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Cross Training For Runners

How To Dry Running Shoes The Fast & Safe Way

5 Mins read

If you’re regularly looking for how to dry running shoes as fast and as safe as possible, then worry no more.

Getting your running shoes wet—whether while training or after a thorough wash—is inevitable. All runners have been there and will be there at some point, sooner or later.

Regardless of the reason your shoes got wet, the next thing you need to do is dry and dry them fast, especially if you’re running in the near future (and only have one pair, have more, please).

Though letting the shoes air dry over time does work, it can take days.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks that speed up the drying process while also dodging any risk of mold, mildew smell, and damage to the shoe. That’s where the rest of the article comes in handy.

In this article, I’ll share with you my favorite tips for drying your running shoes in a fast, efficient, yet safe manner.

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

Why Should you Dry Your Running Shoes Properly?

Running in wet shoes not only feels terrible but can also introduce other risks. These may include chronic stench, blisters, fungal infection, and unexpected costs.

Not only that, you might end up compromising the structure that makes up your shoes, damaging them in the process.

This can be painful since a good pair of running shoes isn’t cheap, and nobody wants to shell out the $80 to $150 on a pair of sneakers every couple of months.

What’s more?

Your feet might have less equilibrium in a pair of wet shoes. This could irritate your joints and lead to injury.

Enough said.

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.


This may sound like a bit of a hassle, but to make sure your running shoes dry fast and efficiently, it’s best to remove the laces.

You should also, if possible, remove the insoles of your shoes as well as stretch out the shoe’s tongue forward.

The whole shoe may dry faster if more air is circulating throughout it and reach the hidden parts with the removal of laces and the insoles.

Stains and mud on the shoe? Take a hand brush or a used toothbrush and get rid of them as much as possible. Deep clean if you need to.

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

can you put running shoes in the dryer

Get Old Newspaper

If your running shoes are completely soaked, getting them dry with nothing but air circulation can take ages. I know I’m kinda exaggerating, but if you ever had to cancel a run because of wet shoes, then you know the struggle. It sucks.

One reliable method is to put used up newspapers inside the shoes. The stuff is made from wood pulp and recycled material, which is super absorbent.

In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much water just a couple of balls of crumpled paper in each shoe will pull out.

The sheets are not only efficient at soaking up water but also stench smells.

Here’s how.

Crumble up a few sheets of crinkled-up newspaper or paper towel and stuff away.

I’d recommend using two full sheets: one in the heel area and the other in the toe-box area.

Last up, let the newspaper do its job for at least one to two hours.

Once your shoes are stuffed, make sure to place them in a well-ventilated area, preferably away from direct sunlight.

Every few hours, replace the newspaper until the shoes are relatively dry.

By then, it’s just a matter of air drying.

Just try it out. Got nothing to lose.

Be careful, though. Avoid using heavily inked sheets of the newspaper as they might bleed onto your shoes, especially if your shoes are white.

Additional resource – How to clean running shoes

Fan It Out

Another hack to swiftly get your shoes back on the road is some fanning.

It’s simple, too.

Open the mouth of your running shoes as wide as possible.

Next, place the shoes and insoles directly in front of a high-speed fan. Remember to put the fan up somewhere stable, safe, and out of the way.

The fast, dry air coming from the fan will flow through and around the material of shoes and dry them in no time. The sooner you do this, the faster your shoes dry.

Only have a ceiling fan? Then get a chair and put your wet shoes on the elevated platform with the fan on max speed.

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

Put Them In A Dry Place

The last step is key, so don’t let all of your hard work go to waste.

Sooner or later, your shoes will remain relatively moist, but the newspaper and fan method will stop working as there’s too little humidity to be fully absorbed.

Once you reach this stage, air drying is the ideal way to remove the remaining dampness.

Make sure to leave your shoes in a room or space that’s dry and warm where moisture and humidity are limited. You don’t want mold to linger inside your shoes.

Avoid using heating tools like a hair dryer as it can damage the fabric of the shoe, causing it to crack and wrap.

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:

Can you Put Running Shoes in the Dryer

Throwing your sneakers into the dryer achieves nothing but adds more wear and tear to them as well as likely damage your dryer (and shoes).

The high heat can break down the glue that holds your running shoes together. It can also compromise the upper and cause it to crack.  Not worth it.

The dryer may also irreversibly warp the shoes, which will impact their fit and performance.

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

No Hair Dryer

Using a hairdryer to soak up moisture away from your running shoes is both a waste of time and energy. It’s also dangerous.

Holing the drier for a long time can actually damage the glute and melt the rubber sections if you’re not careful.

What’s more?

The heat may amp up the odor factors as well as damage the adhesive and materials.

And since you’ll likely get impatient holding the hairdryer, you might leave the shoes unattended with the device stuck inside if. This not only creates a fire hazard not only for the shoes but your home as well.

Moreover, hairdryers aren’t designed for prolonged use, so short circuits risk is high.

No Direct Sun Exposure

Another common drying method to avoid is putting your running shoes outside under direct exposure to the sun.

The sun’s light may help speed up the drying process as well as remove unwanted odors but can also fade your shoes and cut their lifespan short.

The sun’s UV rays can damage the synthetic and rubber material used within your shoes. This, in turn, will result in a fast decline and corrosion of any glue and seams in your shoes.

No Bad Storage

Storage also matters.

Don’t leave your running shoes-wet or dry—in a locker, gym bag, the truck of your car, or some dark corner in the garage without proper ventilation.

This only makes them a breeding ground for bacteria and nasty smells.

The perfect place is somewhere with a mild temperature that has good air circulation and is dust-free. The wardrobe, as long as it has enough space, is one such place.

You can also store your shoes on mounted shelves on the wall or under your bed.

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