I bought a pair of these stirrup leathers not long after they first “came out and were a thing” – I say it like that because are they still a big “thing”?
I was intrigued by the width for more then one reason – the added stability is always a bonus, but also because I hated the feel of normal stirrup leathers under my leg. That feeling of a thin(width) but still bulky thickness of most normal stirrups leathers were not enjoyable.
So once these popped up on my radar, I had to try them. The problem is is that I am too damn cheap to buy things that we don’t carry in the store. Honestly. If you see me buying something that IS NOT at the store – it’s because it is on a mega deal or we can’t get it in.
So what did I do? Made the boss order them in of course. LOL.
Out of the box these things are ugly. They are STIFFFFFFFF. They come curled up in a pair and to uncurl them is a hassle. It’s leather, it shouldn’t be THAT stiff. And I swear I used half a bottle of oil on them to supple them up and make them more pliable.
The first ride in them was a bit uncomfortable. They felt bulky because of how stiff they were and they did not lay very nicely on my saddle. But after that first initial ride they wore in and I no longer noticed them.
They do what they are supposed to in terms of keeping your leg steady. My leg was never unsteady, but when my horse has a bobble, I could feel how much of a difference they did make. I haven’t ridden in anything else since I bought them so at this point it is a bit hard to say how much they’ve actually helped.
I am now riding in them with a longer leg since I am in a Dressage saddle vs. the jump saddle I WAS in…that should attest to the fact that their recommended size guide is a bit off. They would probably be okay for someone with a normal leg length vs. their height but my upper body is long, whereas my legs are shorter.
- The added width adds stability.
- They have a sleek feel under the leg.
- They are holding up really well.
- They are $$$.
- The color has faded weirdly in spots.
- Size guide is a bit off.
- You cannot run your stirrups up.
Overall, I do like this leathers. They do have some faults, and I would suggest NOT buying them at regular price, but if you are looking for a different feel under you leg and some added stability – go for it…when they are on sale.
The most important thing for me is that they are lasting, even with my abuse and constantly sliding my Freejumps off of them before and after every ride. I don’t think a normal leather would allow for that and stay in one piece.
In the end, I’m going to give these about a 3.75 out of 5.