. Though lighter than most metal irons, thanks to being made of high-tech polymer, our tester had no problems retrieving any lost stirrups during her rides. Coming in a variety of colors to match the rest of your gear, these irons are perfect for the jumper ring or eventing enthusiasts but are also available in grey for traditionalists.
BUY IT: compositi.be; $45.95
3. Tech Stirrups Venice Lite Plus
The Tech Stirrups Venice Lite Plus feature a safety mechanism—which our tester luckily didn’t have to test directly—that opens easily to allow the foot to slide out in the event of a fall. Our tester found the wide, grippy base of these stirrups to give nice stability and the shock absorbers under the stirrup pad made for a very comfortable ride. They’re marked left and right, which made putting them on the saddle super easy, especially since they have a slightly sloped tread. Our tester did note that they’re lightweight, but still with some substance to them and are a bit chunky, so they may be most appropriate for the jumper ring.
BUY IT: techstirrups.com; $549.95
4. MDC ‘S’ Flex Stirrup
These stirrups were love at first ride—our tester couldn’t help but notice the absence of her usual ankle pain for the first time in years thanks to the intentionally tighter, flexible sides that are shock absorbing and provide a solid base of support. A patented, forward positioning “S” curve at the leather opening in the top of the iron allows the stirrup to hang at the perfect position, helping to keep your feet more secure, are easier to retrieve, and provide increased safety in the event of a fall. All that plus a high traction, wide tread makes these stirrups functional while still looking show ring ready. For more traditional riders, MDC also makes a non-flex version, the MDC “S” Classic.
Buy it: mdcstirrups.com; $199.95