Can You Put Running Shoes In The Dryer

As a passionate runner, I’ve learned the hard way that taking care of your running shoes is essential for their longevity and performance. One common question that many runners have is whether it’s safe to put their beloved running shoes in the dryer. Let’s dive deep into this topic and explore the ins and outs of drying running shoes.

The Risks of Putting Running Shoes in the Dryer

Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand that putting your running shoes in the dryer can be risky. The intense heat and tumbling motion of the dryer can potentially damage the structural integrity of your shoes or even alter their fit. Running shoes are typically made with various materials, including foam, mesh, rubber, and synthetic fabrics, all of which may not react well to excessive heat.

Additionally, the high heat in the dryer can cause the glue that holds the shoes together to melt, potentially compromising the durability and stability of the shoes. So, it’s crucial to consider these risks before deciding whether or not to put your running shoes in the dryer.

Alternative Methods for Drying Running Shoes

While the dryer might seem like a convenient option for drying your running shoes quickly, there are alternative methods that are safer and more effective in preserving the quality of your shoes:

  1. Air Drying: The most recommended method for drying running shoes is to simply let them air dry. Start by removing the insoles and laces, then loosely stuff the shoes with newspaper or paper towels. This will help absorb moisture and maintain the shoe’s shape. Place them in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight and allow them to dry naturally. This method may take several hours, depending on the level of moisture.
  2. Using a Fan: If you’re in a hurry and want to accelerate the drying process, you can place your running shoes in front of a fan. The airflow will aid in evaporation and help to dry the shoes more quickly. However, make sure to keep the fan at a distance to avoid excessive heat.
  3. Stuffing with Dry Towels: Another effective method is to stuff your wet running shoes with dry towels. The towels will absorb the moisture and help speed up the drying process. Rotate the towels every few hours until the shoes are completely dry.

When to Consider the Dryer

While it’s generally not recommended to put your running shoes in the dryer, there may be some cases where it could be a last resort. If you’re in a time crunch or dealing with extreme weather conditions, you can try the following precautions:

  1. Low Heat Setting: If you decide to use the dryer, it’s essential to set it to the lowest heat setting possible. High heat can cause irreversible damage to your shoes, so opting for a gentler heat setting can minimize the risks.
  2. Use a Laundry Bag or Pillowcase: To protect your shoes from excessive tumbling, place them in a laundry bag or a pillowcase before putting them in the dryer. This will provide some cushioning and prevent potential damage to the shoes.
  3. Monitor Closely: Keep a close eye on your shoes while they’re in the dryer. If you notice any signs of excessive heat or melting, immediately remove them from the dryer to prevent further damage.


In conclusion, putting your running shoes in the dryer can be risky and potentially damage the shoes. It’s best to explore alternative methods such as air drying or using a fan to preserve the quality and performance of your running shoes. However, if you find yourself in a time crunch and need to resort to the dryer, be sure to use the lowest heat setting, place the shoes in a laundry bag or pillowcase, and closely monitor them throughout the drying process. By taking proper care of your running shoes, you can extend their lifespan and continue enjoying your runs with comfort and support.