Bike Boots and the Sweet Smell of Success by Nick and Bec Simmonds

Welcome to Thoughts from the Road. Here’s Nick and Bec Simmonds on keeping your adventure bike boots clean and your feet healthy on the road…  

Bikepanniersandpassports Adventure Bike Boots
Picture of By Nick and Bec Simmonds

By Nick and Bec Simmonds

Round the world motorcycle travellers from New Zealand

Nick and Bec Simmonds decided that they were no longer prepared to wait for that elusive “one day”. So they left home in New Zealand, shipped two Honda CB500X bikes to the US and started their round the world ride. 

Follow their awesome adventures here:

Insta: @bikespanniersandpassports 


YouTube: @bikespanniersandpassports

Bike Boots and the Sweet Smell of Success

Adventure boots are a substantial investment, so they have to a) do the right job (protection), and b) last as long as possible.  

One of the main differences between your long-distance adventure boots and other footwear is that you are going to be wearing them for up to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week in climates that range from toes that feel like frozen peas to sweat running all the way down your body to and pooling in said boots.

It’s not going to take long for them to end up smelling like a dead rat in the wall cavity, and have the ability to make people gag from the other side of the room.

Both our pairs have now done 50,000kms and we are happy to say that we can still stick our heads inside the boot without passing out and store them inside the tent at night and out of the reach of scorpions and spiders!

So how do we do this? (And for the record one of us is renowned for having stinky feet).

  1. Take care of those pinkies. Wash and dry between your toes daily and moisturise too. Utilise those free bottles of body lotion you occasionally get in hotels.
  1. Wash your socks daily (shower works a treat). If they don’t dry overnight, then bungy them to luggage to air dry during the day’s ride and use your spare pair.
  1. Most importantly, you have got to prevent the fungus and bacteria that cause these odours from getting a “foot in the door.” So every 1-2 weeks, add a good squirt of an athlete’s foot/jock itch powder and shake it around the boot. Remember that your boots need to be dry when you do this or you will end up having a foot that looks and smells like a piece of freshly battered fish at the end of your next day’s ride.

Good luck …you’re going to need it! 

Nick and Bec Simmonds

Have you ever washed your bike boots? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Let us know in the comments below. 

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4 thoughts on “Bike Boots and the Sweet Smell of Success by Nick and Bec Simmonds”

  1. Haha at Hannah’s comment! I want to know now too. But seriously, thanks for the tips. Definitely not something I ever thought of to be honest. Well done and take care.

  2. Nic and Bec,
    the idea with talcum powder is a good one! I practised that with my tennis shoes to keep them dry during tournaments (I always had two pairs with me, to avoid nasty blisters on the back side of the feet).
    The ‘odour comments’ are Nobel price worth and I ponder, if the smell of 50k boots is more of a stockfish or a grizzly carcasse… 🙂

    Fine articel, thanx a lot,

  3. Dry shampoo for hair works well, also works on smelly pants and jackets. Takes only 10 minutes to dry, then you can wipe with a towel and you are good for the next 5 days. I use special short running socks, they can be used 3 days in a row without washing, just leave them to air and dry after the days riding. I have also washed my Dainese race boots in the washing maschine twice, works well with those at least.


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