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How to Dry Boots The Correct Way

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Wet boots are uncomfortable, smelly, and damaging to their lifespan if not properly dried. It’s not uncommon to come back from a hike or camping trip with wet boots. Getting them cleaned and dried efficiently is important. Not only will you need them for your next adventure, storing them wet will damage the boots. Proper boot drying methods are crucial for maintaining the quality and extending the lifespan of your boots.

In our years of hiking we have heard a lot of secret methods to drying boots but we are going to cover what actually works. Most of the methods we cover will work just as well at camp as they will at home. If you know if a method that works that we don’t cover please share, we want to know. Nothing is worse than getting dressed for day 2 only to find your boots still soggy. Let’s jump into it.

Key Takeaways:

product image from Amazon

PEET, Original Electric Shoe & Boot Dryer with 25 year warranty - Made in USA Dries most footwear overnight: Drying time depends on material and saturation level; We recommend leaving shoes on the dryer overnight for best results

Why Proper Boot Drying is Important

Proper boot drying is crucial for maintaining the quality and longevity of your boots. When boots are exposed to moisture, especially excess moisture, they can become damaged and their performance can be impacted.

Wet boots that are not dried properly can develop mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors. This not only affects the overall condition of your boots but also creates an uncomfortable experience for your feet.

Moisture can be particularly harmful to leather boots. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause them to crack or warp, leading to irreversible damage. Additionally, excess moisture can create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of foot problems.

Drying boots properly is essential in preventing these issues and maintaining the quality of your boots. By ensuring that your boots are thoroughly dried after each use, you can prolong their lifespan and enjoy comfortable and odor-free footwear.

Best Ways to Dry Boots Fast

How to Dry Boots in the Wild | Silvercore Outdoors

Drying wet boots quickly is essential to prevent odors, mold, and damage. If you have teenage boys you know what that’s like. Here are the methods that we have had success with. If you are camping or hiking and expect to be getting wet consider packing a pair of socks with cat litter or rice, it works wonders.

Each of these methods has its own benefits and can help accelerate the drying process. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your boots. Remember to be patient and allow enough time for your boots to dry thoroughly.

Tips for Drying Specific Types of Boots

Different types of boots require specific care when it comes to drying. Properly drying your boots is crucial for maintaining their quality and prolonging their lifespan. Regardless of the type of boots you have, it’s important to store them in a dry place and allow them to fully dry before wearing them again. By following these tips, you can ensure that your boots stay in great shape.

Drying Leather Boots

Leather boots should be dried using gentle methods to avoid damage. Excessive heat or direct sunlight can cause the leather to crack or warp. Instead, use a clean cloth to blot any excess water from the surface of the boots. Avoid using a hairdryer or placing the boots near a heater. Allow them to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. To prevent the boots from losing their shape, stuff them with crumpled newspaper or use a boot dryer.

For specific instructions don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s care instructions. For example, see the official Red Wing Shoes care guide.

Drying Ski Boots

After a day on the slopes, ski boots can become wet from snow and perspiration. To dry ski boots, remove the liners and insoles and let them air dry separately. Wipe down the inside of the boots with a clean cloth to remove any moisture. Avoid using direct heat sources, as they can damage the liners. Once both the liners and shells are dry, reassemble the boots and store them in a cool, dry place.

Drying Hiking and Work Boots

Work and hiking boots used in wet or muddy conditions may require cleaning before drying. Start by removing any excess dirt or debris from the boots. Use a brush or cloth to scrub away mud and stains. Once clean, let the boots air dry in a well-ventilated area. To speed up the drying process, you can use a fan or place them near a gentle heat source, such as a radiator. Avoid using excessive heat, as it can damage the boots. Proper storage and regular maintenance, such as applying a leather conditioner, are essential for keeping work boots in good condition.

Ugg Boots

For Ugg boots, the towel technique is an effective way to dry them quickly. Start by gently patting the boots with a clean towel to absorb excess moisture. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as this may damage the soft, suede-like material of the boots. After towel drying, allow the boots to air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat sources or sunlight.

Wading Boots

Wading boots, commonly used for fishing or water activities, require specialized drying techniques. One effective method is the grains or towel technique. Remove any liners, insoles, or inserts and stuff the boots with dry grains like rice or cat litter. Alternatively, you can use a clean towel to absorb excess moisture. Leave the boots in a well-ventilated area to allow the grains or towel to absorb the moisture. Remember to remove the grains or towel once the boots are dry.

DRY your Leather Hiking Boots properly | Outdoors with Nat

Things to Avoid When Drying Boots

Properly drying boots is crucial for maintaining their quality and preventing damage. To ensure your boots are dried effectively, there are certain things you should avoid:


Proper boot drying methods are crucial for maintaining the quality and longevity of your boots. By following the tips and techniques discussed in this article, you can ensure that your boots are dried efficiently and ready for your next adventure. Remember, different types of boots may require specific care when it comes to drying, so it’s important to consider the specific needs of your boots.

Taking care of your boots is not just about drying them properly, but also about overall boot care. Regular cleaning, conditioning, and storing your boots in a cool, dry place can help extend their lifespan and keep them in optimal condition.

When it comes to boot care, efficiency should be the standard. By implementing these proper boot drying methods and incorporating them into your boot care routine, you can enjoy reliable, comfortable footwear for years to come. Don’t underestimate the impact that moisture and improper drying can have on your boots. With a little extra attention and care, you can ensure that your boots are always ready to accompany you on your next adventure.

Before You Go …

Hopefully you are now an expert at getting your boots dried quickly and properly. If you still have any questions, or have your own tips, please feel free to contact us. Now, before you go we would like to suggest checking out our post on keeping your feet dry when hiking in the rain. The only thing better than a properly dried boot, is one that never got wet at all.

If this post was helpful in any way we would really appreciate it if you shared it on your social media. We are a new website and it will help us grow. Thank you so much. Stay safe on the trails!

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Summer and Bill are the dynamic duo behind, a blog dedicated to inspiring others to explore the great outdoors. With a combined lifetime of experience traveling and adventuring across America, they have a wealth of knowledge to share. From hiking to camping, kayaking to travel, Summer and Bill are passionate about helping others discover the beauty of the natural world.

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