Recently I posted a review of the Acavallo Arena Stirrups, my first foray into modern safety stirrups. The second brand that opted to try are the SafeStyle Stirrups.
The SafeStyle stirrups are manufactured in the Netherlands and are a smaller, family-owned business, quite different from a company like Acavallo. There’s a lot to like about the design of these stirrups — they are simple and elegant.
- There are no “moving” parts, so nothing to malfunction and nothing to break. One branch of the stirrup comes up only a small way and is covered by a “sealing rubber” that bends easily out of the way if you fall and your foot needs to come out of the stirrup.
- They are reasonably conventional looking, especially if you choose the silver metal version. In some disciplines, that’s a real advantage.
The offset eye allows the stirrup to hang straight with no twisted leathers.
- The footbed is wide enough to be comfortable. It is angled so that it places two/thirds of the foot to the outside of the stirrup. This is not noticeable when you ride.
- The metal version are a nice weight (I’m not crazy about lightweight stirrups as I find them harder to pick up when lost); the composite version is reinforced with stainless steel and is a mid-weight stirrup. I ride with these and haven’t had any problems with them.
- The are relatively inexpensive. The composite stirrups are $117 and the stainless steel are $105.
Packaging is minimal. I ordered two pairs, one stainless, the other composite. They came in plastic bags in a cardboard box that was pretty shot by the time it arrived in the U.S.
- The stainless stirrups looked nice and shiny; the composites stirrups didn’t look new. They looked like someone had used them and then they’d shipped them to me.
- The sizing on the website is only in centimeters. My bad, but I didn’t realize that I’d purchased the stainless stirrups in the 10 cm size, which is for children and small adults — 3.9″. I can’t fit my foot into them.
- There are not returns. I asked if I could exchange or return them and was told it is too expensive to ship to the U.S., so basically, I was out of luck. I will try to sell them because they are nice stirrups. I wish I’d been more careful. What’s tricky about the website is that the different sizes are listed as different products. I think I would have done the conversion if there had been a drop down menu and I’d realized how small they were.
Even the large size is not that big. 12 cm is 4.7″. My feet fit in the stirrups just fine, but if you have large or wide feet, these wouldn’t work for you at all.
- There is no distributor in the US. You must buy them directly from the company.
I like these stirrups a lot. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t return or exchange the size that didn’t fit but they were resolute about not accepting returns. I think that if they want to sell to US customers, they need to be clear both on sizing (having inch equivalents would help a lot) and that there are no returns. US shoppers are pretty used to having the flexibility of returning or exchanging products. This might change if they start selling here.
Compared the the Acavallo? They are both pretty nice. I find the Acavallo stirrups a tad bulky, but don’t notice it when I’m riding. It’s harder with the Acavallos to make sure that the release branch is situated correctly, something that doesn’t happen with the SafeStyle. If you don’t mind the lack of packaging and don’t care if the product doesn’t look pristine when you take it out of the shipping box, the SafeStyle stirrups offer an elegant solution at one of the best prices for a modern safety stirrup.
Have you tried either of these?