Bad sneakers (but no pina colada)
June 11, 2021 1:26 PM   Subscribe

I wound up walking for a mile in pouring rain yesterday, and now, 24 hours later, my sneakers are still soaked. What's the best way to get them to dry faster? Oven at lowest possible temperature? Is the lowest (175 or 200 F) low enough? Dryer on delicate? Seems hard on the dryer. Something else? It's still raining, so "put them out in the sun" is not an option.
posted by ubiquity to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total)
Previously I have stuck shoes inside the biggest, thickest socks I had and run them in the dryer on low heat. YMMV
posted by Dmenet at 1:30 PM on June 11, 2021

Best answer: Best option for the shoes is to take crumpled up newspaper and shove them into the shoe. Takes about 24 hours from initial soaking. Can can change out the paper every few hours to speed up the process.
posted by nobeagle at 1:30 PM on June 11, 2021 [21 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding the crumpled newspaper. You might instead try sticking a hair dryer inside them, for short intervals, if you get impatient.
posted by Rash at 1:35 PM on June 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

My husband has warped his sneakers putting them in the dryer so I wouldn't do that. Maybe stuff them with newspaper or socks and point a fan at them?
posted by jabes at 1:39 PM on June 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Purpose-built Shoe/boot drying devices are basically hairdryers on very low settings and a nice mount. So Rash is right:combo newspaper with bouts of hairdryer when you swap it out, that won't be fastest but it is fastest safest.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:43 PM on June 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

Might not apply in your case, but I've had luck leaving them in front of the hot air vent on the floor at the front of my refrigerator.
posted by mikesch at 1:47 PM on June 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

I use shoe-dryers.
posted by kschang at 1:52 PM on June 11, 2021

If you haven’t already, take out the insoles.
posted by sageleaf at 1:54 PM on June 11, 2021 [6 favorites]

If you have a space heater or even just a fan, you could combine it with the newspaper trick. How humid is your place?
posted by trig at 2:06 PM on June 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

I own a pair of cedar shoe trees for dress shoes, but I've used them in sneaker before.

For me, one of my biggest concerns with wet shoes is that they'll smell bad, so I've stuffed a couple of dryer sheets in with the shoe trees, and I think that makes them smell marginally better.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:09 PM on June 11, 2021

I can third the above; I also use crumpled paper in boots or dive booties to aid drying. Works as well as anything else.
posted by mightshould at 2:52 PM on June 11, 2021

My old tumble dryer, but not my current one, came with a rack that could be attached where the lint screen goes, and it would hold a pair of shoes in the middle of a dryer where they were gently dried by the heat, and didn't touch the tumbler itself. It was your basic wire rack with a vinyl coating. They result, though, was a convection oven.

1) Do you have such a rack in the back of your closet or storage room?
2) Alternatively, how low does your oven go? Dryers typically get to around 125F (ish), that's about 52C.

Otherwise I'd set them someplace in a corner with a fan blowing on them.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:14 PM on June 11, 2021

Got a hairdryer?
posted by Crystalinne at 3:49 PM on June 11, 2021

Remove the laces + insoles and pop/flop the tongues out. This will also increase airflow Eve if you stuff with newspaper or use cedar trees.

Seconding putting them in front of a fan.

If your oven has a pilot and stays warmish you may not even need to turn the oven on. Though if you can bear turning it to 200, leaving it open, AND pointing a fan at it without shoes inside, that would be my best guess.
posted by bilabial at 4:07 PM on June 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Do laundry and put the shoes under the dryer's hot air out vent.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:36 PM on June 11, 2021

nice title. do it again.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:58 PM on June 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Nthing the crumpled newspaper. Crumple it lightly so there is space for air in each ball. Lightly stuff a couple pages in each shoe. Have been doing this for decades to dry my bike shoes and other wet footwear.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:26 PM on June 11, 2021

Run them through a spin cycle in the washing machine to get the excess water out, and then use one of the methods above.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:51 PM on June 11, 2021

Best answer: I would put them in the dryer with several old bath towels.

posted by AugustWest at 12:12 AM on June 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was told to use kitty litter because it's absorbent.

DO NOT use this anywhere cats can get into, otherwise they think it's a new litter box.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 1:20 AM on June 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you don’t have a dryer shoe rack, or a lot of other stuff to buffer the shoes, knot all the laces together and then close the dryer door under the knot to keep them suspended while the dryer spins. I would put it on low, stay close by, and check how they’re doing every 15 minutes or so.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2021

Response by poster: A lot of these suggestions sound like they'd work well if I had the required materials, but I was missing some stuff (for instance, I don't take a newspaper). However, I did find some brown-paper wrapping paper to stuff into the shoes, and that worked, though slowly. I sped up the process by sticking them in the dryer with a lot of towels. After about 15 minutes the shoes knocked the door open, but by then they seemed dry enough. One of them smells a bit, but I think that will go away with a little usage. Thank you all for your advice.
posted by ubiquity at 12:07 PM on June 12, 2021

A cobbler recommended to me removing the insoles any time a pair of shoes gets damp, even from sweat.
posted by counterfeitfake at 1:51 PM on June 12, 2021

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