Are Boot Dryers Bad For Leather Boots? 16 Pros & Cons


One of the most common questions I get on this blog is whether boot dryers are bad for leather boots or not. The answer to that is yes and no, so let us explore the pros and cons of drying your leather boots with a boot dryer. Also, we will as well take a look at some alternatives to using boot dryers.

So are boot dryers bad for leather boots? Boot dryers are great for removing moisture from boots which can help to prevent smells, mold, fungi, and bacteria growth in the leather boots. Boot dryers, however, have some downsides to their use, especially on leather boots. The constant heat the boot dryer produces to dry and treat leather boots can cause damages like cracks on the leather over time.

In the remaining parts of this article, I’m going to share with you some of the advantages and the disadvantages of using boot dryers on your leather boots. I will also share some simple but effective alternatives to boot dryers if you do not fancy their use. To learn more on this topic, keep reading this article.

The Pros Of Using Boot Dryers For Leather Boots

There are some fantastic features and functions that make boot dryers excellent for your leather boots. Check them out below.

1. Removes Excess Moisture

Boot dryers will typically remove any excess moisture in your boots, which can cause them to smell funky. Boot dryers are essentially made to dry moisture from boots.

And as you’re well aware leather is one of the most porous materials out there and so must be kept dry at all times. This is why boot dryers play such a huge role when it comes to drying out your leather boots in the winter and wet seasons or environment.

2. Boot Dryers Removes Foul Smells

Another pro to boot dryers is that they will typically remove any foul smell from your leather boots. It does this by using heat and airflow which removes the odor molecules in order to prevent them from being re-released back into the air when you put on your leather boots again.

We all hate it when our leather boots smell bad. It is not fun for us and the people around us. So using a boot dryer is a great way to remove those bad smells.

3. Boot Dryers Use Low Heat To Dry Boots

Another great feature about boot dryers is that they use low heat, which means your leather boots will not melt or shrink from high temperatures.

The boot dryer uses low heat to dry your leather boots. This means your boots will dry safely as the heat is not hot enough to damage the leather material, glue, and other fittings and fasteners that facilitate the use or hold the leather boot together.

4. Boot Dryers Have A Timer

The boot dryer has a timer. This means that you can set the machine to come on for 30 minutes at a time and then rest, giving your boots plenty of drying time without worry about too much heat or moisture being trapped inside the leather material.

This is also another great feature because it also prevents your leather boots from shrinking by overheating.

The timer is also a great feature because there is no need to worry about wasting time waiting around for hours while the leather boots dry.

You will also be happy with a boot dryer timer feature if you are out and about because it allows you to set the boot dryer on before leaving home then just let it self-rest when done.

This means that you can get more wear out of your favorite pair of boots without worrying too much about them getting wet outside or not being able to immediately put them back on!

It’s always nice to know that your investment will last for as long as possible–especially with expensive items like these high-quality leather boots. Plus, this reduces wastefulness in our world where we have so many other environmental concerns at hand.

5. Boot Dryer Prevent Mold Growth In Leather Boots

There are a lot of benefits to using boot dryers for your leather boots. Boot driers not only help remove excess moisture from the inside and outside of your shoes, but they also prevent mold growth in them!

Boot driers keep footwear looking good by eliminating odors while killing bacteria that can lead to bad smells and health problems. This is especially important if you have children.

Children tend to get their feet wet much more often than adults do – not just when it rains or snows either. So the boot dryer can be pretty helpful.

The boot dryer timers make this process even easier so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to set up the timer before going out on errands: just turn it on before leaving home then let it self-rest.

6. Boot Dryers Ensures The Durability Of the Leather Boots

Boot dryers are also great for the longevity of your leather boots. It ensures the necessary conditions that will enable your leather boots to last only prevails.

Leather is a natural material, so it has to be cared for and this includes ensuring that you wipe away any moisture before placing them on display in order to avoid mold growth and other conditions that could lead to the leather boot deteriorating quickly.

7. Boot Dryers Cleans

It is also possible to find some boot dryers that help to clean your leather boots and remove any dirt or mold from the interior of the boot as well. It is able to remove both the dirt and the moisture from your boots, which is a great feature for anyone who wishes to maintain their leather boot in top condition.

The cleaning process of these dryers will ensure that you don’t have any stains on the interior of your boot or residual water left inside after drying them.

8. Boot Dryer Prevents Boot Exterior Damages

There are some people who will use boot dryers on the exterior of their leather boots as well, and this is a great way to ensure that your boots don’t retain any moisture.

For example, boot driers help with preventing water spots from forming on the exterior of your leather shoes and boots.

If you have an older or stiffer pair of leather boots, then it can be difficult for them to properly air-dry after being worn in heavy rain without retaining water stains along the seams. For these types of issues with waterproofing, using a boot dryer is often going to be easier than trying other methods.

The drying process also ensures that a lot more dirt and debris won’t stick onto the exterior surface of the boot while still wet because they’re dried before placing them back into storage again.

9. Boot Dryers Have Heat Detectors

Some brands of boot dryers have heat detectors that can sense when the boot is dry. This gives you an accurate reading of how long to stay in the dryer before they’re completely dried and ready to be worn again.

Some also have apart from the heat detection, hot or cold air drying feature that allows you to dry the boot at a specific temperature.

More importantly, these smart detector features also let you know if your boots are fully heated up or not so it won’t overheat them, which could damage the leather quality.

What’s even great about the boot dryers is that the device has buttons or dials that can be turned on manually – this eliminates any potential errors with incorrect settings!

The Cons Of Using Boot Dryers For Leather Boots

There are quite a few downsides to using boot dryers when you’re drying leather boots.

1. Price

Boot dryers are more expensive than other methods of drying your leather boots or shoes like air-drying which simply involves just putting the leather boots in a cool dry place for them to air out.

2. They Take Up Space

Boot dryers are not the most portable devices you will ever buy for your leather boots. They can be bulky and take up a lot of space, especially if you need to pack them away in your car or store it when not in use.

They can also take up quite a bit of space in an already cramped closet where they would be taking up valuable real estate needed for clothes and outfits.

3. May Cause Damage To The Boot With Time

Boot dryers may damage your leather surface over time because heat causes the natural oils in the leather to evaporate.

The heat from the boot dryers is also drying out your leather which can cause them to crack over time.

If you love and value your pair of leather boots or shoes, it’s best not to expose them too much to hot temperatures that will only speed up their deterioration process.

4. Boot Dryers Are Not 100%

There are a lot of instances where boot dryers might not help to remove all oils and perspiration on your footwear because some parts might still remain moist even though it’s been exposed to heat.

For example, if you live an active lifestyle where you’re constantly sweating inside or out throughout the day, using a boot blower or dryer can actually cause more harm than good as mentioned above since there may still be moisture left behind after drying up your shoes.

5. Drying Time Has To Be Spaced

Leather boots can only be dried for a few minutes at a time with boot dryers without drying spots or “bubbling.” You must apply the boot dryer this way so that you can safely remove excess perspiration and dirt on your leather boots while maintaining the natural properties of your footwear.

6. Boot Dryers Require Electricity

Another downside is that boot dryers require electricity and so are not ideal for camping trips or other outdoor excursions where you might need them most. Another issue with boot dryers is that not only are they dependant on electricity, they are also not portable, so you can’t take them on the go.

7. Boot Dryers Are Not Forgiving

The biggest cons all come down to how long you leave a boot dryer inside your leather boots. With the wrong setting, It doesn’t take much longer than 30 minutes before the rubber sole starts sticking, and then afterward over time, this can lead to more serious damages like causing your leather to warp over time.

What Are The Alternatives To Boot Dryers?

There are quite a few different alternatives to boot dryers for drying leather boots without the risk of damaging them from too much heat exposure.

“One important tip that helps me to safely dry my leather items is cleaning my leather first before drying. This will help to remove any harmful residue that the water might have contained. It also helps to get rid of stains.”

1. Air-Drying

This is probably the most popular alternative to boot dryers. Air drying is the old-fashioned way of trying to keep your leather boots from getting wet and it’s just as effective today as it was back then.

All you need is to stuff your wet leather boots with some newspaper, set it at a place away from direct sunshine and water. The newspaper should take care of absorbing any excess moisture.

The downside to this is that it can take a couple of days for the leather boots to thoroughly dry. Of course, this will depend on the temperature and how wet the leather boots are.

2. Using Indirect Sunlight

This by no way shape or form means you should put your wet leather boots in the sun. What this means is that you can put your leather boots outside during the day when it’s sunny.

You will need to find a suitable shade spot outside. Ensure the sun will not directly hit your leather boots.

I have had a couple of friends who actually use towels to create a sunshade over the leather boots. This method tends to cause the wet leather to dry much faster.

Another reason why this is not a good idea is that direct sunlight will cause the leather to dry quicker but also make them stiffer and less elastic in time.

The indirect sunlight on other hand will be able to let the boot air out without drying it too quickly.

If you’re using this method to dry your leather boots, you will have to check on them from time to time to ensure the sun has not gotten to the spot where you have left the boots to dry.

It is also recommended that you periodically check the boot and make sure there’s no dampness on any part of them before putting them back inside.

This will ensure they get properly dried while also avoiding possible damage from direct sunlight exposure.

3. Blow Dryer

The blow dryer is also another great alternative to boot dryers. This will work if you’re in a hurry to get your boots dried faster.

If you want to speed up drying time, blow dry your leather boots for about five minutes before putting them in front of a fan (not cold) – which will make the process take less than twenty minutes!

You can also place the blow dryer at some distance away from your leather boots and turn it on for about ten minutes or so. Be careful not to put it too close because that would only make things worse by damaging the leather material of the boot.

What To Do After Drying Your Leather Boots

There are two main things you need to do during or after drying your leather boots: Conditioning and Protecting. Let’s start with conditioning.


After drying your leather boots one of the first things you need to do is to condition the leather with a good leather conditioner.

The conditioner will help to make the leather soft and smooth, which is great because that means you are less likely to develop cracks on your boots.

This will also prevent any of the damage from occurring in future rainy days or cold winters since it’ll be more flexible than before.

You will want to condition your leather while the leather boots are slightly damp. Apply a liberal amount of leather conditioner on an applicator (microfiber cloth or sponge).

My personal favorite applicator is my hand as it generates heat that helps to massage the leather conditioner deep into the leather boots. Whatever applicator you choose, just make sure to massage the conditioner into the surface of the leather boot.

You can now return the leather boots to the drying method of your choice. As the leather boots dry, the conditioner will gradually penetrate into the fibers of the leather boot to replenish any lost oils that got stripped away by water.

If you’re unsure of how to apply a specific leather conditioner you have, do well to go over the application instructions on the package.


After you have dried and conditioned your leather boots (using your method of choice that is boot dryer, air-drying, etc), you can now go ahead to protect your leather boots from future water damage.

You can use a clear coat of leather sealant to form a protective layer on the surface of your boots, or you could opt for one with wax that will also help protect against everyday wear and tear. These would need to be reapplied every few months as they will eventually wear away from daily usage.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

Recent Posts