Three pairs of shoes sitting on a log

How To Dry Shoes: Five Simple & Natural Methods

We've all had that wet shoe moment, usually after a soaking on one of those log flume rides or even after getting caught in an unexpected storm. Whatever the case, you have no choice but to embrace the squishy, wet shoe life with your soaked socks and pruney feet. It's like you're walking around in a swamp.

It's a discomfort no one really likes to experience. However, all that matters is how to get your sneakers dry as fast as possible. That's where we come into play.

There are many simple and natural hacks you can experiment with to dry your favorite shoes quickly, and we have accumulated a list of the best natural methods. Keep reading to find the trick that works best for you, and get your sneakers dry and clean in no time!

Tip 1. Towels

A logical, convenient, and simple way to dry your shoes quickly is to wrap them in towels. Frankly, it makes sense. When we are soaked and fresh out of the shower, the first thing we do is reach for the nearest towel — the same rule applies to your wet sneakers!

Hand towels or any smaller-sized towel are best, but you can use regular-sized bath towels in a pinch!

First, dab the inside of your shoes with the towel to try and absorb as much water as possible. Then, simply wrap your sneakers in the towel. Tuck the cloth under the laces and pull them as you would typically tie them. This will apply pressure and absorb more water while also holding the towel in place. This technique will ensure that all the moisture is absorbed quickly.

You can't go wrong with a towel. Towels get the job done in a relatively speedy amount of time without wasting any additional energy.

Tip 2. Repurpose Old Newspaper

Do you still get print newspapers? Before recycling them, make use of that paper! There are tons of ways to reuse newspapers, but one of our favorite ways is as a shoe dryer.

Take last week's Sunday news, crumple it, and stuff them into your wet shoes. The paper will absorb any moisture, trap it, and quickly restore your kicks to their natural dry state. Once your shoes are dry, just recycle your newspaper.

Since the papers were going to get recycled anyway, there's no harm in using them on your shoes. With this method, you don't waste any additional resources, and you don't have to spend any extra money! It is a win-win situation.

This method is easy, effective, sustainable, and best of all — free! All this trick requires is some leftover newspaper hanging around the house.

Take a final glance over the news and get your kicks dry ASAP!

Tip 3. Sunshine

If sustainability is a priority of yours (which we fully support), the most environmentally friendly way to dry your shoes is to take advantage of the sunshine.

Even if your sneakers get soaked in winter, you can count on the sun's rays to accelerate the drying process. If it is warm enough outside, you can leave your wet shoes outside (weather permitting) and let the sun perform its magic. But if it's cold, pick a spot in your home where the sun shines especially bright, and leave them out to dry during peak daylight.

The heat radiating from the sun and the natural evaporation process will ensure that your shoes dry off as quickly as possible.

Sun-drying your clothes is not a new concept, but it is the most natural process. Hypothetically, you can use your dryer unit to make your shoes dry off. However, considering that laundry is a huge factor in household energy and water waste, it's much more eco-friendly to take advantage of the sun's natural drying abilities.

Tip 4. Use Your Fan

Many of us need to keep a fan blowing for white noise or cooling purposes. So you might as well take advantage of it to dry your shoes as well.

While natural wind would be better, it's not usually predictable enough for you to take advantage of it. Fans, on the other hand, are very predictable, and with thirty minutes to an hour of consistent air fan, your wet sneakers will be dry enough to slip back on.

If you know you're going to be experiencing especially windy weather, feel free to leave your shoes outside for a bit to dry them more naturally. If the air isn't breezy and you're pressed for time, your fan will do the trick.

Much less energy is expended on a box fan than with your drying machine. So you are still making more sustainable choices while ensuring that your shoes dry quickly.

If you are in a real rush and need dry sneakers ASAP, a quick dry-job from your blow dryer will make your shoes wearable in no time. Run your blow dryer over the wet parts of your shoes until they are completely dry. It should only take a few minutes and will save a significant amount of time and energy.

Tip 5. Rice

We all know the rice hack when it comes to wet phones, but did you know you can use rice to dry your shoes as well?

Rice is a very natural and easy way to dry out those damp sneakers. The science behind the phone hack is simple: rice absorbs liquids, so when you put rice in wet environments, it will suck in all that moisture and dry your phone. The same rules apply to your wet shoes.

After you mistakenly stomp through puddles, immediately take off your shoes when you get home, fill a big enough container, or even an empty cardboard box if you have one laying around, and place your shoes inside the box. Leave them there for a few hours. It's essentially the same process as putting your wet phone in a ziplock bag with rice.

The beauty of the rice hack is that it will also tackle the inevitable odor that comes with wet shoes. Shoes, especially sneakers, can be very smelly, but wet shoes can make that scent unbearable. The uncooked rice will absorb the moisture and make your shoes dry while also absorbing and trapping the odor as well.

Uncooked rice kills two birds with one stone in its ability to dry and remove the odor from your shoes.

Rice is also a natural, sustainable way to get your shoes dry. You might worry that you're being wasteful when you use so much uncooked rice for your shoes instead of for nourishment, but rice is biodegradable!

Like many other foods, rice (both cooked and uncooked) is compostable. If you already have a compost bin set up, feel free to compost your rice once your shoes are completely dry. If you don't compost, consider this a perfect opportunity to start, or set the rice aside and give it to someone you know who does compost.

Dry Your Shoes & Live Sustainably

As you can see, there are many alternatives to explore instead of using your dryer machine. Any one of these hacks will effectively dry your shoes without wasting excessive amounts of energy, which would occur if you opt to machine-dry your shoes.

No matter how you choose to do it, drying your shoes quickly and efficiently is a sustainable practice in and of itself. Water damage can destroy an otherwise perfectly good pair of shoes and cause their life cycle to be cut short. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that their shoes can be recycled, so millions of shoes end up in landfills each year. When we hesitate to dry our shoes properly, we allow them to fall apart at a much quicker rate, which then leads to more shoes in landfills.

It is always important to think about the bigger picture when it comes to your clothes. Utilizing some of these hacks to dry your shoes quickly and naturally is a great way to be more conscious of our environment.

Wet shoes are a nuisance, but you can remedy the situation and dry your shoes ASAP using these natural and simple tricks.

And if you're shoes have come to the end of their life cycle, and you are looking for a stylish and comfortable replacement, try KOKOLU's eco-friendly sneakers. Whoever said sustainable couldn't mean fashion-forward?!


Laundry Practices and Water Conservation | US National Park Service

Some Soles Last 1,000 Years in Landfill: The Truth About the Sneaker Mountain | Fashion | The Guardian

Composting 101 | NRDC