How to Dry Boots Fast: 7 Quick Steps to Getting It Done


Needless to say that I am very passionate about them.

It took me weeks to buy my first pair of work boots, and that is for a reason: I don’t want to settle for anything but the best.

You may check out Thursday Captain Boot review and the Red Wing Iron Ranger review to get more in-depth ideas about boots.

However, there is one thing that not only I, but most boot owners dread the most: wearing a wet pair, especially leather boots! Wet shoes are bad, but this is worse.

Leather boots are very durable and classy. Although many would argue about them being uncomfortable because of sore feet, there are still those head over heels with them, like I am.

Here is the problem with leather boots. When they get wet, water seeps through the material’s natural oils. They bind together, and once it gets hot again and the water evaporates, it becomes prone to cracking. Not only that, but it is also unhealthy wearing a wet pair of work boots as it can cause toenail fungus, infection, or painful blisters.

It is therefore understandable that you would like to dry wet work boots fast.

How to Dry Boots Fast

Some Quick Reminders on drying boots

What follows are simple tricks and steps on how to dry your boots. But before we head on to that, here are some quick, friendly reminders:

  • If you have wet your leather boots and intend to wear them later, allow three to eight hours of drying time. The time varies based on how soaked they are.
  • Do not put wet boots in the regular dryer. It may seem like the most sensible thing to do, but excess heat can damage the leather.
  • Applying direct heat, like putting your boots in the oven, is not recommended. Too much heat can cause more harm than good. Very short exposure to blow dryers is an exemption.
  • Do not wait days until you dry your wet boots to prevent having a permanent stain. Make sure that you apply the methods discussed below as soon as possible to keep your boots from losing their sleekness.
  • Always keep your work boots in a dry place; use a UV shoe sanitizer if available.

How To Dry Leather Boots Fast: 7 Easy Ways

Here are some quick and easy steps you can follow to make soaked boots dry quickly.

Grains Technique

When you drop your mobile phone into a wet surface, your go-to solution is grains, right? Uncooked rice, couscous, or quinoa can do for your work boots what it can for your device. Just follow these simple steps.


  • Clean the boots very well, inside and outside.
  • Remove the laces and shoe inserts.
  • Take a pair of socks; the thinner, the better. A lady’s stockings will be excellent as they can provide closer contact with the material.
  • Fill the socks with uncooked grains.
  • Seal the sock using a string or rubber band.
  • Get a dry container where the boots can fit, then fill it with an inch-high amount of grains.
  • Put the shoes with the stuffed stockings in, and then seal the container.
  • Drying time can last from one to three hours. However, if your shoes are soaked, it could take the whole night.
  • Use dry food containers for best results. Moving containers can be a substitute in their absence.

Note that this grain technique is composed of two methods that may be done separately. If you lack a container, just doing the socks part can also work.

Newspapers and Towels Technique

Newspapers and towels are what we often turn to when something spills or gets wet. So, it is not surprising that this is another method we can use to dry wet boots fast.


  • Wipe off the excess liquid from the leather boots, and the dust and debris, if any.
  • Remove the boot insoles, but keep the boot laces on.
  • Make balls out of the newspaper or paper towels.
  • Stuff up the wet boots to the top. Try to ensure that even the innermost part is filled.
  • Don’t overstuff; leave some room for expansion for when the material absorbs extra moisture.
  • For newspapers, putting holes on the pieces before crumpling will give the material more flexibility in expanding when moisture is absorbed.
  • Mummify them and then leave the boots overnight.

If not too soaked, leather boots dry a few hours after applying this technique. If they are really soaked, it can take longer, and it may be necessary and more effective to replace the paper towel or newspaper every two hours.

The Fan Technique

This boot drying method could be a bit tricky so let’s see how crafty you are. Here are the steps.


  • Wipe off excess liquid and dirt.
  • Remove the insoles. Keep the laces on, as they will come in handy on the next step.
  • Prepare a floor fan or a table fan.
  • Using the shoelaces, secure the boots onto the cage. Tie them up and try to shake them off to see if they will hold. Have them tied at an angle so that the heel is elevated off of the ground as much as possible so this will dry more of the boot.
  • If the boot is too wet, you may want something to catch the drippings on the floor, such as a floor mat or a dry towel.
  • Turn on the fan and wait a few hours until the entire work boots dry properly.

Since this is an electrical appliance, you have to avoid using a heated fan for this technique. Moreover, putting a weight at the fan base would help keep it balanced and avoid it tipping over.

Towels and Rags Technique

Cloth is a handy tool for keeping things dry. Using it for soaked leather boots is, not surprisingly, one of the options listed here.


  • Wipe off excess liquid and dirt.
  • Remove the insoles. Laces on.
  • Start filling a boot with the edge of the old towel, making sure it reaches the inner part.
  • If there is a spare part after filling the shaft, use it to cover the outer covering of the boot. Otherwise, get another towel for the outer cover.
  • After an hour, remove the towel. Get a fresh set of old towels and repeat the above steps to dry your boots completely if it is not yet dry.

Depending on how soaked the shoes are, you may need to repeat the steps several times to dry wet boots completely.

Boot Dryer Technique


Photo Credit: Euphro
You might be asking: why didn’t we get to this technique sooner? Well, not everyone has a boot dryer, and if they do, they would probably don’t drag it everywhere they go, so we need the above methods. This is the most efficient technique, of course, as this tool is made for this particular purpose.


  • Again, clean up the entire boot, get rid of excess water and dirt.
  • Place the wet work boots on the dry ports upside down.
  • Turn on the dryer.
  • The temperature may be controlled, but since they do not go beyond 105 degrees Fahrenheit, you don’t have to worry about direct heat, even if you keep your pair there overnight.

It still follows that the more soaked the boots are, the longer it will take to dry your boots. This technique is very convenient as you are sure that it will do the job efficiently; just plug and play.

You may also opt for an advanced express dryer. These are made with high and low settings and can help dry your wet stuff safely in as soon as one hour. Another advantage of choosing boot dryers is that they also help eliminate odors and harmful bacteria that may cause an athlete’s foot.

[Find a great boot dryer for your budget here]

The Sun Technique

Were you surprised this was included? I hope not. The sun is our best friend for drying almost anything; leather boots are not an exception. It is perhaps the safest way of drying your boots without worries of getting damaged.


  • Do basic boot cleaning.
  • Remove the insoles and the shoelaces.
  • Put the leather boots in a place where they can get full sun exposure.
  • Let them stay there for a day or longer, depending on how wet they are.
  • The insoles and laces must also be left to dry under the sun. Hang them where this is possible.

Do not leave the boots under the night sky. Bring them in at the end of the day, and bring them out the following day if necessary.

The Cookie Jar Technique

A biscuit jar to dry boots? Well, don’t be amazed. This technique works almost the same as the grains, but biscuits can be suitable replacements in their absence.


  • Clean those boots.
  • Take a cookie jar that is huge enough to accommodate the pair of wet boots.
  • Fill the jar half full of cookies.
  • Place the boots inside the jar.
  • Seal the container, ensuring it is airtight.
  • Just like the rice, the cookies will absorb the excess moisture from the boots.
  • Keep the boots in overnight.

Drying Technique to Use For Each Type of Boots

Boot dryers are perfect if you need to dry your wet shoes. However, if you need to improvise, this is the drying process we suggest for each type.

Ugg boots

Made from sheepskin, boots of this leather texture will take a lot longer to dry than the usual leather varieties. The best choice for ugg boots will be the towel technique. For better results, perform the task in a very dry room.

Hiking boots

These are often built with sturdy materials and would dry best using the fan technique. To enhance the process, unlace the boots to get every nook and cranny reached by the circulating hot air.

Work boots

Work boots, like hiking boots, are made of rigid materials. So, I also think that the fan technique will work best to completely dry wet work boots with air circulation.

Wading boots

Wading boots are created to keep water out; the exterior will not be an issue. When the water gets in, usually from the opening, the best way to dry them is using the grain or towel technique.

Ski boots

Ski boots are hard-shelled. They are made to hold off water from outside, so it is quite challenging for them to get wet inside. The method that would work best for them is the newspaper method or paper towel technique due to the flexibility of these materials compared to a towel.

Snowboard boots

The snowboard boots are as tough, or at times tougher than the ski boots. The grains technique will work best for them combined with the container method to enhance the drying process.

Snow boots

Snow boots are built to brave snow-melting salt and are as sturdy as snowboard boots. They are best dried using the combined grain and container technique and may even be submerged under a few inches of grains.

Cowboy boots

This type is rigid, just like ski boots. The newspaper or paper towel technique is what I see as the most plausible option. After stuffing the wet boots, wrap them up with a towel for faster drying.

Consider investing in specialized boot drying equipment

If leather boots are your go to footwear, consider buying a boot dryer. Many handy tricks are outlined above to dry your wet boots, but efficiency is crucial in preserving that good pair.

Poor maintenance can cost you more. A blow dryer may be cheaper or waiting for the boots to dry naturally, let mother nature do her work, or perhaps leave them near camp fires. Getting a heat source is the only thing necessary. It is also common for people to use natural moisture absorbers like cat litter or cedar filling in wet environments.

These drying tips may be great but do not let any one of them be your only option. If necessary, get a good boot dryer. It is your best bet to keep your collection last longer.

It may cost you some bucks, but rest assured that you will get the value from this purchase for caring for your delicate boots.

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Nick English

By day: Manhattan-based journalist with reporting experience on four continents, published in Vice, Men's Health, Popular Science, and a bunch of other places.By night: ravenous consumer of anything and everything related to high end men's boots.Stridewise is where I nurture a maniacal obsession with footwear and share my findings. Say hey: [email protected]

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