How To Dry Wet Work Boots : Only Guide That Works! [2024]

Written By Mahia

Isn’t it so annoying and uncomfortable when you accidentally splash your feet through a deep puddle and get your boots thoroughly wet? It is a common scenario for those who work in damp surroundings in their work boots. Also, people who go hiking and adventures experiences the same.

Moreover, when you have to wear that wet, smelly boots for day-long, nothing can be worse than this. Apart from discomfort and awful smell, wearing wet work boots for long hours can increase bacteria’s growth in the feet and cause blisters.

Works boots need to undergo a few steps for drying the shoes completely, but we often make the mistake of keeping the wet boots for only air drying, which doesn’t give an accurate result.

This article’s motive is to inform you with all the tips and tricks of drying work boots. Follow all the steps and make your wet boots fully dry and walk again with

Get Your Boots Ready Before The Drying Process

You can’t just jump in the drying process; first of all, you have to make your boots ready to undergo the procedure. Before you start drying, you have to make sure the boots are clean because if there is dirt or mud in the boots, your shoes will have the spots and discoloration after you finish the drying process.

Follow the steps below to clean your boots:

  • If there is soil or dirt in the boots, start cleaning them. Mix a little bit of mild detergent in a bowl of water, take a clean towel, soak it in the soapy water, and gently rub the boots. The detergent will make all the dirt loose. After you are satisfied with the dirt cleaning, take a clean, dry towel and pat it on the boots.
  • Don’t forget to remove the shoelaces before cleaning them; you can have discoloration in the lace area if the insole is removable and try to take them off.

Check out our separate post: What Work Boots Are Made In The USA.

Simple Methods Of Drying Wet Work Boots

Apart from air drying the boots, the boots need extra work for drying as the work boots are made with heavy and thick materials. If you just let your wet boots sit for air drying, it will take more than 2-3 days to dry, and wet boots are a significant reason for boot erosion.

There are quite a few methods of drying wet work boots. In this article, I tried to share all the effortless and prompt ways you can easily follow to make your smelly wet boots dry and crisp.

Here are the methods that you should do to make your wet work boots crisp:

Method 1: Fanning The Wet Boots

When we are tired and sweaty, we instantly turn on the fan, the wind of the fan dries our sweat completely. The same goes for drying wet boots. You will need a strong table fan or any other fans that have a stand to it for this technique.

Take off the laces if your boots have any and remove the insole if it is removable, you can dry them in the sunlight.

Put a towel underneath the fan so that if there is any water dripping from the boots, the towel can soak it.

Take a flexible rod or wire and bend it in ‘S’ shape. The rod or wire should be strong enough to hold the weight of the boots.

Hang the wet boots on the ‘S’ shaped wire and turn on the fan. The fan will soak up all the moisture from the shoes and make it completely dry within a few hours.

Method 2: Make Use Of A Newspaper

Paper or newspaper works great for soaking up any wetness. For more of an easy method or if your boots are thinner or fragile, using a newspaper for drying is a perfect option. The only drawback of this process is unlike fans; this method is time-consuming. The boots will take a long time to dry.

Take the laces and insole off the boots and make sure the shoes are clean and dirt-free.

Take a newspaper and slightly compress it, fill the inside of the boots with newspaper. Pack it tightly, make sure you don’t leave any area. Cover the whole boots with the newspaper.

After every 3-4 hours, replace the wet newspaper with a clean, dry newspaper. Keep exchanging the newspaper until the boots are completely dried.

Though the process is slow, it is worth trying. Newspapers help the boots to retain their shape and draw out all the moisture from them, making them dry.

Also read, Are Work Boots Supposed To Fit.

Method 3: Use A Towel

Drying the boots with a towel is another most efficient method to use. This method is kind of the same as the newspaper method.

Take off the boot laces and insoles and make sure the boots are clean and dirt free.

Insert the towel’s corners inside the boots and cover the remaining of the towel around the boots.

Keep the boots under a fan.

After every 2-3 hours, replace the wet towel with a clean, dry towel. Keep changing the towel until the boots are dried.

This method is also time-consuming and can take up to many hours for drying. The towel soaks up the wetness from the boots, making it fully dry.

Method 4: Drying The Boots With A Boot Dryer


If you don’t want to waste any energy and invest in drying the boots, then boot dryer is the ultimate choice. You don’t have to wait for hours if you use a boot dryer for drying your boots.

There are various boot dryers in the market; you can buy any of your choices.

What boot dryer does, it takes up all the water that is leaking from the boots.

But make sure you clean and dirt free the boots at first.

Follow our epic guide to know Can You Wash Work Boots.

Method 5: Rice To The Rescue

It may sound strange, but it is a fact that rice can soak up the excess water from the boots.

Take a large container so that it can hold the boots. Fill the box with an inch of rice, put the wet boots on top, and cover the lead.

Leave it overnight; the rice will soak up the excess wetness from the boots.

Method 6: Use A Shoe Insert

You can also use a shoe insert for drying the boots. Shoe inserts are specially designed to soak up the moisture from the wet boots preventing any foul smell. Also, the shoe insert has an antimicrobial layer that prevents any growth of bacteria.

Shoe inserts come in various shapes and sizes you can buy according to your boot.

Method 7: The Warmth Of The Sun

Now comes the hottest and natural dryer, the sun.

Leave your wet boots in the backyard in the sunlight. The beam of the sun vaporizes the water, and the heat kills the bacteria of the boots.

It is a slow process. It can take up to 1-2 days for drying, depends on the heat of the sun.

Do not leave the boots in the direct sun for too long. Excessive sun exposure can damage the material of the leather.

Aftercare Of Drying The Boots


If you are thinking, just drying the boots will make them ready to wear, you are wrong. Once you finish the drying process, you need to work a bit more to repair the appearance and strength of the boots

There is a growth of bacteria in the boots from sweaty feet, which can cause fungal infection in the toes. Applying the towel or newspaper method to dry your wet boots only suck up the moisture they do not kill the bacteria. Using an ultraviolet shoe sanitizer makes your boots germ free. Using a UV shoe sanitizer in your wet boots can extinguish all the germs and bacteria within 45-50 minutes.

Things To Avoid While Drying Boots

There is a tendency of the leather boots being flaky; this happens for various reasons, lack of maintenance, over-drying, and many more. I tried to include some of the things you should avoid while drying and maintaining a boot pair.

  • We often make the mistake of drying the boots in the direct heat of sunlight. Excessive heat can cause the boots creased and break. Too much heat can melt the glue that holds the layers of the boots together.
  • Do not place your boots near a fire, or if you are using a hairdryer for drying, keep a distance of at least 2-3 meters. Excess heat can damage the boot fabric.
  • Do not keep your boots in a small or air-tight place. Keep the boots in a good air circulated area so that there is no chance of bacteria growing, fungus, or a foul smell coming from the shoes.

Follow our guide to know Can You Wear Vans To Work At Walgreens.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for shoes to dry?

Enough heat and air movement will help the boots dry fast, not more than 12 hours. But if your boots are excessively wet, you can use a boot dryer or newspaper method to make the boots dry.

Can you dry boots in the oven?

For drying your boots or sandal quickly, you can use a heater, hairdryer, or even an oven. When using a hairdryer, keep the dryer 2-3 meters away from the boots and use a low temperature. Heater does the same thing. It is better to place a few newspapers between the shoes and the heat source.

Are boot dryers bad for boots?

Boot dryers are useful to remove the excess moisture from the boots when they are wet. Apart from eliminating foul odors and fungus, dryers can successfully remove material decaying agents like mold and mildew. Also, the boot dryer ensures the longevity of the boots.


When you invest a handsome amount of money in a pair of work boots you don’t want them to get ruined in 1 or 2 months. To keep the boots sturdy and have an increased life span, keeping the boots dry is a must.

By any chance, if you get your boots wet, do not waste any time. Just follow any of the methods that I have described earlier and made your boots dry and ready to wear again.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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