How to Dry Boots

by Jason Flores

The crisp wind and the sound of your steps against fallen leaves are enough to make one feel alive. What is better than walking through nature? Sometimes I think about how much more fun it would be if we didn’t worry so much about getting our shoes wet during the rain!

Drying boots may seem like a simple task, but it can be difficult to do correctly. It’s important for the drying process not to take too long or else the leather of your footwear will start to crack and peel. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t dry them using the wrong method, this can lead to fading and discoloration of your boots as well.

During the workday, you will be on your feet, so you will need to understand how to dry your boots properly in order to avoid them getting smelly. Wet boots don’t only have a bad odor; they can also cause blisters and cause sore feet.

How to Dry Boots
How to Dry Boots

We compiled a guide to help you to learn how to dry boots properly, so you can hit the trails feeling comfortable and confident.

Importance of Keeping Boots Dry

How To Dry Boots
How To Dry Boots

The problem with wet boots is that they cause bad odors and can cause fungal infections and other harmful bacteria. Keeping your boots dry is absolutely essential for several reasons.

Let’s have a look:

  • Your soles can become macerated when your boots are wet.
  • A bad foot odor is caused by fungi and bacteria, which thrive in damp shoes.
  • As a result, you may also develop athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
  • Viruses like the human papillomavirus can grow in damp shoes, which may result in plantar warts.

Get Your Boots Ready for Drying

Unless the boots are cleaned thoroughly, mud or dirt on the boot will create a stain after drying. These elements are baked into leather texture. To begin the drying process, you must wash your shoes. The following precautionary measures should be followed:

  • Before you start drying your shoes, make sure they are clean. Clean up the dirt by cleaning them until all of the dirt has been removed.
  • You can also use some detergent to clean your boots to ensure all the dirt is taken off. Then, use an old towel to dry them.
  • To dry your boots, remember to take off the laces if you haven’t already done so.

The Best Methods to Dry Boots

If you’re the type of person that likes to wear your boots all year round, it’s important to know how best to dry them. A boot dryer is great for using during those cold months when wet shoes can be a hazard in addition they help prevent odor from ruining your favorite footwear. The two most common methods are airing and drying with paper towels or newspaper inside shoe boxes at room temperature. It’s also possible to use the oven though we do not recommend this method as it could ruin some materials such as suede leathers which lose their water resistance when exposed too long to high temperatures!

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular methods:

  1. Using Newspapers

Drying your delicate boots using paper is one of the most effective ways to prevent them from becoming damaged during the drying process.

Follow these steps:

  • You will need some newspaper
  • Insoles need to be removed from boots
  • Now, wrap the newspaper around the insole
  • Afterwards, stuff the boots with a few newspaper sheets. Make sure there are no spaces inside the boots
  • Put a thick layer of newspaper over the boots now
  • Every 2 hours or so, change the newspaper until the boots completely dry
  1. Using Towels

Though it takes some time and effort, this method is a quick one nonetheless. There is only one item you will need, a dry towel.

Follow these steps:

  • We recommend taking five dry towels
  • Wrap the insoles again in a towel after removing them
  • You should now put towels inside the boots
  • Each boot should be wrapped separately with towels
  • You can put the boots under a fan or in the sun
  1. Using a Table Fan

To dry your shoes using this technique, you’ll need a sturdy table fan or a floor fan.

Follow these steps:

  • Use a floor fan or a table fan
  • Insoles should be taken out of the boots
  • Put the insoles on a table or other raised surface with the fan in line with them
  • Use the laces to attach the boots to the fan
  • Let the boots air dry completely while it is left in that position
  1. Under the Sun

Boots can be dried in this way without any risk of damage.

Follow these steps:

  • Insoles and laces should be taken out of the boots
  • For a day, leave the boots in the sunshine
  • Remember to include laces and insoles!
  • It is recommended to keep your boots under the sun for 2-3 days if they do not dry within a single day
  1. Using a Boot Dryer

The sole purpose of boot dryers is to dry boots. The boots’ insides are dried by convection heat. It also collects dirty water spilled down from the shoes.

  1. The use of shoe inserts

You can purchase shoe inserts made of cedar filling and moisture-wicking fabrics on the market. Water from the boot is absorbed very quickly by these inserts.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

  1. Direct heat should never be applied to your boots. A direct heat is an object that emits heat, such as heaters, blow dryers, wood stoves, or campfires.

The direct heat actually damages your boots more than it dries them, as the heat heats them too much, much more than necessary.

Similarly, overheating the outsoles will cause the glue that has been used to attach them to the boots to liquefy, resulting in the outsoles coming apart.

  1. Heating your boots for an extended period of time will make the leather brittle, and you will have to replace your boots.
  2. It is possible that your boots will be burned by the campfire heat. So, if you truly cannot avoid the campfire, make sure you keep the boots a safe distance away from the flames and do not hang them over the fire. You obviously do not want your boots to get burned, do you?


How can I dry my winter boots fast?

The feet will be soggy, and the boots will get soaked after hours in the snow. Stuff the insides of wet footwear with newspaper to help them dry faster. Additional newspaper can also be wrapped around the boots and anchored with rubber bands. Newspapers are highly effective at absorbing moisture

Can you put rain boots in the dryer?

You don’t have to worry if the inside of your boots gets wet, as they’re typically made with materials that will dry quickly. Hang the items upside down as a way of speeding up the drying process.

Can I put shoes in the oven?

Using an oven is fine because it heats the shoe more evenly, but be careful not to overheat it. The temperature should be enough at 200F.

Warning: Be careful not to burn your foot.

How long does it take for shoes to dry?

It could take twenty minutes for some shoes to dry, and it could take a day for others. The material they are made of, the moisture in them, and how they are made all play a role. However, it is recommended that you check your shoes every thirty minutes while they are drying. Using this method, you will be able to determine whether they are dry.


Boots are a critical part of your hiking gear, and it’s important to keep them dry. But with so many different ways to dry boots, you may not know which technique is best for your footwear or what the consequences could be if you don’t do it right. We hope that our guide on How to Dry Boots will help equip you with all the knowledge necessary to care for your outdoor essentials like a pro!

About Jason Flores

Jason Flores spent his childhood breaking around in his grandpa's workshop getting to know a thing or two about handiness. At the same time, he loves fashion. As such, he's become invloved in writing about fieldwork fashion to pass on his precious passion.

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