drying trainers

How to Dry Trainers Quickly

When you’re about to tackle your morning marathon, the last thing you want to do is stick your toasty toes into yucky damp trainers! 

So, how can you dry your trainers quickly? Easy. Either use some newspaper, a fan, a shoe dryer, some rice or a tumble dryer to dry your shoes! 

But don’t run off just yet! Find out exactly what you need to do to dry your trainers below.


How to Dry Trainers Fast

Below you’ll find different methods you can try out in order to dry your wet trainers.

Tips when drying trainers 

  • Always check the care label on your trainers (tag is usually hidden under the tongue of the trainer). The information here will tell you what material you’re working with and it will provide you with specific drying instructions. 
  • Take the insoles and laces out of your trainers and dry them separately. 
  • You might find that a combination of the methods below work well for your trainers. 
  • Try and choose the kindest and gentlest method for drying your trainers. Yes, speed is of the essence, but drying your trainers too quickly may ruin them. 
  • Good ventilation is key when drying trainers!

Method 1: Newspaper

dry trainers with newspaper

Drying time approximately: 12 hours – overnight

Steps to follow: 

  1. Remove any obvious dirt from your trainers by wiping them with a cloth. 
  2. Take out the insoles – air dry them separately.
  3. Take out the laces – air dry them separately.
  4. Open the trainers up wide. 
  5. Scrunch some newspaper up in your hand.
  6. Force newspaper into each trainer. 
  7. Make sure that both trainers are filled up with newspapers. 
  8. Wrap a towel around the outside of each trainer. 
  9. Place your trainers in a well-ventilated spot (by a fan is a good idea), but not in direct sunlight. 
  10. Check the trainers every hour and replace the wet newspaper with fresh, dry newspaper. 
  11. Continue to dry the trainers in this manner until they are dry. 

Note: This method is one of the cheapest and least aggressive methods for drying wet trainers (suitable for more delicate materials).

Method 2: Fan

dry trainers with fan

Drying time approximately: 3 – 6 hours

Steps to follow: 

  1. Grab a piece of old wire or a metal hanger. 
  2. Create two ‘S’ shaped hooks out of the metal wire. 
  3. Clean your trainers with a cloth to remove dirt from them. 
  4. Remove the insoles from your trainers and air dry them separately.
  5. Remove the laces from your trainers and air dry them separately.
  6. Open your trainers up, so lots of air can flow inside. 
  7. Grab your fan and hook one of the two ‘S’ shaped metal hooks into the fan.
  8. Repeat with the second ‘S’ shaped hook.
  9. Pop a trainer on either hook, but make sure there’s about an inch gap between the two trainers.
  10. Pop a dry towel on the surface below the trainer but make sure it’s not covering the fan. 
  11. Start the fan up. 
  12. Cold air will flow directly into the trainers. 
  13. Continue this method until the trainers are dry. 

Method 3: Shoe dryer

dry trainers with shoe dryer

Drying time approximately: 20 – 30 minutes (depending on what model you buy)

If you suffer with wet trainers on a regular basis a good investment would be to get a shoe dryer for your home.

Shoe dryers are designed to dry the insides of your shoes quickly, and in some cases, they can remove heaps of bacteria from your footwear, as well as deodorising them too.  

There are lots of makes and models available to buy and they vary in price. 

All you need to do to use the machine is clean the dirt off your trainers, slip the shoes onto the stand and activate the dryer.  

Here’s an example to get you started:

The Shoefresh Shoe Freshener & Boot Dryer cleans germs from shoes, leaves footwear smelling fresh and can dry shoes in mere minutes! Its compact size also makes it ideal for having around the house, plus, you can use it to dry other shoes too.

Method 4: Rice

drying trainers quickly with rice

Drying time approximately: Overnight 

Steps to follow:

  1. If your trainers are dirty, wash away the dirt before continuing with this method. 
  2. Remove the insoles from your trainers and allow them to air dry naturally. 
  3. Fill a sock up with uncooked rice.
  4. Pop a rice filled sock into one of the wet trainers. 
  5. Repeat for the second trainer. 
  6. Leave the trainers to rest like this overnight or until the rice has absorbed all the moisture. Make sure the trainers are left in a well-ventilated room.

Method 5: Tumble dryer

dry trainers quickly in tumble dryer

Drying time approximately: 20 minutes to an hour

Note: This method is not suitable for all trainers. Check the care label on your trainers to see what material they are made from before continuing. 

Cotton and synthetic materials should be able to withstand the tumble dryer method, nonetheless, you must only use a low heat to dry trainers like this. Materials that are animal based or gel-based shouldn’t be dried in a tumble dryer because they’ll likely get damaged.   

Steps to follow:

  1. Read the care labels inside your trainers – if the tag says not to tumble dry the trainers, avoid this method. And if you’re in doubt about what material the shoes are made from and you’re worried about damaging the shoes, skip this method. 
  2. If you’re happy to continue, clean any dirt off your shoes with a cloth. 
  3. Untie the laces on your trainers, but don’t untie them all the way, you need to leave the laces hanging through the bottom eyelets. 
  4. Take out the insoles of your trainers and air dry them separately. 
  5. Pop some towels in the tumble dryer.
  6. Grab your trainers and tie their laces together. 
  7. Then hold your trainers up by their laces in the tumble dryer’s doorway. 
  8. Carefully close the tumble dryer’s door while still holding onto the trainer’s laces – the trainers should be pressed flat, toes up, against the dryer’s door at this point. 
  9. The laces need to be hanging outside of the tumble dryer’s door – this action stops the trainers from flying around in the dryer once the cycle starts! 
  10. Start an hour long, low temperature cycle. 
  11. Stop and check the trainers every 20 minutes to see how they’re getting on.

Alternative: If you’re struggling to close the door and hang the trainers up at the same time, just pop the trainers in a mesh wash bag and stick them in the tumble dryer. The towels will be able to absorb some of the banging and flinging around that the trainers will be subjected to during the drying cycle.


How Long Do Trainers Take to Dry?

It’s difficult to give an exact time for how long trainers take to dry because there are many factors to consider. 

For example, what drying method are you going to use, how wet the trainers are and what material(s) are the shoes made from.

It could take you a few minutes or it could take overnight to dry your trainers. 


Can You Dry Trainers with a Hair Dryer?

drying trainers with hairdryer

Drying your trainers with a hair dryer might seem like a super-fast and effective option, but it isn’t.

Leaving a hair dryer to continuously blow hot air into your shoes will make your trainers extremely hot. In turn, this can warp the shoes, compromise the material(s) and even melt the glue holding the shoes together. 

Plus, it’s also a major fire hazard! 

So, if you really must try this option out, only blast hot air from the dryer into your trainers for a minute or two at a time. This will prevent the shoes from overheating. 


Can You Dry Trainers in the Sun?

dry trainers in the sun

Yes, you can pop your wet trainers outside to dry. 

However, you need to keep a close eye on the shoes just in case the sun’s beating rays damage the material. Keep an eye out for any signs of stiffness or crispiness, this is an indication that the material is drying out too much in the sunshine.

So, if this is your method of choice, you’ll have to continuously check your trainers as they dry outdoors in the sun. 


Should You Put Trainers in a Tumble Dryer?

It’s okay to dry trainers in a tumble dryer as long as the care label on the trainers permits it. 

But you should keep in mind that there are risks involved with carrying out this ‘quick drying’ method. So, it might be better for the trainers if you tried a less harmful drying method first. 

Here are a few points to keep in mind when you tumble dry trainers:

  • If a tumble dryer is too hot it can shrink trainers.
  • Too much heat can warp the structure of a trainer, so the shoes might not fit your feet properly after a cycle.
  • If you use a dryer to dry your shoes you run the risk of melting the glue holding the shoes together.
  • Not all trainers can be dried in a tumble dryer anyway.


Can You Use a Heated Drying Rack to Dry Trainers?

A drying rack/heated airer can be used to try trainers, however, you’ve got to make sure that you don’t heat the shoes up too much.

If the shoes get too hot, they may become warped and any glue holding the trainers together may start to melt.

So, if you’re going to try this it would be better to use a low heat and to hang the trainers on the rack by their laces. But do keep in mind that it may take some time for your trainers to dry like this.


Can You Take Trainers to a Dry Cleaner?

If you’re concerned about ruining your trainers by washing and drying them yourself, you can certainly take the shoes to a professional dry cleaners to see if they’ll carry out the work for you.

Whether or not they will actually dry clean your trainers is up to them though.


Is it Okay to Wear Wet Trainers?

wearing wet trainers

It’s not really okay to wear wet trainers, or wet shoes in general actually.

You shouldn’t actively go around putting wet trainers on your feet because it can be uncomfortable, your feet may slip inside the shoe so you could get blisters, and your toes and feet will become smelly and wrinkly as the moisture mixes with the sweat on your feet.

And if you continuously wear wet trainers, you might end up with an even bigger problem in the form of a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. If you do wind up with this condition, you have to seek medical advice for it.

If you’re out and about and your trainers get wet, you should try and swap your wet trainers for dry ones as soon as possible. This includes swapping your damp socks for clean ones too!

So, the take home message: Wear dry trainers! And if your favourite pair of trainers get wet, dry them properly before you pop them on your feet again. Or buy a back-up pair!