How to Dry Work Boots: 5 Easy and Effective Drying Methods

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If you spend the workday on your feet, you should know how to dry work boots properly to avoid them getting smelly. The bad odor isn’t the only risk, wet boots can also cause you blisters and make your feet sore.

Don’t forget that drying your boots the right way will make them last much longer so you don’t have to buy a new pair too soon. To help you out with this, I’ll show you the best ways how to dry work boots.

Dry feet are healthy feet, let’s keep them that way.

Knowing how to dry wet work boots will help you have a dry pair of boots the next day. On the other hand, some methods that people often resort to may even damage your favorite pair of work boots.

How to dry work boots

Some tips that I’ve read online are not really useful and some are even dead wrong and can even make more harm than good.

This article is based on the experience of seasoned hiking enthusiasts and people whose professions make them wear work boots all day.

Find out theirs and my best tips on how to keep feet dry in work boots.

Where to Start

For most of the things you do, good preparation is crucial if you want to do a good job. Keeping your work boots dry is not much different.

First thing first, you need to clean your work boots so there isn’t any dirt or mud left on them. You will clean them in two simple steps before you leave them to dry:

  • Don’t forget to remove the laces before you use some of these drying tips. They need to be cleaned and dried on their own.
  • If you got your work boots muddy, make sure that you wash them with a mild detergent to get the dirt off. You can soak up the water with an old rag.

This way, you will not get the dirt to dry and make it even harder to clean your boots.

Best Way to Dry Working Boots Fast

Working boots

It’s a bit ungrateful to say that one particular way is the best since it depends on what kind of boots you have and in what climate you live in.

Some boots are very thick and heavy and it takes a lot of effort to dry them when soaked.

However, there are a few tips and hacks that you can do to dry your boots as fast as possible.

If you want to know how to dry them overnight or faster, you should check the tips below. My favorite is the boot dryer, but you are free to choose your own.

1. Dry Work Boots With Fan

Electric fan for drying boots

This solution may seem a bit MacGuywer-esque, but it works fine and that’s what matters in the end. To pull this off, you need to have a very stable standing fan.

Make sure that you have a towel or a cloth underneath to soak up the potential drops. To start drying, you need to take a thicker wire or a coat hanger and shape it into a letter S.

Now that you have a sturdy hook, attach them to the top of the fan and hang your boots. Of course, the inside of the boots should face the fan and the toes turned upwards.

2. Out in The Sun

If you are lucky enough to live in a climate with a lot of sunlight, you automatically get a natural boot dryer.

The sun dries out your boots quite fast and also deals with dangerous pathogens that could be present.

It’s not the fastest, but it is the most sustainable solution for sure. Sadly, you will not be able to rely on it on cold or rainy days.

3. Use Rice

Dry working boots with rice

Do you know how people use rice to save their phones after they drop it into the water, or spill the water all over it? A similar method applies to your work boots.

If your boots are soaked, try filling plastic bins with rice to about 1” in height. Place your wet boots on top of the race and seal the bin if possible.

The rice will collect the water overnight, or even sooner.

4. Towels

Dry working boots with towel

This method will probably take some more effort, but it’s a quick way to dry your boots nonetheless. The only thing you are going to need is a dry towel or towels.

Make sure that you’ve prepared your boots properly before drying them. First, tuck the ends of the towel inside the boot and wrap it around the boot.

You will get the best effect if you place the boot in front of a fan. Replace the towel as necessary. If you have expensive and sensitive boots, this method is probably the safest.

5. Get a Boot Dryer

Ever since I discovered boot dryers I recommend them to anyone asking how to dry work boots fast and safe. These specialized devices either radiate heat or blow hot air into your boots to dry them out.

It’s the easiest and most reliable way of drying work boots. If you get your boots wet a lot, a good boot dryer will be a worthwhile investment for you.

You can find a boot dryer for almost any situation. There are both electric and gas boot dryers, portable and stationary ones and they come in all the sizes you may need.

Just place your boots on a dryer, set a timer and go on with your day. You will wake up to a pair of dry and warm boots the next day.

Read our top 15 boot dryer reviews and pick the perfect one for you!

How to Dry Work Boots Properly


Even experienced hikers and climbers have made these mistakes and I sure am guilty of some too.

Thanks to the power of the internet, you can now learn from our mistakes and not make them yourself.

Poor maintenance can ruin even the best-made work boots out there. Here are mistakes that you need to avoid to get the most out of your work boots:

  • Never place your boots near an open fire: If you got your boots wet while camping, place them at least 2-3 meters away from the campfire. This way you don’t risk melting the glue or burning them.
  • Avoid strong direct heat: Your first instinct will tell you to put your wet boots next to a heater, stove or a blow dryer, but you need to fight it. They will dry your boots, but they can also damage your boots and reduce their lifespan significantly.

You just need to avoid exposing your boots to strong heat sources and you will be fine most of the time.

The Importance of Keeping Your Shoes Dry

Wet boots are not only a source of annoyance but they can also have bad odor as well as fungal infections and other harmful bacteria. Here are 4 top reasons why you should keep your boots dry at all times:

  1. Damp boots can make your soles become macerated.
  2. Fungi and bacteria thrive on damp shoes and are the main reason behind bad foot odor.
  3. They will also lead to athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
  4. You may get plantar warts due to the human papillomavirus that grows in damp shoes.

Make sure to check your feet if you get your boots often a lot and visit a dermatologist if you notice anything suspicious. However, you can prevent this by drying your work boots regularly and keeping your feet dry.

How to Keep Feet Dry in Work Boots

Drying boots

Even if you know how to dry work boots the best way possible, it’s still annoying to do it every single day.

It’s much better and more practical to try to keep them dry in the first place. And there are several ways to do that.

Here’s what you can do to prevent your feet from sweating and keep them dry as much as possible:

  • Alternate between your work boots – Wearing the same boots all the dime doesn’t let them dry properly. Switch your boots every day if you can.
  • Wear a good pair of socks – Clean absorbent socks will wick the moisture and prevent odor and athlete’s foot.
  • Stuff the boots with newspaper – This old trick will pull the moisture out of your work boots and it’s easy and quick.
  • Use cat litter or silica gel packs – They both work great in absorbing the smell
  • Leave the work boots out in the sun – Sun rays will not only dry out your boots with heat but they will also kill the odor-causing bacteria.
  • Use boot dryers – They are a simple and quick way to keep your work boots dry at all times.

You will inevitably get your boot wet, whether it is due to rain or the sweat on a steaming hot day.

Now, you know how to dry work boots fast and safely and you will keep your feet healthy and significantly prolong the life of your boots.

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Put a stop to wet and soggy footwear by finding the right method to dry them fast without damaging them.