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the best safety stirrups are designed to release your foot quickly in the event of an accident – but which stirrups are the safest? There are a variety of designs and release mechanisms available, including peacock stirrups, shaped irons, and breakaway stirrups with mechanical or flex arms.
peacock stirrups – characterized by the elastic on the outside of the stirrup, they are the most traditional safety stirrups. They are only recommended for children.
Shaped irons – stirrups with a particular curvature have been designed to prevent the foot from getting stuck in the event of a fall. If you don’t like the full breakaway effect, this style of stirrup can put your mind at ease and is usually much cheaper than the breakaway style.
Detachable stirrups – newer designs have a flexible or mechanical outer arm that releases the foot when subjected to a specified uneven pressure in the event of a fall. Many models also have features associated with technical stirrups, which has resulted in a wide price range.
When considering which safety stirrups are right for you, it’s important to consider which ones you consider to be the safest stirrups – breakaway or ergonomically shaped irons – as neither can be 100% guaranteed. You should also check that the style and color is authorized by your governing body if you plan to compete as many are available in a wide range of colors. Finally, it can be easy to spend a lot of money on a pair of safety stirrups – even if you can’t put a price on safety, it’s still an important consideration.
The outer limb of the Flex-On Safe-On is designed to open in the event of a fall when a weight of at least 40 kg is exerted on it – it can be quickly and easily reattached using the tool provided . Elastomers dampen shock to protect joints, while the offset leather slot ensures the stirrup sits at the optimal angle.
The choice of tread angle helps the rider maintain the correct leg position for their particular discipline and needs. They are also available in junior size (for riders under 40 kg).
These Flex-On stirrups have marked 9/10 through our independent testing program and they have been awarded H&H Status Approved – read the full review.
These stirrups have a mobile silicone arch that allows easy release in the event of a fall. No tools are required to restore the caliper. The simple release system has no springs, hooks, magnets or other elements that could break or get stuck, while the lower part of the silicone arch prevents the stirrup from coming loose in normal conditions of use. The black tread has a special anti-scratch treatment.
These Equipe stirrups marked 8/10 when reviewed as part of our independent testing program – read the full review.
These Freejump stirrups are made of a single branch with a flexible steel core allowing the open outer branch to bend, allowing the foot to be easily released in the event of a fall. They offer a high degree of shock absorption and an extra-wide footplate with raised lugs for good grip. The angle and position of the stirrup eye is designed so that riders can easily find a lost stirrup.
View now at amazon.co.uk, rideawaystore.com or naylors.com
LeMieux Vector Balance Stirrups
Colors: Black, Silver or Black/Silver | Weight: 419g each | Recommended retail price: £179.95 |
These lightweight stirrups have an ergonomic foot plate set at 5° with a transverse gripping surface which is mounted on a shock absorbing padded layer with a compression ratio of 70%. The foot plate is supported by a dual-balance arch system that distributes weight evenly across the base of the stirrup frame, while the stirrup is angled 45° outward, making it easy to locate and the recovery of a lost caliper.
The integrated security arm has a two-level unlocking system, preventing any unintentional opening. When pressure is applied to the stirrup arm, rather than evenly across the stirrup, as if the rider is falling, the arm releases allowing the foot to exit the stirrup.
These stirrups have been designed for the comfort and safety of the cyclist. They feature a wide-opening safety mechanism that automatically returns to the closed position after a fall. The grip on the footpeg is designed for jumping and cross-country, ensuring maximum grip in wet and dry conditions.
View now at amazon.co.uk or elandlodge.com
Fouganza 500 stirrups
Colors: Black | Weight: 600g each | Recommended retail price: £54.99 |
These stirrups are designed to guide the foot into the correct position, making it easier to open the flexible trigger arm in the event of a fall. They have a wide footpeg with good traction and grip.
These bent leg stirrups are designed to prevent the foot from getting caught in the stirrup in the event of a fall. This is a good option if you prefer not to have a release arm. To choose the correct size, you should allow ½ inch of space on each side of the riding boots.
View now at amazon.co.uk, rideawaystore.com, naylors.com, gooutdoors.co.uk or equus.co.uk
Peacock stirrups are designed for children and are the original safety stirrups. They are made of stainless steel with a thick elastic that will come off easily under pressure. To choose the correct size, you should allow ½ inch of space on each side of the riding boots.
View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, rideawaystore.com, naylors.com, equus.co.uk or elandlodge.com
These stirrups feature a patented hinged junction with the stirrup leather, which is based on ski binding technology – remains firmly closed under severe but normal pressure, but releases immediately in the event of abnormal twisting forces.
The wide beveled footrest has stainless steel spikes to provide effective grip without the need for heavy foot pressure. Underneath is a shock-absorbing sole, which relieves concussions to the rider’s joints, while the stirrup eye is angled at 90°, allowing easier access for the rider and allowing the leather to rest at flat.
What are safety stirrups?
Safety stirrups are designed to help release your foot faster and easier in the event of an accident. They are sometimes called quick release stirrups. Traditionally you would see peacock stirrups, but these are really only safe for children or very small adults. You will also find break awaystirrupswhich usually have an arm that detaches in some way in the event of a fall, bent leg stirrupswhich are designed to prevent your foot from getting stuck, and magnetic stirrups.
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Credit: Andrew Sydenham/Horse and Hound
See how pro rider Sam Jennings rated these technical stirrups in Horse & Hound’s Independent Group Test
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