The best composite stirrups are lightweight, grippy, and durable. Compositi checks all those boxes… and more.
Equestrians have a (well-earned) reputation for accumulating gear. We’re notorious for switching bits, saddles, girths, helmets, apparel, and everything in between in hopes of improving our skills and the comfort of our horses. So, why are so many riders still using old-school stirrup irons?
Compositi Reflex stirrups far exceeded my expectations, and I’ll never go back to regular irons again. This review will talk through my personal experience and key benefits, including:
- Lightweight composite material
- Super grippy tread
- Wide footbed
- Ankle comfort
- Appealing design
- And more!
Quick Look: Compositi Safety Stirrups
Compositi stirrups are a great option if you want to upgrade your stirrups without breaking the bank.
What We Love:
- Lightweight design doesn’t feel cumbersome
- Very grippy tread keeps your feet in place
- Super-durable construction
What We Don’t:
- Not safety stirrups (though Compositi does offer a quick release version)
Time for a Change
I’m an amateur jumper and eventer, and I didn’t start dabbling in these disciplines until well into my thirties. Though my horse and I have become proficient up to 2’3 over the past two years, I’m by no means “a natural.”
Neither is my horse, for that matter. He’s a reined cow horse who spent his first year jumping like a drunken kangaroo.
Nevertheless, we persisted — and we got much better. My balance improved, his balance improved, and we gradually built up our collective confidence.
Any progress was made in spite of — not helped by — my old metal flex stirrup irons.
In my old stirrups, I kept noticing:
- My feet slid around in the stirrups a lot, so I constantly adjusted them between and after jumps.
- My lower leg swung a lot on the flat and over fences.
- My ankle joints hurt after nearly every ride.
- My stirrups felt heavy and bulky.
- My tendency was to push too much weight into my heels.
When I realized my stirrups were contributing to my sense of instability, sore ankles, and leg movement, I began the hunt for a better solution.
Stepping Up My Stirrup Game
When I started researching stirrup options, I realized just how far I was behind the times. Technology and design had come a long way in the last decade, and there were a ton of cool brands to choose from.
Want to learn more about the best stirrups for jumping? Check out our guest post on The 10 Best Stirrups for Jumping Clear (And Staying Safe) by trainer and vlogger Shelby Dennis.
Here were my top 5 priorities:
- Super grippy
- Stabilizing (e.g. less flex)
Note: Safety stirrups would be a nice to have, but that wasn’t a deal breaker. (If it is for you, check out our article about the 7 Best Safety Stirrups for Adults.)
Winner: Compositi Reflex Stirrups
After weighing my options, I decided to order the Compositi Reflex Wide Track stirrups at Amazon.
I was SO tired of my feet shifting around in my stirrups all the time. It threw off my position, distracted me at pivotal moments (e.g. approaches, landings), and added to my general anxiety about jumping.
Simply put, I didn’t feel secure.
That’s why the compositi tread was so appealing. The surface contains dozens of deep groves and raised bumps that ensure superior traction between stirrup and boot.
On my very first ride with Compositi, I felt a night and day difference.
I didn’t have to adjust my stirrups every few strides like I used to. They stayed exactly where they belonged.
I’m able to stay more focused on my horse, path, and position — and that has bolstered my confidence big time.
Plus, my trainer now says things like “I love your leg position!” #winwin
Stabilizing (e.g. less flex)
Some riders love jointed (i.e. flex) stirrups. I’m not one of them.
My natural tendency is to jam my heels down too much when I ride. Having a stirrup that sinks (a bunch) with that pressure only makes the problem worse. To add insult to injury, my ankles ached during and after every ride.
I needed a more stable platform where my feet could rest, lightly, and feel secure at all speeds.
That’s why I love the wider base (i.e. wide track) and solid side bars on my new stirrups.
Compositi Reflex foot pads still have a slight give (i.e. shock absorption), but it’s far less than regular jointed stirrups.
The wide track on my Compositi stirrups means more of the stirrup is in contact with the ball of my foot (read: security!), and the solid side bars mean my ankles no longer feel like they’re going to snap in half when I dismount.
The last thing I needed as a novice jumper was bulky, heavy irons.
As someone who needs to lighten the weight I place in my feet, I loved the idea of having a lighter stirrup in the equation.
When we practiced exercises without stirrups, my old irons bounced around whacking my horse in the sides — and me in the ankle bones. Ouch!
Weighing in at ~14 ounces, these stirrups are lighter than any “iron” I’ve tried in decades.
Why? Compositi stirrups are made entirely out of lightweight-yet-strong DuPont polymer. (The same polymer is used on the foot pad.)
Not sure Compositi is for you? Check out our review of the Acavallo Arena safety stirrup!
I’m willing to replace tack when it wears out, but I didn’t want a stirrup that would look beat up or get structurally compromised in the short term.
Composite stirrups are specifically designed to hold up to rigorous wear — without the tear.
After months of jumping and flatwork, these stirrups still look as new as the day I got them.
The cherry on top? They’re super easy to clean. Just wipe them with a damp cloth!
Horse riding is an investment, and I’m willing to spend money on quality tack and apparel instead of low-quality junk.
That said, I’m not made of money!
I was relieved to discover that I could get high-quality composite stirrups without the high price tag.
For less than half the cost of most other modern stirrups, Compositi offers economical products that still stand the test of time. I’m confident these stirrups will still be in great shape years from now.
No wonder Compositi made our list of the 10 Best Stirrups for Jumping Clear (And Staying Safe).
I don’t condone buying gear based on how it looks, over how it performs, but brands like Compositi allow you to combine fashion and function.
If you love bright colors and coordinating with your other tack and apparel, you’ll love the rainbow of interchangeable composite stirrup treads.
If bright colors aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Compositi stirrups also come in black and brown.
Note: The wide track stirrup comes in a more limited color set than the standard width option.
Room for Improvement
- Only one safety stirrup: Compositi does make a true safety stirrup called The Eclipse, which is available at State Line Tack. But, their Reflex and standard stirrups don’t have a quick-release side bar.
- Difficult to drop and pick up: Some riders find lightweight composite stirrups harder to pick up if you lose them while riding.
- No western option: So far, Compositi only makes english stirrups.
Never Looking Back
My Compositi stirrups immediately — and permanently — improved the way I ride and my confidence over fences.
If you’re looking for a durable, grippy, budget-friendly stirrup to replace your old clunkers, Compositi Reflex stirrups are a solid choice.
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
- 100+ Things to Pack for a Jumping Horse Show (Checklist)
- Can All Horses Really Jump?
- 10 Best Stirrups for Jumping Clear (And Staying Safe)
- What is the correct jumping position for horse riders?
- 7 Best Safety Stirrups for Adults (Uses, Features, Reviews)
- Horseback Riding Safety Equipment That’s Worth Every Penny
- Horse Jumping Tips Beginners Can Put Into Practice Today
- How exactly do you “fold” when jumping a horse?