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Can You Put Hiking Boots In The Dryer?

Appropriately caring for your outdoor wardrobe, equipment, and footwear is vital for satisfactory usage. Your high-quality hiking kit should not only be used but also taken care of for you to profit from its powerful functionality for a long time.

This means that buying good hiking boots is not all. You must also know how to keep them dry, clean, and free of damage.

If you have ever used a washing machine to clean your hiking boots, you might have probably wondered if you should put them in the dryer to remove the excess moisture.

In this article, you will get answers to the following questions:

  • Can you put hiking boots in the dryer?
  • What kinds of boots can you put in the dryer?
  • When is it okay to put hiking footwear in the dryer?
  • Keep reading if you seek answers to any of the above questions.

Can You Put Hiking Boots In The Dryer?

A pair of suede hiking boots

The short answer? Yes. You can put your hiking boots in a dryer.

Should you put them in a dryer? No way.

However, in emergency cases, dryers will do in a pinch when you have wet hiking boots and you have little time to dry them. Just make sure that your boots can take the heat.

If you must utilize the heat of a dryer to get rid of moisture from your hiking boots, then ensure that you use something that you can attach the boots to so that they do not slam against the dryer walls too much and make noise.

Then, find out from the manufacturer of the hiking boots if they can handle it when you put them in the dryer. Check the care label on the hiking boots to see if there are rules on cleaning and drying them.

If you do not find the instructions on the care label on the boots, then head to the shoe company’s website to see whether there are cleaning and drying instructions on the boots. If your boots can handle high heat, you can use the dryer.

Usually, using the dryer method to remove excess moisture from your hiking boots is one of the fastest modes of drying boots. Consider it a quick fix best suited for a short period of time.

While a dryer might be the fastest method, it is certainly not the best way to make your hiking boots dry. It can cause severe harm to your hiking boots.

Therefore, we advise that you try as much as possible not to jeopardize your hiking boots by exposing them to direct heat sources. Why? Excessive heat destroys the materials used to make the shoes, like glue.

How To Use A Dryer To Dry Hiking Boots

Tools Needed

  • A dry towel
  • A dryer
  • Leather conditioner

Steps to follow

Step 1:

Grab a dry towel and wrap your hiking boots with it to absorb the surplus water. Then take another dry towel and rub the boots until the shoes are no longer dripping.

If you neglect to do this, they will continuously hit the door and sides of the dryer, which will sound quite alarming. Plus, they can cause considerable damage to your dryer with repeated hits.

use dry towel to absorb the surplus water

You can do this if you have a front-loading or top-loading dryer.

Step 2:

Continue gripping the laces and secure the door so the laces are stuck in it. This will prevent the hiking boots from tumbling into the dryer once you turn the device on.

Some dryers come with a drying rack that you can inject and place your wet hiking boots on to dry them. If the shoes still have some moisture left in them, go through the drying steps again and leave them for 5 minutes.

The dryer is going to dry your shoes instantly. The process can take as little as five minutes. With this method, you can have dry hiking boots in a matter of minutes and be ready for your hike.


  • Fast way of drying hiking boots.
  • It is easy.
  • You do not need a lot of equipment or tools.


  • It could be bad for your hiking boots.
  • The excess heat could shrink your boots, making it impossible for you to wear them again.
  • Your boots might melt if you are not careful.

Can you dry all kinds of hiking boots in a dryer? 

man wearing overstretching hiking boots

It is instructed that you avoid drying leather hiking boots with a dryer. This explanation is that leather will dry up too badly when exposed to excess heat and start cracking. The cracks might not show instantly, but they will.

Nevertheless, when you have no other alternative and are pressed for time, you can toss your hiking boots in the drying appliance and then extract them after about 90 seconds.

Note that you must apply a tiny coating of leather conditioner to the boots after drying if you want to discourage cracking.

What Kind Of Hiking Boots Can You Put In The Dryer?

leather hiking boots on the ground

There are different kinds of raw materials used to manufacture hiking boots. And they all have distinct properties and different ways of caring for them.

For instance, you must not completely immerse leather hiking boots in the water while washing, but you can do so with boots made from synthetic substances.

Remember that you should not dry hiking boots with fabric made from animal skin, like leather or suede, in the dryer because drying them with a direct heat source will cause them to get damaged and crack.

If you cannot find the care label of the hiking boots on the shoes or the manufacturer’s website, then just examine what kind of material the shoes feel like.

If you own leather boots, do not put them in the dryer unless you are ready for them to get damaged. Plus, if your hiking boots are suede, say no to the dryer method.

However, if your hiking shoes are made from light and breathable materials like nylon, cotton, canvas, or polyester, then you are good to go. But, use the lowest setting on the dryer, though, to avoid setting your new polyester hiking boots on fire.

Lastly, if your hiking boots have sequins or other fancy ornaments, do not utilize the drying machine for drying them. No matter the boots’ material, if they have trimmings on them and you put them in the dryer, the trimmings will come off.

When to put hiking boots in the dryer 

man wearing coyote hiking boot standing on rocky terrain

One of the easiest ways to rapidly dry your hiking boots is to put them in front of a direct heat source. However, as good as that may appear, it is a terrible thing to do to your dear footwear.

All it will do is damage it!

Boots are composed of various elements that do not respond well to heat. For example, glues and fasteners that attach your sole to the mid and upper sole will cease to function shortly after being exposed to the extreme heat of a dryer.

Many hiking boot owners have been there. Unfortunately, when this important adhesion breaks down, all sorts of unwanted things will start happening to the shoes. For instance, things like water and sand will creep in through your instep.

store dark brown leather hiking boots

Secondly, your boots are likely designed with numerous distinct layers. When these layers are pushed to hastily dry with a direct heat source such as a dryer, you will get volumes of tension placed on the surrounding stitches.

By doing this, your hiking boots will lose their structure, and you will start to notice uncharacteristic weakness or cracking in stitched areas. Finally, regardless of the material used to manufacture the hiking boots, direct heat will damage them.

Yes, some materials are more resistant to heat than others, but all of them will crack and split in the face of too much heat, synthetic or animal substances alike. Wet shoes are far better than damaged shoes. So, with the information above, let us answer the question.

When is it okay to put hiking boots in a dryer?The answer is never. However, if you are in a hurry and need to use your wet hiking boots immediately, you can dry them with a dryer as long as they are not made of leather.

Use the dryer only for a short moment, put it at the lowest heat setting, and closely monitor the drying process to ensure that the shoes do not get overheated.


So, can you put hiking boots in the dryer? Honestly, we wouldn’t recommend it. However, you can use a certain kind of dryer for your boots, though; this is called a boot dryer.

Nevertheless, note that the more you “occasionally” use a dryer, the more the texture and soles of hiking boots will shrink, weaken, or lose shape. If you cannot completely avoid machine drying your hiking boots, you must take turns using air drying and machine drying.

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