Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tricks Of The Trade: Drying your grimy shoes

The past few days have been rainy. Today, I decided my shoes won't get dry by morning on their own.  When I have to dry them, this is how I do it.  I'm drying my bike shoes, but you can really dry any shoe this way, so long as they aren't susceptible to heat damage.

First, if they're really grimy, you might as well hose them off.  Run them under the bathtub faucet, use the kitchen sink sprayer, or if you're married, I guess take them outside and use the garden hose. Failure to do so MAY result in a night sleeping on the couch. That's okay, it's kind of like camping. 

Next, loosen the laces so that the tongue relaxes into the shoe for maximum air flow.  Tie both laces together in a small knot near the end.  Repeat with the other shoe.


Optional step: Remove the insole (if you can) and spray with febreeze or some other fabric freshener.

Next, hang the shoes on the inside of the dryer door, holding the knots at the top of the door with one hand, while closing the door with the other hand.


Voila!  The shoes will hang in the dryer.  They won't bounce around and get all beaten up, nor will they "kick" the dryer door open or make a lot of noise.  Run the dryer on high.  It might take longer to dry this way, but it's nicer on the shoes, nicer on the dryer, and a lot quieter.


If you have cycling shoes that don't have laces (ratchet strap and/or velcro closure) you can hang them inside the door the same way with craftily-re-bent wire hangers, knots in some twine, or any other creative solution you can come up with.  Using a dryer to dry shoes with plastic parts may cause deformities, so try this one at your own risk.

8 comments:

katzj said...

Or just stuff them with newsprint. If they're really soaked, you'll want to change the newsprint out after a couple of hours. But it works amazingly well

Scott Redd said...

Awesome trick. You should post this on Instructable.com if someone else hasn't already.

My dryer came with some sort of rack that could be used inside the drum, but it broke after only a couple of uses. I'll be sure to try your trick the next time I need to dry some shoes.

Noah said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.

I've heard of the newsprint stuff before, but that's hard for me to do, since I go paperless as much as possible, and The Internet won't fit in my shoes :P

I'd say running the dryer is a small sacrifice given the epic waste that comes with a daily or weekly newspaper subscription. Half of the Sunday paper is ads. I don't care much for sports or financials, and anything else that's newsworthy in there is guaranteed to be between 6-24 hours old by the time the paper lands on my doorstep; I've probably already seen that "news" in my RSS Aggregator.

I actually saw a dryer at Lowe's or something that had a shoe-drying rack with it, and that's what sparked this idea. I first came up with this trick last winter and thought "I wish I had one of those shoe drying racks!" - The rest is history, and now it's here for you to use.

BadgerLand said...

Try sandals next time you need "shoes". I use them all year long with a good pair of wool socks; they never need to dry out and your feet don't feel clammy either.

cDude said...

This is a really good idea, Noah --- never thought of it! This is primarily why I went with those Shimano Cycling sandals with SPD cleats in the first place, back in 2002, because after a few days of wet weather I got tired of putting wet shoes on my feet. Never thought of the newsprint or anything, either...winder if paper towels would work? In any case, the sandals are great simply because there is less material to dry. A good pair of wool socks underneath, and I'm good to go.

Still, a good tip for those especially damp days -- I've ridden a few times where I get home at night, and my sandals aren't totally dry by morning - but tolerable... I may have to try this trick.

kimbofo said...

I don't have a dryer, so I second the newsprint suggestion. It really does work.

Have you tried putting your shoes inside a pillowcase, and then putting the pillowcase inside the dryer? Would protect the shoes from damage and lessen the noise?

willow naeco said...

Nifty! Some dryers come with a shoe rack but I like this idea better.

smalltownmom said...

Over a year later I'm googling this...and your idea is brilliant! Thank you so much.

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