If you’re tired of wet feet dampening your mood, investing in a boot dryer may just be your solution. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or an outdoor construction worker, it’s important to ensure your boots are bone dry after use. If any damp remains, your boots may become moldy as a damp environment breeds bacteria and eventually begins to smell.
Luckily there are lots of great boot drying options on the market right now suitable for all budgets and needs. Whether you’re looking for a portable dryer or a larger high-powered one, this list has got you covered. We’ve included our favorites and a rundown of their key features. We’ve even added a handy Buyer’s Guide and FAQ section at the end of the article to make your shopping experience stress-free.
Stretched for time?
If you’re eager to get back to your adventuring, below is a quick link to our favorite dryer and a few reasons why we think you’ll love it. Some of its great features include:
- Estimated performance time of 80,000 hours
- Dries at temperatures up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
- Has four heated columns for drying multiple boots at once
- Eliminates damp and bacteria and prevents odors from developing
- Comes with extra extension attachments for hard to reach places
Best Boot Dryers
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re on the hunt for a heavy-duty dryer that’s capable of drying multiple boots and garments at one time, the Forced Air Boot Dryer by MaxxDry may be just what you’re looking for. This impressive machine can dry up to four boots so it’s perfect to keep in near the front door in a family home.
Amazon reviewers were surprised by how quiet this machine is, some suggesting that it’s fine to use at night as it’s practically silent. This dryer is designed to last, it has an estimated 80,000 hours of performance, so it’s likely that your boots will need replacing before this dryer does. This champion of a dryer can get the job done in less than a couple of hours allowing you to get back to your adventures in no time.
This machine helps to eliminate bacteria and any signs of mold, keeping your boots fresh and free from foul odors. It even comes fully equipped with 16inch detachable extension tubes making drying high cut boots a breeze. This dryer is slightly more expensive than other smaller units on the market, but you definitely pay for quality here.
- Can dry typical boots in around an hour
- Works simultaneously on up to four garments
- Heats up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
- Removable 16-inch extension tubes for taller boots
- Helps eliminate odors and growth of bacteria and mold
- A little bulkier than other options on this list
This clever machine is a fraction of the price of our top pick but still packs a punch, making it perfect for those who won’t use it very often and those on a low budget. It is smaller than our previous option and can only dry one pair of boots at a time, but its neat compact design means it is foldable and fully portable so it can be taken along on vacation or even to the workplace.
For your safety and convenience, this machine is fitted with a timer so you can customize how long you want it to operate, as long as its under two hours. There’s also no worry of any overheating or electrical hazards as it comes equipped with over-voltage and over-heating protection which will cut out the circuit if needed.
The manufacturer claims that this dryer uses innovative technology to eliminate odors from bacteria and perspiration and it even de-humidifies as it dries. This dryer comes with a two-year unlimited warranty and you can return it for up to 60 days after your purchase if you’re not happy with it.
- Ultra-quiet drying technology
- Reduces growth of harmful bacteria and mold
- Keeps odor under control
- Equipped with a 120-minute timer
- 2-year unlimited warranty
- Portable, foldable and compact
- Due to its small design, it may take longer to dry thicker boots and garments
As well as being able to handle work boots and hiking gear, the DryGuy Force Dryer is so powerful that it’s a favorite among skiers as it’s capable of drying even the thickest of materials. The drying ports rotate and can even be laid flat to accommodate any kind of boot or garment.
The machine uses forced hot air which is extremely good for drying boots as well as removing moisture which in turn prevents the growth of mold and fungus which can be dangerous and smelly. This machine can reach temperatures of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and dries in up to 2 hours. For your safety, it has an automatic 3-hour cut-off timer, so there’s no risk of burning your favorite pair of boots.
- Safe to use on delicate materials as well as bulky ski gear
- Dries most items in 1-2 hours
- Can be rotated and laid flat to dry bulkier items
- Prevents the growth of fungus, bacteria and mold
- Dries slower than some of the other dryers on this list
If portability is important to you, we recommend taking a look at the Extreme Boot Dryer from DrySure. These are unique as they require no power source or batteries at all, so you’ll never have to worry about finding a power outlet or your batteries running out of juice.
These dryers contain an intelligent silica-oxide gel which absorbs the moisture in your shoes. They’re also re-usable, to re-activate the dryers simply remove the fabric bag from its shell and place either in direct sunlight or on a warm radiator.
The fastest way to reactivate them is by placing it in the oven for a couple of hours. Also, the built-in deodorizer system helps to protect against foul odors caused by sweat, bacteria and nasty fungi.
- Compact design makes it easy to store away
- Super lightweight design, perfect for portability
- No power source or batteries needed as it works using silica gel
- Reusable and easily re-activated by a heat source
- Built-in deodorizer system
- Some customers found that they’re better at drying mildly damp boots rather than soaking wet
Last but certainly not least is the Boot Insert Dryer from Kooder. This is by far the smallest product on our list, but we understand the importance of having a super-affordable super-portable option and this is definitely it.
These are perfect for simply throwing in your bag or luggage as they weigh just 160 grams. Although they may be small, they don’t lack in drying power. They distribute heat evenly throughout the shoe leaving no corner left damp while fighting against bacteria and odor. Amazon reviewers have commented on how quiet this dryer is, so you won’t have to worry about noisy interruptions.
- The super small design makes it portable for drying on the go
- Protection against odor, bacteria and mold
- Extremely budget-friendly
- No toggle options for time and temperature
Best Boot Dryers Buying Guide
If you’re set on investing in some boot dryers, we want to make sure you buy the right ones for you. So below we’ve created a handy guide with key features to look out for as you shop around.
If your boots have gotten wet in the past and have since dried, it’s easy to assume that they must be clean but this isn’t always the case. Damp may still remain deep in the lining and padding of your boots which can encourage bacteria and pathogen growth.
Harmful bacteria build-up in your boots can lead to sickness and colds. Mold caused by damp shoes can release harmful chemicals that can irritate your skin and lead to an array of foot problems.
Our boot dryer options on this list possess different sanitization techniques such as UV light and anti-bacterial chemicals. Both are great methods of ensuring your boots are bacteria-free.
It’s important to remember that although dryness is easy to measure and feel, it is a lot harder to know if there are harmful microorganisms in your boots so we recommend choosing a dryer that targets these to reduce the risk of infection and irritation.
Nobody wants to be the person at work with smelly feet. Odor in boots is usually caused by untreated sweat or mold residue hiding in the lining. You don’t have to be wearing your boots all day every day to develop an odor problem, this can still happen even if you use them occasionally for hiking and other outdoor activities. Once odor makes its home in your boots, it can be extremely difficult to eliminate.
So we recommend safeguarding your boots from odor before you even wear them if possible. It’s a good idea to remember that your boots should be treated like any other garment of clothing, and you wouldn’t avoid washing your socks for weeks at a time, would you?
However, boots are not built to survive multiple washes and drying cycles in machines as these will wear down the boots over time, so we recommend getting your hands on a trusty boot dryer to stay on top of the problem.
Much like your boots themselves, boot dryers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and have different settings and adjustments to help you personalize your drying experience. The heat level is crucial, if it’s too hot, the inside of your boots can singe or even melt. If the heat setting is too cold, then your boots are going to take a very long time to dry.
So choosing a boot dryer that allows you to toggle with the temperature is a smart move. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to use the highest heat setting often, and you should only do so if your boots are completely waterlogged. If they’re just a little damp, they should dry pretty quickly on a medium heat setting. Some boot dryers come with a timer dial, allowing you to get on with other activities safely knowing that your boots won’t burn or even catch fire.
We highly recommend looking for a boot dryer that comes equipped with a timer dial. Some luxury boot dryers come with detachable drying tube extensions, although not completely necessary, they’re great for getting into little nooks and crannies and ensuring every inch of your boots are dry.
The importance of the portability of your boot dryer is dependent on your specific needs. If you only ever dry your boots when you get home from work or a hike, then a bulkier design that stays at home isn’t going to cause you any problems. However, if you travel often with your boots it’s a good idea to look for a more compact dryer that you can take with you on your travels.
Even if you are a seasoned hiker who loves to explore during all weather conditions, having a boot dryer that you can keep in your backpack could be a life-saver. It’s important to note that if you choose a more compact dryer, it’s likely that you’re going to have to compromise on some essential and luxury features.
Smaller dryers tend to dry at lower temperatures and generally take a little longer, they often also don’t come equipped with handy attachments. We recommend figuring out when and where you plan on using your dryer and then assessing whether portability is essential to you.
As expected when buying any niche household equipment, the more expensive models tend to come equipped with more gadgets and gizmos. To get the best value for money, we advise evaluating your needs. If you’re not too concerned about having timer dials, super high temperatures and fancy extra attachments then a simple budget-friendly drier could work for you.
However, these tend to be less powerful and not as good at eliminating bacteria and odor. If you’re using your dryer daily or even weekly, we think that it’s worth investing in a powerful dryer that will last. If you only plan on using it every once in a while, a smaller, less-powerful but cheaper unit may suit you well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are boot dryers loud?
Most modern high-quality boot dryers are very quiet, some are practically inaudible. The cheaper the model, the more likely they are to be noisy.
Most good boot dryers only operate below 50 decibels. To put this into perspective, a typical washing machine operates at 70 decibels and the Grand Canyon at night is 10 decibels. If you’re particularly worried about noise, you can dry your boots in the bathroom or the garden.
How do I use a boot dryer?
Each dryer is different, some have upright arms or tubes that you place your boots over and others are made to slip inside the boot itself.
Both types work just as well as each other, so your decision should be based on your need for portability and size.
Can I use my boot dryer on other types of shoes?
Yes. Boot dryers are great for drying other sports shoes such as ski equipment, although these can take a little longer to dry.
They’re also great at drying sneakers and even leather shoes, just make sure that the setting isn’t too hot for the material you’re drying. Always read the manual and find out the recommended drying temperature from the manufacturer.