Shoe drying solutions
The easiest way to dry your shoes is to stuff with newspaper and then place them on top of a radiator, but we have a few other tips to reduce that drying time.
After a muddy ride it makes sense to clean your mountain bike shoes before all that clag has a chance to dry hard, and once clean, you’ll want them to dry out sharpish, especially if you plan to ride the next day.
1. When using the newspaper method, speed up drying by removing the laces, folding out the tongues and replacing the sodden newspaper every hour or so.
2. News print is great at soaking up moisture, but a desiccant is much more effective. The best is silica gel and you can find this online for around £10 a kilo. However, some cat litters also contain silica gel and are more readily available – we bought a 3.8-litre bag of Cat Litter Crystals from Wilko for about £3. To use the desiccant, get an old pair of socks, fill about four inches and then tie a knot in the end. Stuff this drying sausage in your shoes at night and they’ll be dry and fragrant the next morning.
3. Drysure’s Active Shoe Drier is basically a commercial version of our home-made sock, which uses silica gel technology and comes with a J-shaped plastic cage that fits easily in your shoes. The silica sacks come in a selection of different colours and can also be reactivated by heating them gently in the oven. It costs £24.95, from drysure.co [sic]
4. If you want to speed up the drying time try Husqvarna Boot Dryers. These are cigar-shaped heated elements than run off the mains. They’re normally £20-25 but we found them on-line at toolstoday.co.uk for £12.99, although you will need a shaver adapter (another £2.50) for the two-pin plug.
5. The Therm-ic Dryer (£30 therm-ic.com) is mini heater that blows hot air into your shoes. The flexible hoses are adjustable, so will fit all shoe types and sizes, and it will dry damp shoes or gloves in a few hours. Best of all, it’s completely silent.
6. For a more permanent drying station try Homcom’s Wall-mounted Electric Shoe Dryer (available from Amazon for £24.99). It plugs into the mains and can accommodate two pairs of shoes. You can even drape extras over the bars such as gloves, Buffs and overshoes. Homcom also offers a free-standing, four-shoe version for an extra £6.