The importance of proper shoe gear and safety stirrups in the prevention of equestrian foot injuries

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2007 Jan-Feb;46(1):32-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2006.10.010.


The aim of this study was to compile specific foot injuries occurring in pediatric patients that result from equestrian sports and to highlight the importance of wearing adequate riding boots to protect the feet. During a 12-year period, 258 children were admitted to Children's Hospital of Geneva for injuries resulting from horseback riding. Amongst these children, 8 sustained foot lesions that required hospital admission. Four children had compression-type fractures of the cuboid (nutcracker fracture of the cuboid) associated with other complex midfoot fractures, 2 had Lisfranc fracture dislocations, 1 had a fracture of the talus with associated intern malleolar fracture, and the last had a fracture of the 5 metatarsals with lateral displacement. All the noted lesions complied with the same traumatic mechanisms. The horse fell on the patient, and the child's foot, entrapped in the stirrup, was caught in between the animal and the ground. The forefoot was bent by indirect violence in abduction by the stirrup, which acted as a fulcrum. Serious foot injuries may occur in children during equestrian activities. These lesions may be very disabling. Therefore, it is important for doctors, instructors, and parents to promote the use of appropriate safety equipment, including strengthened riding boots and safety stirrups.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery
  • Female
  • Foot Injuries / physiopathology
  • Foot Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Foot Injuries / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Horses*
  • Humans
  • Protective Clothing
  • Shoes*
  • Sports Equipment / standards*
  • Tarsal Bones / injuries