Can You Put Trainers In The Tumble Dryer?

If you’ve spent a load of your hard earned cash on a decent pair of trainers, you’re going to want to look after them. If they have become soaking wet for whatever reason and you want to wear them the same day, it’s logical to think about putting them in the tumble dryer.

But can you safely put trainers in the tumble dryer?

The short answer is no, you can’t put trainers in the tumble dryer. You could seriously damage the shape of the trainer which could lead to serious injury if you were to wear them.

Why Can’t You Put Trainers In The Tumble Dryer?

Most good quality trainers have specialised rubber soles which could start to melt and deform under the heat that a tumble dryer produces. This could cause the sole to lose its structural integrity, making the trainers unwearable. Even if no damage is visible, the sole could have warped just enough to cause you discomfort when you wear them. 

It could even lead to a serious injury if they are your running trainers. We know many serious runners have their trainers tailor made for the shape of their feet. These trainers can cost hundreds of pounds and are designed for the comfort of the wearer.

If these warp even slightly, they could cause serious injury for the runner. Even if you’re not a runner and have bought yourself some stylish trainers, the same problems apply. Just walking around in trainers with slightly warped soles could lead to discomfort and injury.

The Tumble Dryer Wouldn’t Dry Trainers Effectively 

Even after tumbling on a full cycle, there’s a strong possibility the trainers would still be wet. Plus it’s not just the soles that can get damaged, many trainers are made from a combination of fabric and leather uppers. Leather can shrink when it is exposed to high temperatures.

This would mean not only the soles would be misshapen when the trainers come out of the tumble dryer. On top of which the heat from the dryer could melt some of the glues used to manufacture your trainers.

Always Check The Care Label

Before attempting to dry your trainers, take a look at the care label which is usually found under the trainer’s tongue. This will give you all the information you need on how they can be dried.

Other Ways To Dry Trainers


After washing your trainers, or if they get wet whilst out in them, it’s important to dry them before wearing them again. Wet shoes aren’t just uncomfortable, they can cause blisters and you run the risk of breeding fungus and mould which thrive in dark, wet environments. So it is important to get your trainers dry as fast as you can.

Now we’ve established that the dryer is not the place to dry them, we need to find some alternative ways to dry your trainers.

Using Newspaper To Dry Trainers

Newspaper is a natural material made from recycled materials and wood pulp and is perfect for absorbing moisture. Simply remove the inner soles and dry them elsewhere (place them near a fan or air dry them), Loosen the laces and stuff the trainers with crumbled newspaper. 

Be sure to get the newspaper into all of the toe areas of the trainers and the whole length of the trainer. Then wrap in a towel and place the trainers in a dry, well ventilated area but not in direct sunlight. 

If your trainers are very wet, it might be a good idea to replace the newspaper after a couple of hours. Depending how wet your trainers are, it could take around 12 hours to dry them properly.

Using A Fan To Dry Trainers

The trainers need to be placed directly in front of the fan, if possible touching the fan’s metal grill. The trainers need to be placed with the foot opening against the fan’s grill for maximum drying capability. Remove the inner soles first and dry them elsewhere.

Using The Air To Dry Trainers

This is the easiest and gentlest way to dry trainers. Just place your trainers in a warm, dry place that has some air circulation. Ensure the trainers are not in direct sunlight and that the area is not too hot. Remove the inner soles and loosen the laces to allow the air to flow through the whole trainer.

This will get the same result as putting the trainers in the tumble dryer without the chances of damaging the trainers in any way.

Using A Shoe Dryer To Dry Trainers

Shoe dryers are designed specifically to dry shoes and trainers. They range in price from around £8 to £100 depending on the make and design. But they ultimately all do the same thing.

Which is to dry your trainers, boots and shoes without exposing them to too much heat or dryness. Some work by absorbing moisture whilst others use warm air to dry your trainers. Which explains the large difference in prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put washed trainers in the tumble dryer?

You should never put trainers in a tumble dryer because the heat could damage the sole, any leather pieces of material or even melt the glue that was used to construct the trainer.

Can trainers damage a dryer?

Whilst there is a possibility of damaging the dryer with trainers, there’s an even stronger possibility of damaging the trainers in the dryer. The sole could warp, the top could get bent out of shape, the trainer could shrink and the glue that was used to manufacture the trainer could melt.

Can you dry trainers in the oven?

You should never dry trainers in the oven. It is impossible to completely regulate the amount of heat the trainers are exposed to in an oven. The best solution is to air dry them, it takes longer but it’s safer for the trainers.

Can you dry trainers in the fridge?

You can’t dry trainers in the fridge, but you can use the fan or vent from the fridge to dry them. Place the trainers facing the fan or vent of the fridge, remove the inner soles and loosen the laces and allow the warm air to dry the trainers.

 Can you dry trainers with a hair dryer?

You shouldn’t dry trainers with a hairdryer as the heat from the hairdryer could be too intense for the trainers and cause damage.

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