If you have ever experienced the feeling of slipping your feet into wet shoes, then you will almost certainly never want to have to deal with that feeling again. It is cold, clammy and unpleasant, and wearing wet shoes for long periods of time can lead to mold, infection, foul smells, and a wide range of other unpleasant problems for both your shoes and your feet. That is why you will want to make sure that your shoes are completely dry before you put them on, which is going to mean learning how to dry your shoes as efficiently and thoroughly as possible.

Here at Shoe Adviser, we’ve put together a guide to just that. Below, we will run you through the basics of some of the easiest and most efficient ways that you can get your shoes completely dry as fast as possible. You don’t need any specialist gear or skills for this – anyone can get to work on drying out their shoes at any time!

How do you dry Shoes After Washing Them?

Once you have washed your shoes, they will be fresh and clean again, but they will also be wet. Wearing wet shoes is uncomfortable and unhygienic, and they can very easily develop mold and other unpleasant problems. Even when the outside of your shoes feels dry, you might find that the inside is still wet. Fortunately, there are several different options you can use to make sure that your wet shoes dry as fast as possible, and also to get all the water out of them quickly and effectively. Let’s take a look at some of the best solutions available for anyone who is wondering how to dry shoes. No matter how wet your shoes are, one of these options should help you to get them fully dry again.

Wrapping your Shoes in Newspaper

Making use of old newspaper to dry wet shoes is an efficient and effective option that doesn’t require any specialist equipment or skills. Most people keep an old newspaper or two lying around their house, even if not intentionally, and newspaper is the perfect material to put in your shoes to dry them out. This works for any shoe material from leather to canvas and anything in between! The one type of shoe you shouldn’t use newspaper for drying is white shoes, as the ink from the newspaper could transfer onto the white surface. Use paper towels instead of newspaper if you are worried about ink damage to white shoes!

To start, pull the insole out of each shoe and put it aside to air dry separately. The insole is the cushioned pad inside your shoe, and if you leave it in place, then the drying process will be much slower. Put the insoles in a dry place like a sunny spot or in front of a fan to dry them out as fast as possible and to stop them from developing mold.

Then, crumple up sheets of old newspapers into balls and push them inside your shoe as far as possible, making sure you get the paper balls wedged into the corners, like the toe box and also the heel. Keep on packing more inside the shoes until you can’t fit any more in at all, and this should absorb the moisture and dry out your shoes without having to worry about damaging the shoes themselves.

Then, wrap more newspaper around the outside of your shoes. You will want to wrap the newspapers around each shoe as tightly as possible to absorb the water, and somewhere around 2 to 3 sheets per shoe should be about right. Once you’ve done that, place elastic bands around the shoes to hold the paper in place, and that should be enough to hold everything firmly together and make sure that everything dries out properly.

It is worth noting, also that you will want to replace the paper around your shoes every 2 or 3 hours. If the newspapers are wet to the touch, peel them off, and put a fresh layer on instead in order to dry shoes thoroughly.

Hanging your Shoes on a Fan

If you have a large box fan in your home, then you can make great use of that to dry shoes effectively. You might be wondering how to dry shoes with a box fan, but it is actually a fairly easy process. You will need a wire hanger and some wire cutters for this, though. Cut two sections of wire hanger that are something like 6 inches long each, and carefully bend them into S shapes. Be careful, though, as the ends of the wire could be quite sharp where you cut them.

Hang your wire hooks on the front of your box fan. Use the smaller side of the hook as a fastening point, and put that side on the fan, with the larger hook poking out. You will want to leave 3 or 4 inches between them to make enough space for both your shoes!

Hang your shoes on the hooks so that the insides face the fan blades, allowing the air to penetrate all the way inside each shoe. Make sure the laces are out of the way, though, as they could easily fall inside the fan, get tangled up in the blades, and cause damage to your shoes and also your fan! This option works well for lighter shoes, but long and heavy boots might be too heavy for the wire hooks and the fan to support properly.

Using your Dryer for Shoes

As long as your shoes are dryer safe, you can dry them out in a clothes dryer. Check the label to be certain, and ensure that the shoes are definitely dryer safe before you try to put them in your dryer.

Loosen the laces of your shoes, so you’ve got about 6 inches of length on each side of each shoe. If your shoes don’t have laces, keep them away from the dryer, as you could easily damage your shoes and also your dryer if you don’t follow these steps carefully!

Tie your shoes together by the laces. Make sure it is a firm knot, but not so tight that you will struggle to undo it once you are done. Then, hold your shoes in place against the inside of your dryer door, with the laces and their knot sticking out over the top of the dryer. Then, close the dryer door slowly and carefully, making sure that your shoes are held suspended in the middle and don’t slip out of place. If they get loose, they could cause damage, so be careful with this!

Once you manage to get your shoes to stay suspended in place, set your dryer onto a low heat and leave it to run for a full cycle, which should be enough to dry your shoes thoroughly! You should avoid trying to dry other clothes at the same time; dedicate a whole cycle to just your shoes, and don’t try to economize here!

How to Dry Shoes with Rice

One of the easiest ways to dry your shoes is to simply put them in rice. Use a container that is large enough to hold both of your shoes, and that has a lid that closes tightly and securely. You will want at least an inch of rice in the bottom of the containers, which is quite a lot of rice!

Place your shoes on their sides on top of the rice and press them down, so they are partly buried by the dry rice. Seal the lid over the top tightly, and leave it for 2 to 3 hours so that the rice absorbs the water from your wet shoes. If the shoes are particularly badly soaked, you might have to leave them overnight, but that only applies to particularly bad cases!

Can you Dry Shoes in the Sun?

The sun is one of the best natural drying options for shoes unless those shoes are completely soaked through. Just leave your shoes in a warm sunny spot for a few hours, and they should dry out quite effectively! If you want to speed up the process, try stuffing balls of crumpled newspaper inside your shoes to absorb the water faster.

Boot Drying

If you have got a pair of heavy leather boots that have become wet from rain, flooding, or just from washing them, then there is no two ways about it: they are going to take a while to dry, unfortunately. There is no fast way to dry heavy leather boots, as you can’t put them through your tumble dryer, and the leather holds water frustratingly well.

Your best bet for drying leather boots is going to be to fill them with balls of crumpled newspapers, making sure you wedge that paper all the way down to the bottom of the boot. It is going to take a lot of paper, and you will have to replace the paper every few hours, but in the end, you should be able to get your boots properly dry. You are just going to have to be prepared for it to take a long time, and be patient!

How to Dry Trainers

Trainers come in a range of different materials, from leathers and synthetics to canvas and other similar textiles. That means that there is no one single way to dry trainers. Make sure you know what your trainers are made from, and then you should be able to dry them just like any other type of wet shoes made from the same material. In general, canvas shoes are the easiest to dry, but you should be careful when exposing them to too much heat – drying canvas wet shoes in a hot environment can cause the canvas to fade and also shrink in the process if you are not careful!

Can you Tumble Dry Trainers?

There are several different materials that are used in the construction of trainers and running shoes, and that can affect how they can safely be dried. A lot of people wonder, “can you put trainers in the dryer?”, and unfortunately the answer to this question is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.

If there is any leather involved in the manufacture of your trainers, then you won’t be able to use a clothes dryer for drying running shoes. If there isn’t any leather, then you might be able to safely use the dryer. Check the label inside your shoe first, though, and make sure that the label says that your shoe is safe to dry in a tumble dryer.

Even if the label in your shoe says that it is safe to dry your shoes in the dryer, it is worth knowing that using a dryer will dramatically reduce the longevity of your trainers. The heat of the dryer fatigues the materials, and you run the risk of your trainers becoming wrinkled and unattractive and wearing out much faster. If it is at all possible, try to dry your trainers using an air-drying method and keep the dryer as an emergency backup option for when you really need to dry your shoes as fast as possible.


The guide above is a shortlist of some of the best ways to dry different types of shoe. Some are harder than others, but all of them are entirely doable, as long as you are prepared to be patient and thorough with your shoe drying processes. Don’t be tempted to try to rush things by turning up the heat, as this can damage your shoes! Just be patient, and soon enough, your shoes will be fully dry, and perfect for you to slip your feet into once again with no fear of discomfort and wet toes!

About the Author

Hey, I'm Lilly Harvey. If there's two things I'm passionate about in life, it's shoes and writing!

Combining both my passions with my Fashion Design degree, I've helped create Shoe Adviser to help readers choose the best shoes for them, enjoy!

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