Here’s How To Dry Running Shoes Properly

Whether you are just back from a run in the rain, or you have just washed your running shoes and have heard the horror stories of misshapen shoes as they dried on the radiator and “never felt the same again“.

Or you haven’t let a past pair dry fully, and they have started to look weak around the edges as they have developed water damage.

Well, there is no need to panic, as this article about how to dry running shoes has got you covered. We will discuss:

  • The correct ways to dry your running shoes to avoid water damage
  • The things to avoid when drying your running shoes
  • The risks of drying running shoes incorrectly
  • How to stop your shoes from smelling
  • How to make your shoes last the extra mile

Ready to get into it?

Alright, let’s go!

How To Dry Running Shoes Properly To Avoid Water Damage

How to Dry Running shoes: The definitive Guide

The first thing to mention is to make sure that your shoes are clean before drying them; any dirt and mud can cause damage to your shoe, so best to wash them off.

We are going to talk about 3 ways to dry your shoes to avoid water damage:

1. The Newspaper Method.

2. Using a Fan.

3. Using Shoe Dryers.

How To Dry Running Shoes: The Newspaper Method

Using newspapers to dry your shoes has been around almost as long as newspapers and shoes have coexisted, so overlooking this basic and somewhat old-fashioned technique might be a mistake.

It is a super-easy way to help your shoes dry, and it utilizes waste – your old unwanted newspaper – so bonus for the environment.

Here’s a step-by-step way to use newspaper to dry your shoes:

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Step 1: Once your shoes are clean, remove the laces and insoles from the shoe.

Step 2: Place the insoles in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight and hang your laces where you usually hang your clothes.

Step 3: Stuff your running shoes with newspaper and wrap them in a dry towel.

Step 4: Place your shoes in a well-ventilated area and leave them to dry.

Step 5: Keep an eye on your shoes; if the newspaper on the inside gets too wet, replace it with some new paper.

Step 6: Leave your shoes for around 12 hours. Your shoes may dry quicker or slower than this, depending on how wet they are and the temperature and humidity of the room.

Step 7: Once your shoes have dried completely, put your insoles back in the shoes and lace-up, and you are ready to hit the roads again.

How To Dry Shoes: Using A Fan

Using a fan helps to dry your shoes quicker as the ‘breeze’ generated stops your shoes from sitting in a humid pile, just like when you dry your clothes on a windy day.

Sticking your shoes in front of a fan can help them dry quicker, so if you need to get them on rotation ASAP, then maybe this is a good trick for you. All you will require is some old clothes hangers.

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Step 1: Cut your clothes hanger wire in half and shape it into an “S” shape.

Step 2: Unlace your shoes, take the laces and insoles out of the shoe, and place them in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Step 3: Place one of the “S” shaped pieces of wire inside one of your shoes and hand the other end from your fan so your shoe hangs directly in front of the fan.

Step 4: Repeat this with the other shoe and the other half of the wire.

Step 5: Turn your fan on and let it run for a couple of hours until your shoes are completely dry.

Step 6: Once your shoes are completely dry, place your insoles back in and lace your shoes back up.

PS. You can dry your insoles this way too, use a clothes peg to hang them beside your shoes. Be careful of your laces, however that you don’t end up with laces stuck inside a fan!

How To Dry Running Shoes With Shoe Dryers

Shoe dryers are handy items you can buy off the internet to help you dry your shoes. Some of them use low-level heat, others work similar to a newspaper, but all aim to dry your shoes quicker than leaving them outside.

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There is a whole host of different items to choose from, from Drysure’s non-electric shoe dryer or the all-electric thermic shoe dryer, plus countless more!

Instructions will be included with each one if you decide to go this way. There is no real need to do so unless you desire the best of the best, so it is a personal preference.

How to dry running shoes: Things to Avoid

There are a few “no-no’s” to avoid when drying your shoes, and we will look at 3 of the common culprits.

#1 Tumble Dryers

Drying your running shoes in a tumble dryer is a huge “no-no”. As well as the motion of the tumble dryer which puts unnecessary strains and stresses on your trainers, it is also very hot!

Your shoes are simply not designed for this level of heat being applied to them. The glues in your shoe connecting your sole to your shoe can weaken and cause a catastrophic blowout on the next run.

The fabrics in your shoe can also become malformed by the heat as they warp and become misshapen in the tumble dryer. It is best to avoid tumble dryers altogether.

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This leads me on to the next thing to avoid, which is…

#2 Radiators

Radiators are similar to tumble dryers in the fact that they are often too hot and are far too damaging to the shoes when you are drying them out.

All those different components that make up your shoe just cannot handle the heat, so get them off the radiator!

#3 Exposure to Prolonged Direct Sunlight

Sunlight can be quite damaging to all items of clothing; think that you wear suncream to go out in the sun for a while, well your clothes have no protection.

Prolonged exposure to sunlight leads to discolouration of the material and causes all the materials in your shoes to become brittle and lose a lot of their strength, so if you want your shoes to last as long as possible, then dry them in a shaded but well-ventilated area.

What Happens If You Leave Running Shoes Wet?

Leaving your lovely running shoes wet for a prolonged period of time leads to water damage, where water and bacteria permeate the shoe deep into the fabric. This leads to the shoe becoming weaker and misshapen, not good for you wearing them the next time!

Not letting your shoes dry out fully between each run and wash can lead to a build of harmful bacteria in your shoes. This bacteria not only can cause a bad odour to build up in your shoes, but also the bacteria can damage your shoes by weakening and degrading the material.

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Bacteria release enzymes as part of their natural life, these enzymes can cause the degradation of your well-loved trainers.

Staying on top of your hygiene surrounding your running shoes can keep them looking and smelling good and keep them on top performance for as long as possible.

How to stop your shoes from smelling

For some, it is unavoidable. The smell just refuses to quit. Luckily, loads of people have the same problem, so the answer is already out there. We are going to talk about the 2 ways of helping to stop your shoes from smelling.

#1 Shoe Deodorizers

Shoe deodorizers are the same sprays they use at bowling alleys to keep all those shoes smelling fresh after every use. These sprays are pretty cheap to pick up from any shoe shop or pick it up online.

They are easy to use, just spray your shoes after every use. The spray will help keep that armful bacteria at bay, and keep you smelling fresh and avoid any embarrassing situations.

#2 Keep Your Shoes Clean

You should keep your shoes clean after every run you go on, the cleaner you keep them, the fewer bacteria can be allowed to build up. For a look at the best way to clean your shoes, click here!

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How to Make My shoes last as long as possible

Keeping on top of your shoe routine is the best way of making your shoes last as long as they can. Shoes cope pretty well with normal wear and tear as it is what they are built for, but super hot radiators and mud-caked sides are their downfalls.

So just keep your shoes dry and clean, and they will keep rewarding you with glorious miles until they have grown old and tired and well worn.

I hope this article has been the definitive guide on how to dry running shoes, and you are all experts going forward.

Tom McMeekin-Donnelly

Tom McMeekin-Donnelly

Tom McMeekin-Donnelly is a runner, outdoor enthusiast and cyclist. Tom competes in ultra-marathons in the UK and Ireland. Tom runs anything from a marathon to 100 miles. He can often be found in the mountains around his home in Ireland.

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