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How to Dry Running Shoes: A Quick Guide

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Winter running means one sure thing in most areas of the world: wet feet. Whether you are running in snow, splashing through slush or it’s just cold and drizzly, your feet are sure to get wet sooner or later.

My first experience at needing to dry shoes fast I was coaching track & field. We were at the state track meet and the girls on the distance got wet feet. Since the girls had to run again the following day, we needed to get their shoes dried as soon as possible. But how to dry running shoes?

One of the girls lamented that she wished she had a dryer handy when the coach spoke up, “never, ever put your running shoes in a dryer! Those are made for clothes!” So the answer to the question, “Can I put my shoes in the dryer?” The answer is NO!

Why Can’t I Throw My Shoes In A Clothes Dryer?

Extreme temperatures can cause serious damage to your running shoes. The heat can cause damage to the glues that hold things together. In addition, high temps can hurt your shoes upper.

Tumbling around in a dryer, coupled with the heat, can also damage the foam. Your favorite pair of sneaks could come out of the dryer misshapen.

running shoes in washing machine 2

For that matter, you should also avoid putting your shoes in a washing machine. First, you should exhaust all other methods of cleaning. Many times your shoes can be adequately cleaned by scrubbing them with prewash, following that with some liquid laundry soap and then rinsing them well.

Having said that, we recognize that sometimes it is simply unavoidable. If you must put your shoes in a washing machine, wash them on a gentle cycle with some towels to cushion them as the drum rotates around.

What About A Boot Dryer?

Many people have a handy boot dryer so their boots are always dry and toasty in the winter. You should never subject your running shoes to a boot dryer. For the same reasons that a dryer is bad, boot dryers could deform your shoes. Running shoes are too costly to risk damaging them like that!

How Do You Get Moisture Out Of Shoes?

If your shoes are moist on the inside but not actually soaking wet, there is a quick trick to draw out the moisture. Sprinkling some baking soda. Not only will this remove the moisture caused by sweat or a light drizzle, but it will also help to eliminate or help with odors.

There are also powders and sprays made specifically to remove odors from shoes that you can purchase. Check them out if this is a problem for you and your favorite shoes!

Shoes can be stuffed with newspaper in order to help them dry. Believe it or not, filling your shoes with the paper will absorb all the moisture. A small trick to try if your shoes are extremely wet? Stuff the shoes with newspaper and wait an hour or so. Pull out that paper and replace it with dry paper.

drying running shoes

You would be amazed at how effective that process works!

Some people put their wet shoes by the refrigerator in order to dry them quickly. What? No… not inside the fridge. Right in front of the refrigerator. The fan blows some air and that can help them to dry.

A box fan is another tool you can use to speed up drying your shoes when they are wet from puddle jumping. That’s right, a plain old box fan does the trick. Although, the fan trick alone is not as quick as if you combine some of these together.

How Do You Dry Running Shoes Fast?

If you are looking to dry your running shoes quickly, you should combine methods. There are a few more tricks you can do also. First, you should remove the laces and insoles from the shoes. Taking these things out will help them to dry faster.

Next, you should stuff the shoes with newspapers. After waiting for about an hour or so, remove the paper. Notice how wet it is? You can replace the wet paper with dry paper. You can replace the paper a couple of times even, until you notice it is considerably drier when pulled out.

You can then pop your shoes in front of a fan to help them dry even more quickly!

Does Rice Work?

If you have ever dropped your cell phone in the water you have most likely heard about the trick that involves putting your phone in a bag of rice to remove the moisture. Curious if that would work, I purchased a large bag of rice and tested it out. I put the shoes in a large, 2 gallon size bag, filled the shoes with rice and let it sit.

While I was surprised at how dry the inside got, the bag did hold some moisture. In addition, rice is not exactly free and you need a lot more rice for a pair of running shoes than a cell phone! So given the choice, I will pick using the newspapers.

Does Rain Ruin Running Shoes?

We all have friends who are fair weather runners. One friend of mine will sometimes say she does not want to run outside in the rain unless she has her old shoes handy. When I inquired why she stated that she did not want to wreck her new shoes.

running in the rain

Of course, running in rain and jumping in puddles could result in dirty shoes. After all, rain makes dirt into mud! However, simply getting your running shoes wet is unlikely to ruin them.  The biggest danger would be if you did not dry the shoes properly. So as long as you take the time to dry them right, run in the rain all you like!

Just be warned that when running in the rain, sleet or snow you are more likely to slip and fall. This is especially true if you are running on sidewalks or on the road. You will notice that any parts of the road or sidewalk ramps that are painted by the municipality are more slick than normal sidewalk.

Just Enjoy Puddle Jumping!

If you have not tried it, head out for a run next time it is raining. Jump in some puddles. Sing in the rain at the top of your lungs. A rain run can be a liberating experience that brings you back to your childhood!

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