No matter what your skill level is, finding a high-quality pair of stirrups is crucial for staying comfortable while you’re riding. In fact, finding the right pair of stirrups is like choosing the right pair of shoes for a long journey. Just like uncomfortable shoes can give you nasty blisters and aching feet, the wrong stirrups can cause an uncomfortable ride.
In this round-up of the best stirrups for enthusiastic equestrians, I’ve picked out my top choices for various purposes. From the best all-rounders to the best technical stirrups, I’ve covered all the bases.
1. Best All-Purpose Stirrups: EquiRoyal Peacock Fillis Stirrup Irons
Sometimes, the best horse stirrups to have are those that work for every purpose – from safety to strength. The best stirrup irons are the EquiRoyal Peacock stirrups, which are designed for safety and durability for riders of all levels.
The stainless steel stirrups come in various sizes, ranging from 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) to 4.75 inches (12 cm). Their size makes them compatible with stirrup leathers up to 2.76 inches (7 cm) in width. In turn, this means that they’re suitable for a range of riding styles and disciplines.
What really makes these stirrups stand out, though, is their elastic release mechanism. It can either be stretched straight or twisted for a more secure fit. Because of this design, you can adjust the tension to your preference and ensure a more comfortable and safe riding experience.
To add to this, each stirrup has a heavy rubber band that can help keep you safe in the event of a fall. These bands release with pressure, which allows for the rider’s foot to come free from the stirrup. This reduces the risk of becoming entangled for stress-free riding!
2. Best Safety Stirrups: Tech Stirrups Venice Evo Safety Stirrups
Are you looking for the best safety stirrups on the market? Then you’re going to want to check out the Venice Evo Safety Stirrups. These stirrups are made in Italy from high-quality aluminium billet and come in several colourways. So, not only are the Evo Safety Stirrups durable and long-lasting, but they’re super eye-catching as well.
These safety stirrups are a top-notch choice for dressage and jumping riders. You’ll get the benefits of both safety and performance. But it has to be said that their standout feature is the magnetic system that’s positioned over the stirrup pads.
This magnetic mechanism allows for one branch of the safety stirrup to open in the event of a fall and facilitates easier removal of your foot. After your foot is released, the branch will automatically return to a closed position, which is fantastic for safety.
If you’re worried about the accidental release of the safety stirrup, then we’re happy to put your mind at ease! The branch only opens when the weight limit is exceeded, meaning you can enjoy your ride without any worries.
3. Best Dressage Stirrups: Tech Capri Dressage Stirrups
The Tech Capri stirrups are the best dressage stirrups for any dressage rider. These Italian-made stirrups are designed for comfort and give you good communication with your horse.
Like the Evo stirrups, these are made from quality aluminium billet, making them lightweight yet super durable. Plus, the removable treads are treated with a nano-ceramic coating. The rings also have 20-micron anodisation for even better longevity. Basically, what this means is that they’re going to look amazing and last for a long time to come – even if you’re a frequent rider.
We can’t speak about the Tech Capri dressage stirrups without mentioning the performance grip tread. It’s slightly bevelled on both edges, which means you can stick to your horse like glue while still giving it those all-important subtle cues. They also have a 2.5-degree tilt to find your optimum leg position with your heels down to ensure your posture is on point.
Additionally, these stirrups have strategically placed eyes on the stirrup leathers, making it easy to find a lost stirrup. Of course, this can be really important during intense riding.
4. Best Stirrups For Jumping: Royal Rider Sport Endurance Stirrups
The Royal Rider Sport Endurance Stirrups are perhaps the best jumping stirrups on the market. These stirrups are crafted from fibreglass-reinforced technopolymer, which makes them perfectly lightweight.
Lightweight jumping stirrups help to lessen your fatigue and make it easier to stay in the correct position. This is necessary when you need to shift your position quickly and maintain your balance over jumps.
These composite stirrups are the best stirrups for jumping because they also have shock-absorbing properties. This can be particularly helpful for absorbing shocks and jolts when you land. With an ergonomic footplate and interchangeable grip options, there is plenty to write home about with these stirrups. Still, one of the most valuable aspects of these stirrups is their safety and toe cages.
The safety cage can prevent your foot from slipping through the stirrup, which reduces the risk of getting caught during a jump. On the other hand, the toe cage gives you additional support and security. When you need to maintain your balance during take-offs and landings, having a more secure foot placement is important. Toe cages stop your foot from sliding forward, giving you better stability.
5. Best Stirrups For Knee Pain: Tough 1 Stirrup Turner
We all know how uncomfortable riding can be if you’re suffering from knee pain. Luckily, the Tough 1 Stirrup Turners are really handy accessories. They are specifically created to improve your riding experience and reduce stress on your joints. They can transform regular stirrups into the best stirrups to reduce knee pain in a flash!
These stirrup turners are made from durable nylon and leather for comfort and for longer-lasting performance. Of course, the main purpose of these turners is to alleviate pressure on your ankles and knees, which is done in one of a few ways.
Firstly, they help to promote a more comfortable leg position. They do this by allowing you to adjust the angle and the position of the stirrups. A proper leg position helps to promote a more relaxed riding position, which reduces strain on your knees.
Additionally, riders who have knee pain often find it incredibly uncomfortable. This is because their knees are forced into an unnatural position because of where the stirrups are placed. When you rotate the Tough 1 Stirrup Turners, you can find a more natural knee position to keep them relaxed when you’re riding.
Lastly, these accessories can aid in distributing your weight more evenly. This means that the pressure is evenly spread throughout your legs and knees, without any unnecessary pressure on any of your joints.
6. Best Stirrups For Western Riding: Royal King Oversized Western Stirrups
The Royal King Oversized Western Stirrups are designed to provide extra room and comfort – specifically for riders who dabble in the Western riding discipline! These stirrups are made from quality leather and are handcrafted to ensure that they last for a while to come. They also have a leather tread plate that will give you extra traction, particularly in wet or slippery conditions.
It’s important to note that these stirrups have a 3-inch (7.6 cm) neck length, which makes them the perfect size for fitting Western saddles. They’re also made to be oversized to accommodate larger boots.
For example, hiking or over boots work really well with these stirrups. However, they don’t work with standard riding boots, so it’s important to pick your stirrups based on the types of boots you prefer to wear as well.
You’ll also be happy with the overall look of these leather stirrups since they’re sold in a light chestnut finish. They have a natural lustre and effortless style that is sure to elevate your Western riding equipment, helping you to stand out in the show ring or just when you’re out on the trail.
7. Best Jointed Stirrup Irons: EquiRoyal Flexible Joint Stirrups
The EquiRoyal Flexible Joint Stirrups are the best jointed stirrup irons on the market right now and feature a cross-track grip surface. They’re designed to give you more flexibility and safety during your rides and are made from stainless steel for incredible strength and durability.
The standout feature of these stirrups is their flexible joint mechanism, which means that when your foot is in the stirrup, you can pivot it freely. This flexibility allows for more natural movement when you’re riding and helps to prevent your foot from getting stuck in the stirrup in an emergency situation (like in the event of a fall). In turn, this boosts your safety.
The EquiRoyal stirrups are also engineered to help you maintain the correct position with your heels down and your toes up. What helps to keep this position is the weighted bottoms, since the additional weight helps to keep the stirrups in place as you ride. It also lowers the chances of them swinging or moving unexpectedly.
8. Best Stirrups For Endurance Riding: Royal Rider Sport Endurance Stirrups with Stainless Steel Pads
Are you looking for your perfect pair of endurance stirrups? Then the Royal Rider Sport Endurance stirrups are the best pick for you! Crafted in Italy, these stirrups are made from fibreglass-reinforced technopolymer, which makes them lightweight while also being durable enough to last. In endurance riding, their lighter weight can help to reduce the strain on both you and your horse.
As an endurance rider, you probably spend long periods in the saddle. This means you’re going to want to prioritise comfort over everything else, right? Well, these stirrups have a generously sized arch, which gives you more than enough space for your foot. This ensures that you can stay comfortable and secure on longer rides.
Another fantastic point to consider is that endurance riding usually involves riding over challenging terrain and in tricky conditions. Because of this, the inclusion of a safety cage is really helpful. Additionally, the stainless steel pads give you a much better grip in wet, muddy, or slippery conditions.
9. Best Technical Stirrups: Horze Composti Reflex Stirrups
When it comes to technical stirrups, there are several factors you want to consider, including your comfort, the durability of the stirrups, and their safety features. The good news is that there are technical stirrups that meet all of these conditions and then some, and those are the Horze Composti Reflex Stirrups!
With all of the features of a safety stirrup and the added benefit of traditional technical stirrups, these suit riders of all skill levels. From beginners to certified cowboys, they’re a great choice for every equestrian.
These stirrups have an extra-wide knee base that can increase your comfort, particularly during longer rides. Plus, the flexible and shock-absorbing ergonomic footplate minimises strain and pressure on your knees and joints, which lowers the risk of fatigue and discomfort.
Speaking of the footplate, it’s also textured for better grip and dependability, which gives you better control. There’s also a quick-release mechanism to free your feet quickly and easily in an emergency situation.
10. Best Stirrups For Trail Riding: Tough1 Leather Cushioned Trail Stirrups
Trail riding is fun and relaxing, but it can also cause some discomfort when you’re spending a long time in the saddle. One way of making your experience more comfortable is to grab the best trail stirrups around – the Tough 1 Leather Cushioned Trail Stirrups, to be precise.
These stirrups are made to give you the utmost comfort and support during your rides and have an extra-deep and wide design. The bigger size gives your foot plenty of room for proper weight distribution, which can help to lift strain off of your joints on trail rides.
One of the best things about these stirrups is that they’re equipped with sponge rubber foot cushions that create a softer surface for your feet. In turn, this promotes better circulation in your feet which can help to give you some relief on your knees and lower back.
When you’re out on the trail, you’ll also be riding in style with the Tough 1 Trail Stirrups. They’re covered in premium leather, which looks super sleek and also adds to their overall durability. Not only that, but they also have a wide 3-inch (7.6 cm) neck that can accommodate several riding setups.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Stirrups
Choosing the right stirrups can be tricky, but there are certain factors that you need to consider to pick the right set for yourself. These factors include:
- The type of horseback riding you do (riding discipline)
- The material of the stirrups
- Stirrup size – you should always prioritise the right size stirrups
- Tread design to stop foot slips
- Your budget (try to pick the best stirrups that you can comfortably afford)
- Safety features
What are the best English stirrups for ankle pain?
If you struggle with ankle pain when you ride, picking a high-quality pair of stirrups can really help to ease your discomfort. There are several types of stirrups that can ease ankle pain, including jointed, wide tread, and adjustable stirrups.
Stirrups with a jointed design can help to support your ankles by allowing for a more natural and flexible foot position. Additionally, stirrups with wider treads have more surface area where your foot can rest. This helps distribute your weight more evenly and takes some pressure off your ankles.
Lastly, adjustable stirrups allow you to customize your foot position to one that is much more comfortable for you.
Are flex on stirrups worth it?
Unsurprisingly, flex-on stirrups are great for flexibility as well as their shock-absorbing properties. They’re great for grip and have embedded hardened steel pins in the tread to help with this. Additionally, they’re designed to absorb shock and reduce the impact on your joints – particularly on your knees and ankles.
The flexibility of these stirrups also lets you find a more comfortable and natural position with your foot to boost your posture and balance in the saddle. Along with these benefits, these stirrups are also designed to withstand the rigours of certain riding disciplines.