Stirrups should provide the rider's foot with good support, stability, comfort and safety. There are many stirrup models on the market with different objectives. Appearance, flexibility, riding comfort or safety to name a few. The pioneer of stirrups with safety effect was the System-4 stirrup from Sprenger. Since then, professionals like Ingrid Klimke or Marcus Ehning rely on the advantages of jointed stirrups. Over the years further models followed to the System-4. The Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrups also enjoy great popularity.
With the plenty of available models, it is often difficult to make the right choice. The subject of safety in particular is of course of particular importance to many riders. But how can you judge the safety of a stirrup? Is a stirrup safe because the name says so? The answer to this question is a clear no, because no stirrup can offer a hundred percent safety.
There are some less obvious factors that influence the safety of a stirrup. For example, the strength and stability of the used material. Stirrups must be able to withstand up to three or four times the body weight, depending on the discipline. This applies for a period of several years and daily use. Often in adverse weather conditions. They tend to come into contact with sand, moisture, sweat and UV radiation. Stirrups are also exposed to the changing temperatures of the seasons.
Very low-priced models are often made of inferior materials. These are not resistant to weathering or corrosion and can rust. They can also show structural changes or material fatigue with temperature fluctuations. This applies to both metal and plastic stirrups. Particularly with plastic stirrups, UV resistance is essential. Sunlight can cause the material to fatigue, become brittle and break.
Sprenger's jointed stirrups are thus made of high-quality stainless steel. Combined with durable and robust rubber and plastic they meet all the requirements. The breaking strength of the stirrups is more than 1,500 kg.
The unique advantage of the jointed stirrups is the built-in flexible joint. It allows the movement of the ankle joint. This relieves strain on the ankle, knee and hip joints as well as tendons and ligaments. Also, the flexibility of the joint generally makes it easier to release the foot in the event of a fall.
The size and nature of the treading surface can also have a positive influence on the safety of stirrups. The Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrup so have an especially wide tread. This tread has different degrees of rubber hardness. This gives the foot a comfortable and non-slip stand. Should the rider still lose the stirrup, the stirrups do not start to "swing" due to their balance. You can thus pick them up easily again.
The tread width should be at least half a centimeter to each side at the height of the ball. The foot must be easy to move in the stirrup. But the stirrup should also not be too large for the foot. Otherwise there is a risk that it might slip completely through and, in the worst case, the rider could get stuck.
To prevent the rider from slipping through the stirrup, riding boots or shoes should definitely have a small heel. Some prefer to use riding shoes rather than boots or ankle boots. you should choose a sole that is not too wide and thick. Please avoid laces, buckles and eyelets, which can get caught in open or opening stirrups.
Important when choosing a stirrup is the quality of the product. Cheap copies of patented products lead to confusion because of their similar appearance. But they cannot compete in function and strength and often even pose a safety risk. The market is flooded with copies of jointed stirrups. In particular, with joints made of inferior materials that can rust or break. Besides, even a flexible stirrup should have enough strength. It should cushion the movement of the foot, but under no circumstances should it be "wobbly" or "spongy".
As you can see, the choice of stirrup models is huge. With a little background knowledge and understanding of your own needs you can still find it. The perfect stirrup!
You can find the complete selection of our stirrups including detailed descriptions here.