Are Boot Dryers Bad For Boots?

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Boot dryers are highly beneficial, especially for those of us living in a snowy or wet environment. It helps get rid of bacteria and fungus, which can cause our feet to smell and even get infected with Athletes’ Feet. But then the question comes arises… Are boot dryers bad for boots?

A straightforward answer is ‘no.’ Boot dryers are designed to be friendly with most shoe materials like leather, plastic, canvas, rubber, modern fabrics, cloth, and vinyl. These devices use low heat, which means the heat produced is not hot enough to cause damage to the glue and other materials that bond the footwear together.

Apart from removing foul smells, and getting rid of the fungus, dryers can effectively eliminate material deteriorating agents such as mold and mildew. Boot dryers are not bad for boots.

Instead, it ensures the durability of the boots or shoes. In this post, I will attempt to clear all your questions regarding boot dryers. I hope you will have a clear understanding after you read this article.

Kendal Shoes Boots Gloves Dryer SI-SD06G

Are All Boot And Shoe Dryers Safe For Footwear?

The majority of the boot dryers can be used safely on all kinds of footwear. There are some dryers, usually the cheaper models, which I wouldn’t recommend to use with certain types of footwear. More detailed information you can find in the user’s manual, so this should not be an issue.

There are three types of boot or shoe dryers, thermal convection, forced air, UV, and PTC shoe dryers. Convection dryers and force air dryers are the most popular types of dryers.

Thermal convection dryers use convective heat transfer, meaning warm air rises naturally, the flow of air channeled into specially designed channels.

Force air dryers use fans to circulate warm air, while PTC dryers use a heat generator and force air to dry shoes.

Boot dryers have a heat regulator that does not allow the device to exceed the limited temperatures, which is why there is no chance of overheating.

In addition to this, some models have heat detectors, cold or hot air drying, and a timer to shut off the device automatically.

The only chance there is to cause the device to overheat is if you place it near a heat source, or restrict the flow of air from the air chambers.

When used correctly, it can dry shoes, gloves, work boots, waders, ski boots,  and even helmets without causing any sort of damage.

Are Boot Dryers Bad For Leather Boots?

A lot of people ask me this question quite often, and I always reply to them with an outright ‘no.’ Boot dryers are safe for leather boots, here are some reasons.

  • Leather is one of the most robust materials used for making boots.
  • It has very high tensile strength, is tear-resistant, and has high flexing resistance.
  • Most leather boots are also resistant to charring or have a certain level of heat resistance.

So, the question “Are boot dryers bad for leather boots”, is not relevant.

Leather boots, however, do not perform as well as rubber boots in the rain. It can soak a large amount of water if exposed to water for a considerable amount of time.

That is why leather boots are not so easy to dry. It takes longer to dry than most boots made of synthetic materials.

This is the only negative side a lot of users see in boot dryers, i.e., the time it takes today to a leather boot is usually longer.

Are Forced Air Boot Dryers Bad For Leather?

Forced air boot dryers are commonly used to dry wet or damp footwear. While these devices can be effective in quickly drying boots and shoes, there is some debate about whether they are harmful to leather materials.

Some experts suggest that prolonged exposure to forced hot air can cause the leather to dry out and crack, which can lead to permanent damage to the material.

Additionally, the intense heat from the dryer can cause the leather to shrink, resulting in an ill-fitting shoe or boot.

To avoid damaging your leather footwear, it is best to use a low-heat setting or to allow the boots to air dry naturally.

5 Ways To Avoid Damaging Footwear While Drying

Here is a list of five tips or ways to avoid damage when drying.

  1. One of the best ways to dry shoes naturally and traditionally is by wiping the shoes clean with a damp cloth and placing them in the sun. If there is no sunlight, stuff the shoes with an old newspaper and place them underneath the fan. Replace the paper when it gets moist.
  2. Never attempt to dry soaking wet boots on a dryer. Water is bad for electronic devices; it can cause the device to short circuit, and may even result in electric shock. Moreover, trying to put a soaking wet shoe on a boot dryer is a bad idea as it will take a very long time to dry. The best and the most effective way to dry a soaking wet boot or shoe is to wipe it first with a piece of cloth or a paper towel, then leave the rest of the job to the boot dryer.
  3. A crucial step is going through the user manual thoroughly. A user’s manual or manufacturer’s instructions have valuable information such as safety features, setting up the device, power requirements, and what types of materials can or cannot be used.
  4. Small shoes or other accessories such as gloves and helmets must be dried using the attachments. This will be more efficient, and the results will be better.
  5. Always use the dryer at the recommended room temperature. Do not place the device somewhere near a source of heat, such as a fireplace or a room heater. This can cause the dryer to overheat, thereby damaging the footwear and the device as well.


Boot and shoe dryers are well-designed devices; it is easy to use and safe for all types of footwear. This device is a must-have for people who love going camping, hunting, and fishing, and also for people living in wet regions.

Boot dryers not only dry footwear in a short time but also extend its lifespan by eliminating molds and mildew, which are material deteriorating agents.

I hope this article answers your question, are boot dryers bad for boots? If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to leave your comments below.

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