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How To Dry Hiking Boots? | 10 Fast and Effective Methods

You can refer to hiking as therapeutic, and one of the times you get to enjoy it is when you feel comfortable.  Your hiking boots make you feel comfortable and help keep your entire hike fun.

However, wet hiking boots could ruin your day. Not only can damp hiking boots cause blisters and irritate your feet, but they would also be heavier to lift.

On some days, you would need to dry your hiking boots quickly. And this could be because you wore them hiking, they got dirty, and you’d need to wear them the following day.

Before you change your mind about cleaning, you should know that dirt in hiking boots can make them age faster. So, you may need a quick fix to get them dry before your next hiking trip.

Generally, there are many ways to dry hiking boots, whether at an average pace or quickly. Before you search too far on how to dry hiking boots, we have collated a few methods you can try.

Let’s get right to it.

Cowboy Boots 1

How To Dry Hiking Boots?

What are the methods to dry hiking boots and still get them to last long? First, you should know that you can dry your hiking boots using different methods.

However, not all of them are good. Therefore, we’ll examine each method alongside its pros and cons. You can dry hiking boots with the following methods:

1. Dry them in the sun

Leaving your hiking boots out in the sun is the most natural way to dry them. You can dry your hiking boots under the sun when you aren’t in a hurry to get them dry.

So, after washing your boots or getting wet from rain or water, you could leave them to dry for a few hours. One thing you should pay attention to, however, is that you can’t leave them under the sun for too long.

Sometimes, you may forget your boots outside and may end up leaving them out for days. Your hiking boots don’t need that many sun rays to dry because they can be harsh on some of their materials, like leather.

Plus, your suede hiking boots may crack or harden due to exposure to excess sunlight.

dry hiking boot in the sun

Pros

  • It’s natural

Drying your hiking boots under the sun is natural and less damaging on your boots than other fast methods. In addition, you don’t need to add anything to your hiking boots to get them to dry.

  • Super easy

Drying your hiking boots in the sun is easy and costs nothing. You only have to put them outside, do other stuff and relax.

  • You can use it on the go

Another advantage of the sunlight method is that you can dry your hiking boots on the go.

For example, if your hiking boots get wet while on a hike, you can take them off and dry them in the sun before you return home while you take a break.

That way, you can protect your feet from blisters, bad smells and keep them dry before wearing them again.

Cons

  • It takes time

The sun method may not be the best drying option for you when you need your hiking boots to dry quickly. This method may take up to at least four hours to dry your boots properly.

So, if you’re in a hurry, you may have to try other methods.

  • Too much sun exposure is bad

Another disadvantage of drying your boots under the sun is that you may overdry them if you leave them out for too long. Too much sun exposure can make your boot’s real leather crack or overly dry, and they may lose their shine and quality.

As a result, you may reduce their lifespan. So, when trying this method, you have to be ready to check on your boots at intervals so you can take them in when dry. If you can’t do that, you should try other drying methods.

  • It’s not always available

Sunlight isn’t always available for use. That’s true if you are going through a snowy winter or damp autumn.

Also, you can’t dry your boots naturally under the sun on rainy days or at night.

2. Use cedar boot trees

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Another method you can try is to dry your hiking boots with a cedar boot tree. This method is effective in keeping your boots dry and in shape.

First, you need to insert the boot trees in your hiking boots and then leave them in to suck the moisture. This method doesn’t harm your boots or make them crack in any way.

In fact, cedar woods are suitable for your boots as they also serve as repellents for insects, so they don’t live in your boots.

Pros

  • It’s safe and effective

Drying your hiking boots with cedar boot tree is effective. They suck the moisture in your boots and leave them dry. Also, they don’t hurt your hiking boots like some other drying method.

Instead, they protect your wet hiking boots from becoming homes to insects. Plus, their smell can also replace the stinking wet smell your boots emits when damp. Also, they help keep your hiking boots in shape.

Cons

  • It isn’t cheap

You need to buy a cedar boot tree for you to use unless you know someone who owns them and can let you use them. So, it’s more expensive than other methods that hardly cost a dime.

3. Use a boot dryer

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This technique is one of the most popular ways to dry your hiking boots. This is because they are fast, effective, and safe to use.

It’s almost a necessity if you love hiking and go hiking often. You would need them most, especially during rainy seasons when you can hardly get them to dry naturally under the sun.

Moreover, makers of boots dryers made them specifically for that purpose, so they’ll be very effective.

Pros

  • It’s fast

Here’s the truth, this method is very fast, as it circulates air quickly within your boots, leaving them dry inside out. Also, you could dry multiple boots at a go if you have a few of them to dry.

  • Safe method

Boots dryers will keep your hiking boots in shape without damaging any material in them. At the same time, they are very convenient to use.

Cons

  • It’s not cheap

Boots dryers cost some money to get.

  • You can’t use them on the go

They require that you plug them in for you to use them. So, you can’t get to use them when hiking, and you need to dry your boots quickly.

4. Use a table fan

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Another effective way to dry your hiking boots is to use a table fan. What you only need is the air they blow. This method is safe, easy, and fast.

After washing your hiking boots, leave them on the table, plug the fan in and let it face your wet boots. However, ensure your hiking boots are lying flatly on the table so the air can enter them and dry them inside out.

Then, you can allow them to dry overnight if you need to wear them hiking the next day.

Pros

  • It’s safe

Table fans blow air, which dries things naturally. So, it’s safe to dry with table fans. However, unlike sunlight, they are not harsh on your hiking boots and don’t make them crack or harden.

  • Easier

Drying your hiking boots with a table fan is relatively easy. You can use fans when you need your boots to dry and wear them hiking.

It’s also easy because you don’t have to do much, and the fan does most of the work. For example, you only need to wash your hiking boots and place them in front of the fan.

Cons

  • It’s not cheap

You would need a table fan to use this method. So, if you don’t have one, you have to try other methods or buy one, which will cost you some dollars.

Although, another option would be to expose them to wind or natural air, and that would take a longer period for them to dry.

  • They require electricity

You need to plug fans in before you use them, meaning that you can only use them when you’re home.

So, for example, you can’t use them when you need to dry your hiking boots on a camping or hiking trip, unless you have a rechargeable one.

  • The boots may not get completely dry

You can feel a little dampness occurring in some thick parts of the boots even when you have fanned them for days. You may still need to hang footwear under the sun ray a bit more to get a real pleasant try on the feet.

5. Use household powder

Sometimes, you can get your hiking to dry out by using household powder, like baby powder, corn starch, or talcum powder. Their purpose is to suck your hiking boots’ dampness and leave them dry.

You can try this method when you wash them at night, and you need them to dry by morning, and there’s no sunlight option. So, what you do is sprinkle the household powder on your hiking boots and leave them for hours.

In the morning, you would realize that the powder would’ve absorbed the moisture in your boots. Then you’ll have dry hiking boots, and you can remove the wet powder from your boots.

corn starch

Pros

  • They don’t require any tools

This method doesn’t require much, just essential household powder that you probably have lying around your home. So, you just sprinkle the powder on your boots.

  • It’s economical

With this method, you use what you have in your home. So you don’t need to spend more buying boot dryers, fans, or some other drying tools. You only need to buy them if you don’t have them in your home.

  • They are effective

This method is effective in drying hiking boots. The powder sucks the moisture in your boots, leaving them dry and clean afterward.

Cons

  • They are not a quick fix.
  • Probably mess the boots in and out.
  • It’s not ideal for wet boots (should be used for little damp footwear only).

6. Stuff them up

You can get your hiking boots to dry up by stuffing them up. For example, you can stuff them with newspaper or toilet paper, leave them in and wait till they dry.

While the newspaper or toilet paper is in the boots, they suck the moisture in the boots and leave your boots dry afterward. This method is easy and straightforward as long as you have newspapers in your home to use.

One problem is that this method requires a lot of paper to fill the hiking boots until they’re snug and full.

stuff hiking boots with crumble paper

Pros

  • It’s easy and simple

This method of drying hiking boots is easy. It doesn’t require much, just old newspapers that you don’t use anymore. Also, they don’t require that much effort to execute.

  • They’re safe

Newspapers aren’t harsh on your hiking boots; in fact, they have almost no effect. They don’t suck out the oil or shine in your hiking boots, especially if they’re the leather ones.

Additionally, they don’t mess with the shape of your hiking boots. Your hiking boots remain pretty much the same size after you remove the newspapers from them, unless you plan on stretching them while drying them.

Stuffing your hiking boots up is an excellent way to stretch them if they’re too tight or stiff on your feet. So, you can get two things done with this method and make your feet happy and comfortable in your boots.

While this is possible, you may have to try them and leave the newspapers in them for the best results. Unfortunately, that means that when your boots aren’t dry yet, you have to replace the wet newspapers with dry ones, so they work effectively.

Cons

  • It’s not quick

This method may not be the best method for you if you need a quick fix. Also, you may need to keep swapping out the wet newspapers with dry ones occasionally till your boots are dry.

  • It’s not convenient

Wet newspaper may be crumbling inside causing dirt and messes all around.

7. Dry them with rice

Another effective way to dry your hiking boots is to dry them with rice. This method is an old western way of sucking moisture in things.

You can try this procedure when you want your boots to dry overnight, and you have no other options available. What you need to do is get a container you’re sure will accommodate your hiking boots properly.

Then you add rice to the container and put your hiking boots inside. Afterward, you need to wait till the rice is done with its magic and leaves your boots dry.

You could also pour rice into socks or small bags, tie them up and insert them into your hiking boots.

stuff hiking boots with rice in socks

Pros

  • It’s simple

Soaking your hiking boots in rice is pretty much straightforward. You don’t need to get tools, and in most cases, you probably usually have rice in your home. So, it’s usually simple and easy to execute.

  • Effective

This technique has existed for some time, and people have tried using it to dry other things minus hiking boots. So, of course, in the end, you would get the result that you desire.

Cons

  • It’s expensive and may be wasting

Soaking your hiking boots in rice is quite expensive and non economic. How? First, rice isn’t cheap to buy and requires some dollars for you to get them.

Then, the rice becomes useless after using it to dry your boots, except you only want to keep using it for drying alone. So, this process may not be the best one to try.

If you need to dry your hiking boots quickly, you can use the table fan, newspapers, or household powder instead. They’re cheaper.

8. Use bath towels

You can suck out dampness in hiking boots by using bath towels. You may want to consider having some hand bath towels just for that purpose when you buy your hiking boots.

You could easily use them when the rain drenches your hiking boots, or you step on a pool of water. Also, you can carry them around and use them on the go, so you don’t have to wait till you return home to dry your hiking boots.

All you have to do is place bath towels in your hiking boots. And since they are super absorbent, they work pretty effectively and fast.

stuff hiking boots with bath towel

Pros

  • They’re portable

Bath towels are portable, and you can carry them with you when hiking. That way, you don’t have to wear wet boots throughout hiking, deal with irritation or leave your feet susceptible to blisters. You can also use them to dry your boots when you’re home.

Cons

  • They don’t dry your hiking boots completely

One downside with this method is that they don’t completely dry your hiking boots. So while it may suck out moisture from your boots quickly, your hiking boots will still feel wet after.

They are most effective when you need a temporary fix. However, if you need your hiking boots without any moisture, you’d need to try other methods that’ll make them completely dry, like using a table fan or sunlight.

9. Use a hairdryer

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This is one of the methods you should try when you want a quick fix. Not only is it fast, it’s highly effective in drying your hiking boots in no time.

The hair dryer blows hot air at different temperatures, which helps dry out the moisture in your boots. So, if you have a hairdryer in your home, you could use them once in a while to dry your hiking boots.

However, you shouldn’t use them often or at high temperatures as they can damage your boots.

Pros

  • Fast

This method is one of the quick ways to dry your hiking boots. In a short moment, you get to wear your dry hiking boots out.

Cons

  • It’s not the best for your hiking boots

While a hair dryer can dry your hiking boots quickly, you shouldn’t use them often as they can damage your boots. They could reduce your boots’ lifespan, and you can say goodbye to them earlier than you should.

Excessive heat can make your hiking boots crack, hard, dry, and lose their shine. This could be especially bad if your hiking boots’ material is leather, especially suede.

Also, if the temperature is high, they could melt the glue in your hiking boots and ruin other stuff, and make your boots fall apart. So, this method isn’t the safest method for your hiking boots. You should maybe consider other safer methods like using newspapers or fans.

  • Shorten the hair dryer lifespan

It’s worth mentioning that if you dry your boots at one point for more than 1 minute, the device will often shut down completely. You even can smell a burn in the air. So, you may not get the expected result but also have a broken hairdryer.

10. Wear them

Trust us; you can also get your hiking boots to dry out by wearing them. This is one of the methods you can try on the go.

If your hiking boots get wet while hiking, you can wear them, and your socks would suck the moisture from them. Also, you could try this method when you don’t have any other options, and you need to go hiking anyways. Keep in mind to not step on something wet to make things worse.

However, you’ll need a couple of thick socks to swap, so you can change each pair as they get wet. However, this method is very uncomfortable, as your feet could smell or your boots may irritate your skin.

wear hiking boots in forest

Pros

  • Simple and straightforward

This method is as simple as wearing your hiking boots. The only difference is that your boots are wet, and you need them to dry up.

  • It’s cheap

You don’t need anything to try this method. You only need your regular hiking socks, and of course, yourself to wear them on the hiking trail.

Con

  • It’s very uncomfortable

This method is very uncomfortable because wet boots cause foot irritation. Also, wet boots equal heavy boots, so this adds to the discomfort. At the same time, it makes you susceptible to injuries.

Can I Put My Hiking Boots In The Dryer?

the dryer

Yes, you can put your hiking boots in the dryer. This method is one of the fastest methods to dry your hiking boots. Additionally, dryers are super effective in sucking out moisture from stuff. You can consider it as a quick fix if you need to wear your boots hiking in a short period.

However, it is not the best method to get your hiking boots dry. In fact, they can damage your hiking boots. We advise you not to expose your hiking boots to direct heat, as they melt the glue in the hiking boots and other materials.

Not only that, they could mess up with the hiking boots material, leaving them dry and cracked. If you have to use this method, you shouldn’t use it too often so your boots can last a long time.

Other alternatives you could consider are using a fan, stuffing them up, and other economical and safe methods.

Conclusion

On many occasions, you would need your hiking boots to dry, especially when you wash them or they get unexpectedly wet from the rain. Hence, the reason why you want to know how to dry hiking boots.

There are many ways you can get your hiking boots to dry out, naturally and unnaturally. So, we have listed some of those methods in this article alongside the pros and cons of each technique.

You can choose from any of them, which you think is safer, more economical, and can preserve your hiking boots lifespan. Know that wearing dry hiking boots is vital as you hike, so you should ensure your boots are dry before your next hiking trip.

Good luck with any of these methods!


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