How to dry tennis shoes in the dryer

Grey running sneakers at the edge of a dryer drum.
(Image credit: Getty)

So, you've successfully cleaned your sneakers in the washer, and now you're probably wondering how to dry your tennis shoes in the dryer, too. Putting a large object in even the best dryer can often seem like a risky choice, but we're here to guide you with confidence so that you can start wearing your dry, clean shoes quickly. 

It's worth noting that although this is an easy task, there are some precautions to take. From taking your laces out to taking special care of certain materials like suede or leather, there are a few caveats to be aware of. Without further ado, if you're keen to get your shoes dried and ready to wear, then take a look at our top tips for drying tennis shoes in a dryer. 

How often should you dry tennis shoes in the dryer?

Whether you have a busy lifestyle and need to complete your laundry quickly, or you desperately need that work shirt by tomorrow morning, dryers are one of the handiest household appliances. They're easy to use, and you can avoid having washing hanging around your home, but there are downsides to them, too. 

Using a dryer frequently with your clothes can lead to damage in the long term. Taking note of the care labels on your clothes can help to mitigate this. However, the roughness of the machine can end up wearing fabric down much more quickly than it would if it was left to air dry. The same can be said for drying your shoes. Now and then, it is unlikely to cause any harm, but we would advise against putting your shoes in the dryer any more often than once a month. This will help to prevent any shrinking as well as any damage to the glue.

How to dry tennis shoes in the dryer

1. Check the label

Even if you think that your tennis shoes will fare well in a dryer, it's always worth double-checking the care instructions. Your shoes might have suede features, for example, that could ruin them in high heat. Canvas and fabric shoes are generally fine, but it's good to double-check. 

2. Air dry first 

You have likely just pulled your tennis shoes out from the washing machine, so they're probably very wet. We advise leaving them to air dryer for around an hour to get any drips off so that using a dryer is as efficient as possible. It's also a good idea to mold the shoes back into shape at this point.

What the expert says...

Laura Mountford, a cleaning influencer, says, "You should only dry shoes in a dryer if necessary as
the heat can damage the fabric, melt the glue, and the movement in the machine can cause them to become misshapen or come apart. If you are short on time and choose to use your tumble dryer, a low heat should be selected, and to avoid the shoes becoming damaged, it
is best to tie the shoelaces together and place them inside a mesh laundry bag."

3. Remove the laces

Just like our advice when it comes to putting your shoes in the washer, it's best practice to remove the laces of your shoes. They can catch in the dryer drum, causing damage to your machine and shoes, so you should leave these out to air dry. Luckily, they will dry fast, so you won't have to wait long to replace them. 

If you have an old pillow case or a mesh laundry bag, you can also place the shoes in this, as it will prevent them from touching the inside of the drum directly. 

4. Turn to the lowest heat setting 

High heat is often unnecessary when it comes to drying clothes or shoes. We say slow and steady wins the race, so pop your shoes in on the lowest heat setting your machine has. 

5. Pick a short cycle 

Depending on the settings that your dryer has to choose from, we recommend selecting a shorter cycle. Around 20-30 minutes should be enough to dry your shoes, at least partially. After this time, take them out to check, and if they need a bit longer, repeat the cycle. It's better to underdo it, so keep an eye on them.

6. Remove from the dryer

When your tennis shoes feel dry, remove them from the dryer. You might need to reshape them slightly, but they'll quickly be as good as new and ready to wear! 

Holly Cockburn
TTR Features Editor, Cleaning

Holly, the former Features Editor of Top Ten Reviews, brings a wealth of experience in creating practical home content. With a background in freelance writing and product copy, she is dedicated to producing thorough features that help readers make the most of their homes and gardens.

With contributions from