How To Dry Boots? 7 Quick Ways to Try

Wet shoes can lead to discomfort, pain, and other problems if you are not careful. It is best to dry boots before using them again. Continue reading on to learn more about how to dry boots quickly.

I have used a lot of different boots throughout the years, and one thing that really bothers me is when they get wet. Trust me, there is nothing more uncomfortable than walking around in wet boots. Besides the obvious discomfort, damp boots can also lead to blisters and sore feet. So if you want to avoid these situations, it is essential that you know how to dry boots.

Fortunately, this article got you covered! Below, I will discuss the different ways to dry boots quickly. Each method is relatively easy to follow, so you do not have to put up with soaked feet and blisters.

I will also talk about the basic mistakes you should avoid when drying boots. And to sum things up, I will answer some of the frequently asked questions about using boot dryers and other heating equipment. 

So, without any ado, let us get on with the article!

How to Prepare Your Boots For The Drying Process?

Before you proceed to dry your wet boots, you need to ensure that they are clean.

Wipe away any dirt or mud that is stuck on the surface. To remove more stubborn stains, you can mix warm water with soap or detergent powder. Then, get a clean cloth and soak it in the cleaning solution. After that, you can rub the cloth on the surface of the boots. 

You should also remove the insoles and clean them. You can do this by either throwing them inside the washing machine or washing them by hand.

As for the outsoles, grab a soft-bristled brush and remove any dirt or debris stuck on the grooves. You can also hose them down with water. Just be careful not to soak the exterior of the boots if they are not waterproof.

To sum up, it is best to prepare your boots prior to drying them. If you do not do any of these steps, you may end up with a permanent stain on the exterior part of the boots.

How to Keep Boots Dry Quickly?

Boots take a while to dry naturally due to their high-quality construction and thick materials. Some models can even take at least 48 hours or more to completely dry.

Fortunately, there are several ways to speed up the drying process. Read on below to learn how you can dry each pair of boots to ensure comfortable wear.

Turn On the Fan

Amazon Basics Fan - Turn On the Fan

The first method of to dry wet boots involves an item commonly found inside your home—an electric fan. It does not matter if it is a table fan or a floor fan. As long as it works properly and produces cool air, it can help dry your wet boots.

Start by removing the insoles of your shoes. Keep them out in the sun or toss them into the dryer. I find that a top-load machine works fine for insoles. Just make sure that they are clean before drying them.

With the insoles out of the way, you can grab a clean towel and place it under the fan. It will help absorb the excess moisture from your shoes and speed up the drying process.

Next, take a wire or your boot laces. Then, using either of the two, you can tie your boots to the front of the fan cage. If you find this hard to do, you can undo the front cage of the fan first.

Once the footwear is attached, gently shake the cage of the fan to ensure that your shoes are securely tied. If yes, you can proceed to reattach the front cage to the rest of the fan.

Finally, turn on the fan, preferably at the highest level setting. You can then leave the boots overnight to dry.

You might also want to place a counterweight on the base of the fan if you are drying particularly heavy boots. Doing so can help prevent the fan from tipping over.

You should also avoid using a heated fan because it can damage the exterior of the boots, especially ones made of leather or suede.

Get Old Towels and Rags

Do you have delicate boots that you do not want to harm in the drying process? If so, you can consider using old towel sheets and rags to dry boots.

Make sure your pair of boots are clean before proceeding with this drying method. You should also remove their laces and insoles.

Next, you can take the corners of the towel and tuck it inside the wet boots. Wrap the rest of the towel around the boots.

If you are using a small towel or rags, make sure to use multiple ones to stuff the inside of the boots and wrap around the boot exterior.

After ensuring that there is no exposed part, allow the wet boots to sit for an hour or two. Then, remove the soaked towel, stuff, and wrap the boots again with fresh dry towels.

It is best to be patient with this drying method. The boots will take anywhere from an hour to eight hours to dry, depending on how wet they are.

If you run out of fresh towels and the boots are still soaked, you can continue the drying process using the following item.

Use Newspapers

Similar to the towel and rag method, using newspapers is also an effective way to dry your wet boots.

And just like with other drying processes, you need to ensure your boots are clean. You should also take off the insoles and keep them aside to dry.

Now, stuff the interior of the boots with newspaper. Make sure to roll the material into boots, so you can easily insert them all the way up to the shaft. You should also cover the exterior of the boots.

Then, leave the boots for a few hours to dry. It is best to check every hour or so if the newspapers are already soaked with water. If so, you can take them out and replace them with new ones. Doing so can help speed up the drying process.

You might also want to punch a few holes into the pieces of newspapers before stuffing them inside your wet boots. This way, you can ensure that the boots are more flexible.

Finally, avoid over-stuffing your boots with newspapers. You might think that it will speed up the drying process, but it actually does the opposite. The paper requires extra room to expand while it soaks up water. Without this necessary space, it would not be able to take in as much moisture.

Consider Shoe Inserts

How to dry boots - Consider Shoe Inserts

If you do not have time to stuff towels and newspapers inside the boots, you can try using shoe inserts.

Shoe inserts feature a moisture-wicking fabric and cedar filling. These can help draw the moisture out to dry leather boots and other types of shoes effectively.

They also include an antimicrobial coating, which prevents pathogens from growing inside the shoes. They can also help mask foul odors to ensure your feet feel and smell fresh.

Keep the Boots Inside a Rice Container

Have you ever tried putting your wet phone inside a jar of dry grains, such as rice? If yes, you can do something similar to dry wet boots fast.

Start by ensuring that your boots are clean inside and out. You should remove the laces and insoles and set them aside to dry.

Next, get a jar or plastic bin and pour up to an inch of rice at the bottom. Make sure this container is large enough to fit your work boots and leather boots.

Then, you can place your wet shoes on top of the rice inside the container. Wait for a few hours, so the rice can absorb the moisture. But if your boots are soaked, you might have to leave the boots overnight.

Another variation of this boot drying method is to fill up a pair of old socks with uncooked grains. Then, you can use a rubber band to tie each sock and secure them. Finally, place these socks inside the wet work boots and wait until they dry.

Leave the Boots Under the Sun

Instead of drying your boots inside your home, you might want to consider exposing them to the sun.

The sun is a natural dryer available to you. It can dry your boots effectively and kill pathogens. Hence, it can prevent foul odors from forming. 

Take note, though, that not all areas enjoy adequate sunshine. So, this method to dry wet work boots is not the most feasible during the rainy season. It is also not recommended if you want to use your boots right away because it can take a while for them to dry under the sun.

Invest in a Boot Dryer

Finally, you can use a boot dryer to keep your favorite pair of shoes moisture-free.

As its name suggests, this equipment can dry wet boots fast. A boot dryer usually features dry ports where you can place your boots in an upside-down orientation. These ports can get hot up to 105°F, which is safe to use on your boots overnight. Hence, the boot dryer can dry your boots in a few hours or less. Take note, though, that it is possible to wait for a long period of time if your shoes have been submerged in the water.

Plus, most models can also handle several pairs of boots or wet garments, such as your gloves or socks. Some boot dryers even allow you to choose from high to low settings, which can get your boots dry in under an hour.

Overall, using boot dryers is perhaps the most straightforward and professional way to keep your footwear dry. They are gentle and safe to use for your favorite shoes.

What Mistakes You Should Avoid When Drying Your Boots?

When drying your boots for the first time, you might accidentally make a mistake that can damage your beloved footwear. Below, I will talk about the common errors you must avoid to preserve the quality of boots.

The first thing to note is that you should never apply direct heat to your boots. Do not use a blow dryer or a steamer because it can cause the leather or any upper material to crack, especially if you have not broken in the boots yet.

You should also avoid drying your boots by the fire after a ski trip. Doing so may not harm the shoes initially, but constant exposure can damage them over time.

Another thing you should remember is to avoid waiting for too long before drying your boots. If your boots are soaked, make sure to dry out the exterior surface as quickly as possible. When you do not do this, you risk the boots losing their supple composition and becoming stiff.

Finally, after doing any of the drying methods above, you should keep your boots secure in a dry, cool room.

Is It Safe To Put Boots in the Dryer?

Yes, putting your shoes in a good boot dryer is considered safe. Just make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Usually, boot dryers will require you to put your shoes inside the pipe. You might also want to push the boots to the toe edge for more effective drying

How Long Does It Take To Dry Boots?

Depending on how wet they are, boots can take anywhere from an hour up to eight hours to dry with the help of the methods above. The more soaked your boots are, the longer time they will require to dry completely.

Can You Put Boots in the Oven to Dry?

Besides the dryer, you might have also thought about putting your wet boots inside the oven. However, avoid doing so because direct heat can damage the exterior of the boots. Even if you use the lowest settings on ovens, you will still get temperatures much hotter than an express boot dryer.


You do not have to endure wet boots when going to work or hiking. Make sure to remember these drying tips on how to dry boots quickly. Doing so can help prevent the risk of blisters and sore feet, which ultimately ensures comfortable wear.