How to Safely Dry Your Running Shoes in the Dryer: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Safely Dry Your Running Shoes in the Dryer: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever had wet running shoes and no time to let them air dry? You might’ve considered popping them in the dryer for a quick fix. But is it safe for your shoes, or could it cause damage?

This article will explore the pros and cons of drying running shoes in the dryer. We’ll delve into the potential risks and give you some tips on doing it right if you decide to proceed. So, let’s lace up and get started on this journey together.

Key Takeaways

  • Using a dryer to dry wet running shoes can save you time, reduce bacteria and odor, and is a convenient alternative to air drying.
  • Potential drawbacks of using a dryer include risk of damage from heat and tumbling, decreased shoe performance, risk of shrinking and warping, increased energy consumption, and noise.
  • Materials used in running shoes, such as synthetic fabrics, rubber, and specialized foams, might react negatively to high heat, possibly causing the shoes to prematurely fall apart.
  • If choosing to use a dryer, keep heat on a low or no-heat setting, insert a dry towel to absorb moisture, use a drying rack to prevent wear and tear, and monitor the drying process to prevent damage.
  • The safest and recommended method to dry running shoes is still air drying, which guarantees the shoes’ longevity and maintains their performance.

Drying running shoes in the dryer can be tricky, but it’s possible to do it safely with the right approach. Marathon Handbook outlines the dos and don’ts of drying running shoes, emphasizing the importance of avoiding heat damage. Reddit’s lifehack community shares innovative methods to securely dry shoes without risking deformation or damage in the dryer.

Pros of Drying Running Shoes in the Dryer

Pros of Drying Running Shoes in the Dryer

Now that you’ve considered some of the potential risks of throwing those wet running shoes into the dryer, let’s switch gears and talk about the benefits. That’s right—there are indeed some potential pros to using this method.

Quick Drying Time: One of the most obvious benefits of using a dryer is the speed. Imagine rushing home from a run in the rain, throwing your squelching shoes in the dryer, and finding them warm and dry in no time. Compared to air-drying, which can take up to 24 hours, a dryer can save you a significant amount of time—potentially drying your shoes in less than an hour.

Convenience: Being able to dry your shoes in a machine, rather than leaving them out to air dry, is undeniably convenient. No need for newspaper, boot dryers, or fancy gadgets: just a spin in the dryer and you’re good to go. You don’t have to worry about finding a suitable place in your house where they’ll get the best draft—just toss them in and let the machine do the work.

Reduced Bacteria and Odor: Added heat from the dryer can help to kill bacteria that may cause bad odors. Damp shoes can quickly become smelly if not dried properly, and this can be doubly true for running shoes.

Here’s a simple comparison between the air-drying and dryer methods:

MethodDrying TimeConvenienceOdor Control
Air-dryLong (up to 24 hours)Requires suitable spaceMay not eliminate all odor
DryerShort (under an hour)Only needs a dryerMore effective at eliminating odor

As always, precautions must be taken to mitigate the risks associated with drying running shoes in the dryer. As you navigate your way through the pros and cons of this discussion, remember, it’s all about making decisions that best suit your needs.

Cons of Drying Running Shoes in the Dryer

While the benefits of drying running shoes in a dryer are clear, it’s crucial to factor in the downsides too. Potential damage to your shoes tops the list. The extreme heat and tumble action of a dryer could lead to considerable wear and tear.

When drying your running shoes in a dryer, you may notice a decrease in performance. The high temperatures can affect the glue that holds your shoes together, causing them to become loose and reducing both comfort and performance.

In addition to the risk of loosening, there’s also an increased likelihood of shrinking. Most running shoes are made from materials that contract under extreme heat. This can result in a shoe that no longer fits as comfortably or snugly as it once did.

Further, drying your running shoes in a dryer can lead to warped soles. This happens due to the imbalance in heat distribution, causing one part of the sole to shrink while the other does not. It’s a surefire way to mess up your stride and might even lead to injury.

A dryer might seem like a quick and convenient way to dry your running shoes, but it’s not without cost. Energy consumption and the potential for noise pollution are other considerations. Running a dryer for an extended period is not energy-efficient and could lead to a spike in your utility bills. The noise created by shoes tumbling in a dryer can be disruptive, especially in small living spaces or late at night.

Your running shoes represent your commitment to fitness and health. It’s essential to weigh the advantages against the potential drawbacks before deciding whether to use a dryer. By judiciously choosing the right drying method, you help ensure your shoes’ longevity and maintain their performance over time.

Risks Associated with Putting Running Shoes in the Dryer

You might be tempted to toss your wet running shoes into the dryer for a quick fix, but have you considered the risks? Turns out, the heat from a dryer does more than just speed up the drying process—it could actually damage your shoes.

Firstly, the primary construction materials in running shoes are not built to withstand high heat. The combination of synthetic fabrics, rubber, and specialized foams could react negatively when subjected to the temperatures in a dryer. The heat has an adverse effect on the glue that holds your trainers together. It could weaken or even melt the adhesive, causing your shoes to fall apart prematurely.

Secondly, the risk of shrinking and warping is another reason to avoid using the dryer. The majority of running shoes use synthetic materials that have a high potential to shrink, deform, or warp when exposed to high temperatures. A misshapen or shrunken shoe not only affects your comfort but can also drastically change your stride, leading to discomfort, lower performance, or even injury.

Let’s not overlook the extra energy consumption and noise pollution a dryer produces. By choosing to air dry your shoes, you’re reducing your energy consumption and the noise that comes with running a dryer.

In the table below, you’ll find a summary of the risks associated with using a dryer for your running shoes:

Material degradationPremature falling apart of shoes
Shrinking and warpingAltered comfort and stride
Extra energy consumptionIncreased energy costs and environmental impact
Added NoiseNoise pollution

Bear in mind that these risks are not to discourage you from using this drying method but rather to enlighten you. While it may seem like an easy solution, the potential damage could cost you your comfort, performance, and might even lead to unexpected expenses in the long run. Consider these effects before committing your running shoes to the dryer.

Tips for Safely Drying Running Shoes in the Dryer

Tips for Safely Drying Running Shoes in the Dryer

If you’ve read the risks, warnings and potential damage tied to drying your runnings shoes in a traditional heat-based dryer and still decide to go this route, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few best practice tips to help minimize the risks and protect your footwear.

Keep the Heat Down

Turn your dryer’s heat setting to low or, better yet, no heat at all. The excess heat is the chief culprit behind weakened shoe glue and warped synthetic materials. Air dry settings or tumble dry options on most dryers can get the job done minus the heat-induced risks.

Insert a Towel

Adding a dry towel to your dryer can quicken the drying process and provide a form of cushioning for your shoes. The towel absorbs some of the moisture from the shoes, leading to a shorter drying cycle. Plus, it can also reduce the thumping noise typically associated with shoe drying.

Use a Drying Rack

Some dryers come with a detachable shoe rack. If yours doesn’t, you might want to consider investing in one. Having your shoes toss and turn in the dryer can cause wear and tear. Dryer racks can keep your shoes stationary, eliminating the chances of damage from constant motion within the dryer.

Monitor the Drying Process

Don’t just set it and forget it. Regularly check on your shoes while they’re in the dryer. This doesn’t just prevent overdrying, but it also allows you to monitor their shape and fit during the drying process. If your shoes start to show signs of damage, promptly take them out.

Drying running shoes at home in the dryer is not the recommended first method, choosing this route requires more attention and preventative measures. However, with these mitigating strategies in place, you might be able to safely dry the shoes without excessive damage. At the end of the day, everyone’s mileage will vary, so what works for one might not work for all. It’s still best to air dry your shoes whenever possible, as it’s the safest method that ensures the longevity of your running shoes.


So there you have it. While it’s not the top choice, you can put running shoes in the dryer if you’re in a pinch. Just remember to keep the heat low or off and toss in a dry towel to absorb excess moisture. A drying rack can also come in handy to minimize wear and tear. But don’t forget to keep an eye on your kicks to avoid overdrying. Despite these tips, let’s not forget that air drying is still the safest route for your running shoes. After all, it’s all about preserving their lifespan for those many miles still to come. So next time you’re faced with a pair of wet running shoes, you’ll know just what to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I dry my running shoes in a dryer safely?

While not the recommended method, you can dry running shoes in a dryer safely by keeping the heat setting low or off and monitoring the process to prevent overdrying and damage.

Is there any way to reduce noise when drying shoes in the dryer?

Yes, you can reduce noise by adding a dry towel to the dryer along with your shoes.

Will using a drying rack cause damage to my shoes?

No, using a drying or shoe rack in the dryer can actually prevent wear and tear by keeping your shoes stationary during the drying process.

What is the safest method for drying running shoes?

The article recommends air drying as the safest method for drying running shoes, as it preserves the longevity and overall quality of the shoes best.

What can happen if I overdry my shoes in the dryer?

Overdrying running shoes in the dryer could possibly cause damage, including misshaping the shoes or weakening the glues and fabrics used in their construction.