Ouch ouch. They're fine for show, but go ride in them for 3 hours solid and then talk to me! They make my feet hurt, and back hurt too. I used them for lessons and shows for about a year. Not to mention I have cut my knucles on them and then can scratch your saddle.
Regular stirrup pads wear out sooner than I'd like. I *hate* feet slipping in worn out stirrup pads. I bought some sandpaper on the bottom type pads which I did like a fair bit recently.
Got the Super Comfort pads that are the black, grippy wrap around kind. I haven't ridden in mine yet but really liked the feel the one time I rode in a friend's. Supposed to be super comfy, hence the name I'm sure these have drawbacks too but to me they appear they will work better for me than the ouchy metal cheese graters. I will know as soon as I get to ride (horse is off at training during Christmas break).
Cheese grater pads were too "hard" for my liking - at first I was like woohoo these are super grippy (I have the worst time with my feet sliding out when I put my heels down), but then they were a bit uncomfortable for me when pushing my heels down for an hour, there's no give from rubber or padding, just hard metal. And my feet would still slip sometimes anyways because the soles of my boots were getting really worn from the cheese grater pads.
I prefer the Super Comfort pads too - have had them for about 2 years and they're still grippy. My boot tread wears faster than the Super Comfort pads. I destroy the sandpaper type pads, and everything else wears down too fast. I'm hard on my stuff I guess, I use it 7 days a week!
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11
I like both the cheese graters and Super Comfort pads for their anti-slip properties.
Trainer saddle has the cheese graters: her leathers are chewed up from them, but saddle seems okay.
I have the Super Comfort pads: as I have posted before, my leathers are fine, but they scratch up my saddle. I may be unique in this.
I put Crown Royal bags on my irons to protect my saddle and actually have a custom saddle cover on the way with cut out slots to put my irons through so I will be storing them on the outside of the cover, away from the saddle.
Totally worth it though. I hate riding without them.
I bought something years ago for my daughter, they were sturdy, solid but screwed into the stirrup? they gave the grip of the cheese grater, but didn't ruin your boot. I found them at Beval, they weren't cheap, maybe 30-40 bucks, but no more lost pads!!
I loved mine - until I got hung up on them one time I was dumped by a young horse... and dragged. I couldn't get my foot out of the stirrup because of those pads. Took them off my saddle that day and never went back.