How to Dry your Boots Overnight
There is nothing better than having an energising walk amongst the beauty of nature. Rain or shine, there are many physical and mental benefits of regular walking. However, knowing you have to put on wet shoes the next day to continue the adventure is very off-putting! Here at LOWA, we have put together a guide to help you dry your boots overnight, so that you can hit the trails the next day in comfort and ease.
Start the Process ASAP
As soon as you get back from your hike, the process to dry your shoes should start immediately to ensure maximum drying time is available through the evening.
Clean Them First
Before you start to dry out your shoes, all traces of mud should be removed. This is because leaving dirt on the boots while drying them could leave a permanent stain on the surface. For more information, take a look at our blog on how to clean suede walking footwear which provides insightful guidance on how best to clean them.
Remove the Insole if Possible
If the insoles of your shoes can be removed, it is best to do this where possible. By doing this, each insole can dry individually and more effectively. Furthermore, the whole boot may dry more efficiently as air can circulate throughout the shoes and get amongst the hidden away parts with the removal of the insoles. Many good quality walking boots should have this function.
Take Out the Laces
This may sound like a bit of hassle, but to ensure your boots dry efficiently, it is best to remove the laces. Similar to the insoles, the laces will be able to dry more successfully individually and air will be more likely to reach parts of the shoes that the laces may usually cover.
Avoid Direct Heat
Ideally, drying your boots without putting them in direct heat is the best and safest method. Of course, you may need a heater, wood stove or campfire to help increase the general area of the room or space, but boots should not be placed directly in front or near them. This is mainly because too much heat can damage the exterior of the boots, such as glue or other materials which hold the shoes together. Using a blow dryer should also be avoided.
Methods to Dry Boots Overnight
There are a number of ways you can dry your boots overnight, depending on the resources you have available.
Using Newspaper or Kitchen Roll
If you have either of these materials available, stuffing your boots with these is ideal for soaking up any excess moisture. For newspaper, removing sheets and rolling up into small balls is the best way to stuff your boots. The rolls should be reasonably loose as if they are too tight water may not be absorbed effectively. Another tip is to tear holes through the newspaper before scrunching. Place the paper or kitchen roll throughout the boot, all the way up into the leg opening. Again, make sure not to stuff too tightly as the paper needs a bit of space to soak the water. You can replace the kitchen roll or newspaper after a few hours to remove the first load of moisture before sleeping, or as many times as needed when the materials have been soaked.
Using Cat Litter or Rice in a Sock
To use either of the above materials, you will also need the correct sized bucket to place your boots in, alongside the rice or kitty litter. Fill the bucket to roughly one inch high of rice or cat litter and then put the shoes inside. Insert the socks and cover the top with a lid and leave overnight. Similar to the newspaper method, you can replace the rice/ kitty litter where you feel appropriate, depending on the amount of moisture to be removed.
Using a Fan
This is regarded as one of the most effective and safest methods to dry walking shoes overnight. The best way is to use a non heated fan which has a long stand. To attach the boots to the fan, you will need a wire that can hook onto the exterior of the fan and the shoes. Place a towel below the shoes to soak up any water droplets as the boots dry. If you can, it is most useful to leave the fan running overnight.
Using a Towel
Similar to the newspaper method, except a towel is used to soak up the moisture. Make sure to clean the shoes beforehand and then place two corners of a towel in each boot. Then wrap the remaining two edges of the towel around the shoes to cover them entirely. The towel should be left for a few minutes to soak up the initial moisture and then removed. Repeat the process with a fresh, dry towel and leave. As you would predict, it is best to use old towels for this method!
Using a Boot Dryer
This is an excellent gadget for anyone who has a fair few pairs of walking boots or shoes in their home. A good dryer should be around two horsepower to ensure there is a perfect amount of hot air to dry the shoes properly. Simply place the pipe inside the boot and ensure it is pushed to the toe edge. Next, turn the dryer on. For a completely dry boot, leave for one to two hours.
Put them in a Dry Room
This is essential to ensure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste! Taking the time to dry your boots using any of the above methods and then putting them in a cold, wet room will only end up in wet shoes again. Make sure wherever you leave them overnight, the room or space is dry and warm.
If you are in need of some new walking shoes for the season, take a look at our extensive selection of men’s and women’s lightweight hiking boots.