I stepped in a deep puddle and now both of my sneakers are thoroughly wet. I've tried opening them up to let them air dry, but this takes far too long. I'm also afraid to put them into the clothes dryer (for the sake of both the pair of shoes and the dryer itself)

How can I dry them out quickly to wear again?

(Sneakers = trainers for you English)

  • 1
    Put them in the dryer! Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:09
  • 1
    @zach Even if I were convinced there would be no adverse effects on the sneakers, they are far too dirty for the sake of the dryer.
    – Mooseman
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:14
  • 8
    Run them through the washer, and then the dryer.
    – hairboat
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:18
  • 1
    @Shokhet I think they're similar but focus on different aspects Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:20
  • 2
    Why the downvote? :o
    – Mooseman
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:26

11 Answers 11


You could try to fill it with paper (e.g. newspaper), then you could put them in front of blower. If the paper gets wet, replace it (or use the fan if you have one).

  • 2
    This has an added advantage that the paper helps the shoes keep their form and size as they dry. Otherwise, I eventually see some shrinkage (e.g., in my running shoes). Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 19:31
  • This also works with leather shoes.
    – Stefan
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 12:22

Whenever I attend music festivals I end up using the hair dryer in the hotel room. Not as easy as a clothes dryer, but it works :) Note: do not leave the hair dryer in the shoes or they'll light on fire.


Throwing them in the dryer is obviously the quickest and easiest way (assuming you have one), but as you ruled that out due to the fact that you don't want to dirty your drier up, you'll just have to simulate the experience.

First off, loosen the laces a bit and pull the tongue out to expose the interior of the shoe as best you can. From there, you have a few options, but they pretty much all boil down to "apply air and/or heat".

  • If it's winter and you have the heater running, or its summer and you have the air conditioning blowing, place them upside down on top of the heating/cooling vent.
  • If it's a particularly sunny day, put them out on some concrete or blacktop.
  • If all else fails, put them in front of a fan.

Even if you would rather not put your dirty sneakers in the dryer directly, you can still use the dryer to dry them...

  1. Locate your exterior dryer vent and place your shoes under the vent. The hot air blowing from the vent will speed up the drying process.

Or if your dryer vent is on the roof or otherwise inconveniently located...

  1. Place your shoes inside an old pillow case and tie the pillow case shut. Then toss the bundle in your dryer and tumble dry on the lowest setting. Provided that your not trying to dry huge heavy boots the dryer should be not damaged by the shoes bouncing around inside and the pillowcase should contain any dirt the comes loose from the shoes.

I use option 1 for my combats and option 2 for my chucks, both work pretty well.

  • Also note that the pillow case method works in the washer as well.
    – apaul
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 22:00

You can use a hair dryer but only leave it in the shoes for a couple minutes because it may warp the shoes, also if the dryer has a cold setting that works best!


A high volume leaf blower works well. Just stick the output nozzle inside the shoe and turn the machine on high. I have used this method on soaked work boots and it works great!


If they are really wet then cat litter or rice absorbs moisture quickly, but then you have to clean that up too.

In Japan several electrical manufacturers make portable dryers, with attachments for shoes. Many also have an ion generator function to remove odours. For some reason they only seem to be sold in Japan.


If you're able to get the shoes 95% dry (following the suggestions in other answers), you can get them the rest of the way dry by spraying the shoes with a drying agent like 99% isopropyl alcohol. They'll be wet, but the alcohol and water form a mixture which will evaporate more easily than water alone. (It will work whether or not an azeotrope is formed.)

A small fan blowing on the shoes will aid the effect. It doesn't need high airflow.

Edit: A previous version of this answer indicated acetone could be an effective drying agent (if you're sure it won't weaken the rubber or fabric), but wikipedia indicates that doesn't work:

Despite its common use as a supposed drying agent, it is not effective except by bulk displacement and dilution.


Secure the sneakers to the lid of your car's trunk (boot for you English speakers). Duct tape works well for this purpose. Drive down the road at highway speeds. As long as it isn't raining or snowing, the air flow off the roof of your vehicle will remove the moisture very quickly.

Note: the more humid the air, the longer this process can take.

Note: using a non-paved road will definitely kick up dust which may make the sneakers muddy.

You may need to look at after using this procedure: Removing duct tape from my car without paint damage?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Why the downvote? Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 19:35
  • I added a DV as it seems to make a mockery of the site
    – Phlume
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 19:50
  • @Phlume: One of the comments from the OP indicated that the sneakers were " far too dirty for the sake of the dryer". While that wasn't added to the original question, I thought it was relevant to the answer. Also, this is Lifehack, so unusual answers are both reasonable and expected. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 19:56
  • 1
    IMO it feels less impactful and more of a "joke answer" through the use of satire/comedy. Perhaps adjusting the verbiage/copy and making it less of a comical voice so the delivery feels less foolish?
    – Phlume
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 20:33
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    @iliveunderawesomerock, the items you have mentioned should probably be common sense, but a full disclaimer would require legal advice, which is beyond the scope of this site. Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 23:42

If you have an electric water heater, you can sit them on top of it overnight and they will be dry in the morning.


Use a dry dry off towel put the dry towel in the shoes and it will soak some of the water out of the shoes

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