How to dry out wet shoes or boots

Updated April 17, 2017

Shoes or boots that become wet and then aren't promptly dried out are at risk for developing mould or an unpleasant odour. Depending on the material the shoes are made from, they may even shrink or change shape, so that they no longer fit. Fortunately, there is a simple trick that can be used to absorb the moisture in your shoes or boots without damaging them in the process.

Take out any removable insoles inside the shoes, then crumple sheets of newspaper or paper towels and stuff them into the shoes.

Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area with low humidity and leave them overnight. Avoid placing the shoes near a heat source such as a fireplace or space heater, especially if the shoes are made of leather.

Remove the paper in the morning and check the shoes for dampness. If they are still wet, stuff them again with fresh paper, then check them again in approximately two hours. Repeat this process until the shoes feel dry. Depending on how thoroughly the shoes were soaked, it can take two to three days for them to dry out completely.


If you are an avid runner or hiker, consider owning at least two pairs of running or hiking shoes so that you'll have a backup if one pair gets wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper or paper towels
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About the Author

Jenny Parker is a New England-based entrepreneur who has been writing since 1995. Parker writes extensively on creative self-employment and genealogy; her work has appeared on and She also has self-published several short story collections and is currently working on her first non-fiction book chronicling the history of her ancestors in America.