Most saddles are sold without stirrups or stirrup leathers, so finding the best stirrup leathers will help you make the most of your saddle. We’ve rounded up a few things worth considering when choosing a new pair of leathers and have selected a few of the best stirrup leathers worth taking a closer look at.
Stirrup leathers can be divided into three categories – traditional leathers, nylon-core with a leather covering or synthetic. Traditional leathers tend to last well and maintain a smart appearance, plus it’s also quite an easy job to add holes with a leather hole punch if you need to. The only real drawback is that they can stretch and become uneven. Leathers with a webbed nylon core were developed to combat this issue, but you can’t add holes in the same way. The core has very little stretch and is covered with a thin layer of leather – depending on the type of leather used here, it may not be as durable as a heavier stirrup leather. Synthetic stirrup leathers are used with synthetic saddles and are easy to clean and maintain.
There are also a few different designs available in addition to the traditional, basic straps. Single-layer designs (such as Jeffries Falcon dressage leathers), which are adjusted lower down and often with a T bar rather than a buckle, reduce bulk under the leg and avoid pinching. Wider designs (such as the Equipe Fender Mono leathers) offer greater stability, making them ideal for jumping.
Ideally you want your stirrup leathers to match your saddle – this is simple if it’s black, but if it’s brown you might need to shop around for the right shade. Some brands also offer leathers with coloured highlights (such as Bates) or stitching if you’re looking for something a bit more personal.
Stirrup leathers come in a range of lengths to accommodate different leg lengths and positions in different disciplines – jump down to find out what length is best for you. They also come in a variety of widths – 1in is the most common, but you will also find some styles in ¾ or 7⁄8in. The gaps between holes can also vary – usually 1in or ½in – smaller gaps allow for a more precise choice in length. Numbered holes will make adjusting your stirrups easier both in and out of the saddle.
Here’s a selection of the best stirrup leathers that we think are worth a look at…
Amerigo stirrup leathers
Colours: Black, brown, red brown or Newmarket | Lengths: 135–170cm, in 5cm increments | RRP: £145 |
These soft calf-skin-covered leathers feature extra holes to help you find the most precise length. Amerigo say they are guaranteed not to stretch.
Bates Stirrup Leathers with Luxe Leather
Colours: Classic black, classic brown, Havana brown, classic black/coloured highlights or classic brown/coloured highlights | Lengths: 43, 48, 54, 58, 63 or 69in | RRP: From £119.99 |
The riveted buckle design reduces the thickness of the leather under your leg and the webbing core ensures that the leathers will not stretch. The coloured leathers are only available in 54 and 58in.
Devoucoux Comfort stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or Havana | Lengths: XS–XL | RRP: £150 |
These are designed to be particularly comfortable for the rider thanks to their buckle-free fastening system at stirrup bar level. The single-layer design avoids any pinching at thigh level and improves your contact with the saddle. They are wider than traditional stirrup leathers, which allows them to adjust better to the saddle flap and provide improved stability for your leg.
View at devoucoux.com
Equipe Fender Mono Wide stirrup leathers
Colours: Black, brown or red brown | Lengths: Short, medium or long | RRP: £200 |
These leathers are designed for increased comfort and feel while jumping and the wider design allows for a greater feeling of stability. They are described as tear-proof and non-stretchable with a nylon anti-shock inner core.
Fouganza Romeo stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or brown | Lengths: 125 or 145cm | RRP: £19.99 |
These stirrup leathers with contrast stitching have numbered holes to make them easy to adjust.
More info at decathlon.co.uk
GFS Premier stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or brown | Lengths: 55 or 60in | RRP: £83 |
These GFS leathers are made with internal webbing to minimise stretch and covered in a high quality calf skin. They are carefully hand finished and you can choose between contrast or tonal stitching.
Harry Dabbs Platinum calf stirrup leathers
Colours: Black, Havana or autumn gold | Lengths: 48–66in, in 6in increments | RRP: £117.95 |
The buckles on these stirrup leathers are designed with a recessed pin bar that allows the buckle to lay flat against the stirrup bar. This reduces the unsightly and damaging ‘buckle bulge’ under the saddle skirt of the saddle. Made with the finest calf leather, Harry Dabbs says these super-soft leathers do not stretch.
Jeffries Falcon dressage stirrup leathers with T bar
Colours: Black or Havana | Lengths: 28 or 34in | RRP: £74.34 |
Designed for the dressage enthusiast, these soft calf-wrapped stirrup leathers encourage a close-contact feel by reducing the bulk between you and your horse.
View at ejeffries.co.uk
Kent & Masters hide-covered stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or brown | Lengths: 48, 54, 60 or 64in | RRP: £55 |
These stirrup leathers are covered in quality hide leather with a non-stretch webbing core. They’re double stitched for strength and durability, and are finished with a stainless steel buckle. The 64in length is only available in black.
Mark Todd bonded stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or Havana | Lengths: 122cm | RRP: £56.99 |
Made from fine quality leather and bonded with a nylon core for long-lasting durability, these leathers have numbered holes and stainless steel buckles.
Premier Equine German Aniline stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or brown | Lengths: 47, 54 or 58in | RRP: £60 |
These supple leathers are one-inch wide and feature contrast stitching for an exquisite look. They have 25 numbered holes for easy adjustment in or out of the saddle and are finished with stainless steel buckles.
More info at premierequine.co.uk
Shires Blenheim non-stretch stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or Havana | Lengths: 48, 54 or 61in | RRP: £42.99 |
The Blenheim stirrup leathers have a nylon core that prevents the leather from stretching and greatly increases their strength and life. Finished with stainless steel buckles. The leathers are one-inch wide, but the 48in length is also available in a ¾in width.
Stephens laminated stirrup leathers
Colours: Black or Havana | Lengths: 125–155cm, in 10cm increments | RRP: £70.62 |
One inch wide, these smart leathers have a nylon centre for strength and are double stitched for added security. They are finished with stainless steel buckles.
View at worldwidetack.com
Stübben De Luxe stirrup leathers
Colours: Black, ebony, redwood or tobacco | Lengths: 130, 140, 152 or 160cm | RRP: £108 |
These leathers made of three-ply, soft and abrasion-proof leather with a textile core. The leathers have handy left and right markings near the buckle to ensure they’re attached correctly and blue dot detailing at the end of the leather.
Whitaker bonded stirrup leathers
Colours: Black, Havana or oak brown | Lengths: 125, 135, 145 or 160cm | RRP: £60 |
With a webbed core, these cal-skin-covered leathers are described as non-stretch and very durable.
Wow stirrup leathers
Colours: Black, dark brown, Havana, military or nutmeg | Lengths: 22–34in, in 2in increments | RRP: £92 |
These single thickness leathers minimise bulk under the thigh and have a neat sleeve slider to cover the T-bar. The synthetic, non-stretch core has a breaking strain of 500kg. The holes for the T-bar are cut as slits rather than ovals to ensure the bar will not slip out from the hole, making these high-quality leathers suitable for jumping as well as dressage. If you want to go for a fully customised look, you can even choose a stitch colour.
View at wowsaddles.com
Zilco PN stirrup strap
Colours: Black or brown | Lengths: 46, 50, 56 or 62in | RRP: £29.99 |
These synthetic stirrup straps are described as extremely hardwearing, non-stretch and easy to maintain as they only need wiping with a damp cloth after use. One-inch wide, these straps have a webbed core covered with a leather-look material. They have been tested to a tear strength of 450kg.
You might also like:
We take a look at just some of the options of technical stirrups currently available on the market
No matter how seriously you take dressage, there is something for everyone in this selection of the best dressage saddles
Find out which tack cleaning products were chosen as the best in test and best value in our group test
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
What size stirrup leathers do I need?
The average stirrup leather length for an adult is 54in. Taller riders and dressage riders are likely to require longer, while shorter riders and those who jump may need shorter.
For an estimate, measure the length of your arm from your armpit to the tips of your fingers for general riding and jumping, or your inside leg to the ankle for dressage. Double this measurement and add around 3in for general riding and about 6in for dressage – this is a rough guide for traditional leathers (it won’t work for single-layer leathers) and doesn’t take into account your horse’s build, but it’s a good place to start.
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on