If there’s one thing most DIYers, craftspeople, homeowners, and really anyone can agree on, it’s that walking around isn’t much fun in a pair of wet boots. Whether it’s from a rainy hike, a snowy shovel session, or simply sweating during a project on a hot day, no one likes sloshy boots.
The good news is that the best boot dryer can help, drying out your boots in a fraction of the time air-drying takes. Pumping warm, dry air into your heavy-duty insulated boots can take them from swampy to comfy overnight.
- BEST OVERALL: PEET The Original 2-Shoe Electric Shoe and Boot Dryer
- RUNNER UP: JobSite Original Shoe Boot Dryer
- UPGRADE PICK: PEET The Original 2-Shoe and Boot Dryer
- BEST TWO-PAIR: PEET Advantage Electric Express Shoe and Boot Dryer
- BEST FOR TALL BOOTS: MaxxDry Heavy Duty Boot Dryer
- BEST CAPACITY: DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer
- MOST PORTABLE: KOODER Boot Dryer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Boot Dryer
Before you start shopping for the best boot dryer, there are a few things you should know. The following section will outline the finer points to keep in mind about these time-saving, comfort-promoting devices while shopping for the best boot dryer.
The best boot dryers come in various forms. Some work more quickly than others, while the slower options offer more portability. It’s important to understand the difference.
Convection and forced hot air boot dryers are by far the most common. These models have vertical tubes over which you place your boots. Convection dryers take room air, heat it, remove moisture, and then allow it to rise into the boots. Forced hot air does the same, with a fan that blows the air through the boots.
There are also simple foot-shaped heating elements known as positive temperature coefficient dryers. These dryers fit inside your boots (even if they’re on a shoe rack) and heat them from the inside out. They have temperature controls that keep them from getting too warm, but they tend to be pretty slow. However, they’re a bit more portable than a hot-air dryer.
For the ultimate in drying, you might prefer a UV-based dryer. These machines use ultraviolet light to dry the boots and also kill bacteria to prevent nasty odors.
There are also more portable options like silica gel-based products and propane-operated dryers. They tend to be pretty slow, but their easy transport and use make them attractive for camping and adventuring.
If you’re like many adventurers, you like to share the experience with a buddy. That means you’re probably not the only one with some soggy hiking or work boots. In this case, you might want to consider your pal and purchase a boot dryer that can handle their hiking or work boots, too.
Many boot dryers can handle only one pair at a time, but there are plenty with the capacity to dry two pairs at once. While the obvious use is to dry two pairs of boots, you can also dry boot inserts and gloves. Consider how helpful drying several items at once can be.
If you have a pair of expensive leather boots, pumping a bunch of hot air into them can strip them of their oils, causing the leather to shrink and crack. While you can re-oil and clean them to recover some of their appearance, the better option is not using heat in the first place.
Several boot dryers have the option to choose between drying with or without heat. With a flip of a switch, you can go from drying heavy-duty winter boots with heat to allowing your expensive dress boots to dry more naturally, retaining their oils and shape.
If you’re not the expensive leather boots type, you’ll probably be quite happy with a permanently heating boot dryer. Still, if you have a few nice pairs that occasionally see a puddle or two, you might consider a dryer with a heat shutoff.
Pro Tip: If you’re worried about water stains on your expensive boots, wet the entire boot. While this seems counterintuitive, soaking the whole boot will allow the leather to dry at an equal rate, avoiding water stains and marks.
One of the most important considerations while shopping through the best boot dryers is the amount of time it will take a particular model to dry your boots. While drying time often has more to do with how wet the boot is, having an idea of how long it will take to dry out your boots will help you decide on the right model.
Silica gel and positive temperature coefficient models are slow. They can often take eight to 12 hours to dry out a wet boot. Alternatively, some forced hot air dryers can have you back out on the trail or job site in three hours. The dryer’s power output and efficiency have a lot to do with how long they’ll have to run for before your footwear is ready.
If you haven’t considered the height of the ports when shopping for the best boot dryer, you should give it some thought. Yes, it’s true that most boots will fit on any standard tube on a boot dryer, but taller footwear like rubber hunting boots and rain boots might require a taller port to allow the dryer to work as efficiently as possible.
The good news is that several models have tube extensions that allow you to lengthen your vertical tubes up to 16 inches. These tubes offer plenty of height for tall rubber farm and hunting boots. If you find yourself donning a pair of these boots when the weather takes a turn, you might want to consider purchasing one of these models.
Packing a couple of pairs of heavy boots onto a boot dryer can affect how they sit on the tubes. They can block the intake fan and make the boot dryer work less efficiently. If you’re able to find a model with articulating tubes, you can avoid cramming everything together.
With an articulating tube, you can place your boots on the dryer sideways without affecting the dryer’s efficiency. These tubes allow the boot to sit correctly, so it dries as efficiently as possible while still allowing room for another pair of boots, gloves, or a hat without blocking the fan.
Less a feature and more a piece of advice, make sure you use a drip tray under your boot dryer. Very few models come with built-in drip trays, but you might want to consider purchasing one separately. They can make a big difference in protecting your floors and minimizing wet, muddy messes as your boots dry.
Whether your boots are still a bit snow-packed or they’re truly soaked, a drip tray can help keep your expensive flooring free from water damage. If you’ll be using your boot dryer in a room with carpet or hardwood flooring, a drip tray is a must.
There are a few extra features you might want to consider when shopping for the best boot dryer. Models with timers allow you to set your boot dryer ahead of time and forget it’s running. These time-adjustable models can be particularly helpful if you’re drying overnight or swapping boots and leaving for the day.
Some models even have extra attachments that you can purchase for your boot dryer. You’ll find tubes for gloves and mittens. These attachments allow the dry air to reach the extremities of these hard-to-dry items while also helping them retain their shape—important when it comes to expensive leather gloves.
You might even find an attachment that can take the place of a deodorizer. Some of these install in-line on the tube and fight odor while they dry.
Our Top Picks
With a bit of knowledge about the features to look for in the best boot dryers, you’re ready to check out what the market has to offer. The following is a list of some of the best boot dryers. You can compare these models against each other, keeping the most essential considerations in mind to ensure that you choose the best boot dryer for your needs.
If you’re shopping for a quality boot dryer that will get the job done quickly, check out The Original 2-Shoe Electric Shoe and Boot Dryer from PEET. This dual-vertical tube boot dryer uses convection to emit warm, dry air into your boots. It will work with leather, rubber, vinyl, neoprene, canvas, synthetics, fleece, felt, and microfiber materials. It comes with a set of extension tubes, allowing you to efficiently dry a tall pair of boots.
The Original is a convection-style boot dryer, so it just slightly warms air from the room, allowing it to rise through the tubes and into the boots. It can silently dry a pair of boots in three to eight hours while also eliminating mold and mildew to help prevent odors.
JobSite’s boot dryer is certainly worth a look if you’re on the hunt for a simple and affordable convection-style boot dryer. The JobSite can handle one pair of boots at a time, but you can also use it for drying gloves, hats, and ice skates once your boots are dry. It has a modular tube system with extensions for taller boots.
While the JobSite Original Shoe Boot Dryer’s convection design works silently, it does have an on-off indicating LED built into the switch. Damp boots can take up to eight hours, while truly wet boots might take overnight (10 hours or more) to dry completely.
Between the dirt, sweat, and water that a pair of wet boots is likely to harbor, some pretty funky smells can emit from deep within. This model from PEET helps keep the stink at bay. This boot dryer comes with a removable module that you can install in-line with your tubes, allowing convection-heated air to rise through, drying and deodorizing your boots.
The PEET The Original 2-Shoe and Boot Dryer gets the job done quickly, taking care of your boots in three to eight hours. If your hat or gloves start to stink, the PEET can handle them as well.
Soggy boots and wet gloves sometimes require a bit of extra firepower to ensure they’re comfortable when you need them. PEET’s Advantage 4-Shoe Electric Express Shoe and Boot Dryer takes a high-tech approach, providing a bit of extra customization and capability over a standard convection dryer. It features an on-off switch for heat as well as a programmable timer with an LED display.
The Advantage can handle all types of gear, with extension tubes for taller boots. You can also double up the extensions for drying hip waders, should a fishing trip get a little slippery. The center-mounted fan and coil draw air for heating and then push the warm, dry air through your gear.
The MaxxDry is worth checking into if you’re on the hunt for a dryer for your tallest boots. The MaxxDry features two removable 16-inch tubes that help keep your wellies or rain boots upright while the forced hot air dries them out.
The MaxxDry has plenty of other features as well. There’s a switch to toggle between heat and no heat and an adjustable timer for up to three hours of drying. The fan and coil are quiet, though they can pump out 105-degree air, drying most items in about an hour. The MaxxDry has four ports, allowing you to dry two pairs of boots or a combination of footwear and gear.
If you’re searching for a high-capacity boot dryer that works quickly and efficiently, be sure to take a look at the DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer. This machine uses forced hot air to dry up to four heavy-duty boots at a time, and its 16-inch extension tubes help keep tall boots upright as it dries them out.
The DryGuy uses a center-mounted fan and heating coil to produce air temperatures of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, drying most items in two hours. The temperature and dry air also help eliminate odors and reduce bacteria growth. It has an on-off switch for the heat control and a timer that adjusts for up to three hours.
If you prefer a more direct heat source for drying your damp shoes and boots, check out the KOODER Boot Dryer, Shoe Dryer, Foot Dryer. This electric positive temperature coefficient boot dryer slips inside your shoes, producing heat that emits from 360 degrees, drying out your boots as you sleep.
The KOODER helps your wet boot or shoe retain its shape as it dries, as it has a length adjustment that allows the pair of dryers to fill an entire shoe. The heat also helps reduce odors and bacteria, keeping your work boots or hiking boots smelling a little fresher than they might otherwise.
FAQs About Boot Dryers
Now you should know how the best boot dryer can significantly improve your comfort after a wet trek, but you might still have some questions. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best boot dryers, so be sure to check for your answer here.
Q. How do you use a shoe and boot dryer?
Most boot dryers use electricity to warm the air inside the boot. Simply plug the dryer in and insert the boot over the tubes.
If it’s a positive temperature coefficient model, plug it in and slip the heaters into your boots. The boot dryer does the rest.
Q. How long do boot dryers take to dry boots?
It depends on many factors, including how wet the boot is and the type of dryer you purchase. In general, the best boot dryers can dry up a soaking wet boot over the course of eight hours.
Q. Do boot dryers kill bacteria?
Yes, by creating a warm, dry environment, boot dryers help reduce the amount of bacteria inside of a boot.
Q. Can a boot dryer catch on fire?
Any electrical appliance can catch fire, but the best boot dryers have built-in temperature controls that will not allow the dryer to exceed a specific temperature (usually around 105 degrees Fahrenheit).
Q. How do you maintain a boot dryer?
Boot dryers don’t need a lot of maintenance. Simply wipe the surfaces down with a household cleaning wipe, and if your machine has a fan or air intake, vacuum it out to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible.