So, when I did take a look at them last month, I realized that they had gotten rather worn out. And that, when I thought about it, it had been quite a few (at least five) years since I had replaced them.
Now, stirrup pads don't cost a whole lot. And they are rather useful for traction in your stirrups. Even if you don't think you need traction. Which you do--do you want your feet sliding around in them when posting? How about when mounting?
I went ahead and bought some new ones. And when I took the old ones out of my irons in order to put the new ones in, I was kind of shocked by the tread difference. Hence this PSA about changing your stirrup pads. :0)
side view of old stirrup pad
See how the pad is worn thinner on one edge; the part of the stirrup that bears more weight. It is more evident when looking from the top; the nubs on the treads are worn just about completely flat.
one end of stirrup pad is still nubby, other end is smooth (and slippery)
Now compare to the new stirrup pads. Which are not any different in style or design than the old ones.
side view showing uniform thickness
apples to apples comparison of the tops
Next time you go ride, check your stirrup pads. Because even the little things like worn treads can affect your ride. And your safety.
Ride well! Be safe!