How to Quickly Dry Your Soaked Running Shoes: Top Hacks Revealed!

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

Picture this: you’ve just crushed an intense run through muddy trails or been caught in an unexpected rain shower during your jog. Your trusty running shoes are soaked, and you’re left wondering how on earth to get them dry, fast!

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Every runner faces this soggy shoe situation sooner or later. But here’s the deal: letting them air dry naturally might test your patience for days. Who has time for that when you’re eager to hit the pavement again?

That’s where we come in! We’ve got some nifty tricks up our sleeves to turbocharge your shoe-drying game. No more waiting around, no risk of nasty smells or shoe damage – just quick, efficient drying.

So, if you’re ready to learn how to rescue your running shoes from the sogginess, stick around. We’re about to lace up and dive into some fantastic shoe-drying hacks that will have you back on the run in no time.

Why Should you Dry Your Running Shoes Properly?

Imagine this: you’re out on a trail, and suddenly, the heavens open up, drenching you and your precious running shoes. Or maybe you decided to embrace the elements, ran through puddles, and now your shoes are waterlogged. Either way, it’s a wet, soggy situation, and it’s not just about squishy, uncomfortable steps.

First off, running in wet shoes can lead to a symphony of problems.

The chronic stench is a real concern. You see when your shoes are damp, they become the perfect breeding ground for odorous bacteria. Trust me; you don’t want to be known as the runner with the funky-smelling shoes!

And let’s not forget about blisters – those pesky, painful companions that can make your runs a living nightmare.

But wait, there’s more!

Fungal infections, like athlete’s foot, can also rear their ugly heads. The warm, moist environment inside your wet shoes is an invitation for fungi to throw a party on your feet.

No RSVP is required!

Now, here’s the kicker: if you keep running in those soggy sneakers, you might be compromising their very structure. Your running shoes are like the trusty sidekicks of your running adventures, and they deserve some love and care.

Imagine spending $80 to $150 on a pair of sneakers every couple of months – that’s a lot of dough that could be better spent on, well, more running gear!

Additional Resource – Here’s a list of the best running shoe brands.

How To Dry Your Running Shoes Fast

Here are some of the best strategies to help you get your running shoes dry and ready for tomorrow.


First things first, the separation game. It might sound like a bit of extra work, but trust me; it’s worth it to ensure your running shoes dry out as fast as possible. So, here’s the drill:

  • Step one – ditch the laces! Yup, those trusty shoelaces need to go. Removing them might feel like a tiny hassle, but it’s a game-changer. Why, you ask? Well, it’s all about letting that air circulate freely inside your shoes.
  • Step two – if it’s doable, say goodbye to your insoles too. Out they come! Think of them as little sponges holding onto all that moisture. By taking them out, you’re allowing your shoes to dry from the inside out. Smart, right?

But wait, there’s more!

Now, let’s talk about your shoe’s tongue – that little flap of material inside your shoe. Gently pull it forward. This simple move helps air reach those hidden nooks and crannies, making sure every part of your shoe gets a fair shot at drying.

Now, let’s address the mud and stains situation. If your shoes are not just wet but also sporting some artistic mud patterns, it’s time for a little cleaning session. Grab a trusty handbrush or even a used toothbrush (yes, your old toothbrush can still be useful) and give those shoes a good scrub. The cleaner your shoes, the easier it’ll be for them to dry.

Additional resource – Here’s the full guide to running shoe anatomy.

Get Old Newspaper

Newspapers are made from wood pulp and recycled material, which makes them super absorbent. They’re like sponges for your shoes but without the mess.

So, let’s get down to business:

Grab a few sheets of crinkled-up newspaper or some trusty paper towels. Don’t be stingy; you’ll want a good amount.

Start crumpling those sheets and stuff them inside your soggy shoes. Two full sheets should do the trick. Place one in the heel area and the other in the toe-box.

Now, here’s the waiting game. Let the newspaper work its magic for at least one to two hours. It’s absorbing all that unwanted moisture and, yes, those funky odors, too.

Remember, patience is key. Once your shoes are nicely stuffed, find them in a cozy spot in a well-ventilated area. Just not in direct sunlight, please. Nobody wants sun-faded sneakers.

Check back every few hours and replace the newspaper as needed. You’ll be amazed at how much water and dampness those sheets can wring out.

Now, a word of caution: avoid using heavily inked newspaper sheets, especially if your shoes are white. We don’t want any accidental tie-dye experiments, do we?

Additional resource – How to clean running shoes

Fan It Out

After a wet run or a thorough wash, you want your shoes to dry up ASAP, right? Well, I’ve got just the solution, and it’s a breeze – literally!

First things first, spread the mouth of your running shoes as wide as they’ll go. You want that airflow to work its magic inside.

Now, grab your trusty high-speed fan. If it’s a floor fan, it’s even better. Place your damp shoes and insoles right in front of it. Make sure your fan is secure and out of the way so it doesn’t join the ranks of your soggy shoes.

Ready? Turn that fan on to max speed, and let the dry air do its thing!

You see, the fast-moving air will swoop in, flowing through and around your shoes’ material, and before you know it, they’ll be as dry as a desert in high summer.

Now, what if you’ve only got a ceiling fan? No problemo! Grab a chair, put your wet shoes up on an elevated platform (that chair, in case you forgot), and crank that fan to max speed. Voilà, you’ve got your own shoe-drying station!

Additional Reading  – Your guide to the heel-to-toe drop.

Put Them In A Dry Place

You’ve followed all the fantastic drying techniques, and your shoes are well on their way to being bone dry. But remember, this last step is like the icing on the cake – it’s crucial to seal the deal!

So, here’s the deal: at some point, your shoes might still be a tad moist, but fear not, we’ve got you covered. The trusty newspaper and fan method can do wonders, but there’s a limit to its superpowers. When the humidity is minimal, it’s time to switch to the old-fashioned air-drying method.

Here’s what you do:

Find a cozy spot where the air is dry and warm. You want your shoes to have the best chance to bid farewell to any lingering moisture.

Please resist the urge to bring out the big guns – I’m talking about heating tools like a hair dryer. While it might seem like a speedy solution, it can actually do more harm than good. Heat can damage your shoe’s fabric, causing it to crack and warp – not exactly what we’re aiming for.

Additional resource – Running Shoes Vs. Cross Trainers

How To Not Dry Your Running Shoes

There are many things you should never do when trying to dry your running shoes.

These include:

Putting Running Shoes in the Dryer

Picture this: you’re in a hurry, and the thought of wet shoes is just unbearable. So, you think, “Why not toss them into the dryer? It’ll be quick, right?” Wrong! Please, for the sake of your beloved sneakers and your trusty dryer, refrain from this temptation.

So why this is such a bad idea?

For starters, the high heat inside your dryer can do a number on your shoes. It can break down the glue that holds them together, and let’s be real, no one wants their shoes falling apart mid-run!

Moreover, remember the upper part of your shoes? Well, the dryer doesn’t care about their well-being. The intense heat can compromise the upper, causing it to crack. That’s not just a cosmetic issue – it affects the fit and performance of your shoes.

What’s more?

If you ever wanted your shoes to resemble something out of a sci-fi movie, the dryer can help with that. It may irreversibly warp your shoes, turning them into a space-age experiment gone wrong.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to break in new running shoes.

No Hair Dryer

I get it: wet shoes are a buzzkill, and you’re eager to hit the road again. But hear us out—using a hairdryer isn’t the hero you’re looking for, and here’s why:

First and foremost, it’s a time warp. Trust us; you’ll be standing there forever, holding that hairdryer like a wand from Hogwarts. There’s just no fast-forward button on this magical journey.

Let’s talk danger! Holding a hairdryer for extended periods can be risky business. The intense heat can damage the glue that holds your shoes together. And if you’re not careful, you might end up melting the rubber sections. Your shoes won’t thank you for that, and neither will your fingers!

What’s more?

If you’re impatient (and let’s face it, we all are when our shoes are involved), you might leave the hairdryer unattended inside your shoes. This is a recipe for disaster, folks! It’s not just your shoes that are at risk; your home might join the bonfire party.

No Direct Sun Exposure

Of course, sunlight has this magical aura that can make all your worries disappear. But when it comes to your beloved running shoes, it might not be the knight in shining armor you’re looking for, and here’s why:

For starters, the sun’s rays can speed up the drying process, and that’s awesome. But, and it’s a big BUT, those rays can also fade your shoes like an Instagram filter gone wrong. Your vibrant, neon sneakers might turn into pastel pretenders..

Moreover, let’s talk science! The sun’s UV rays can be quite the troublemakers when they meet synthetic and rubber materials in your shoes. It’s like a showdown between good and evil, and your shoes usually don’t win. Those rays can damage your shoe’s inner workings, leading to a swift decline in their performance.

Oh, and there’s more drama! Remember the glue and seams that hold your shoes together? Well, when they come face to face with UV rays, it’s like a soap opera. They can start corroding and falling apart, leaving your shoes in tatters.

No Bad Storage

Your shoes deserve better than being confined to a dark, dank dungeon, like the trunk of your car or a gym bag buried under your old socks. These places are like breeding grounds for bacteria and trust us, the smells won’t be pleasant.

Imagine if you had to spend your life stuck in a cramped space with no fresh air. Not fun, right? Well, your shoes feel the same way. They need proper ventilation to stay fresh and ready for action.

The fact is that your wet shoes prefer a mild, stable temperature. Extreme heat or cold can mess with the materials and glue that hold them together. So, no hot attics or freezing garages, please.

So if you’ve got a spacious wardrobe, it’s a great place for your shoes to call home. Good air circulation and protection from the elements make it a cozy spot.

What’s more?

Consider mounted shelves on the wall. They not only save floor space but also allow your shoes to breathe freely. Plus, it’s a neat way to display your shoe collection like a work of art.

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