Wet cleats are uncomfortable to wear and difficult to play in. Furthermore, moisture will damage your shoes irreparably over time. Luckily, getting cleats dry quickly requires little more than some household objects and a bit of tender love and care.
Part 1 Part 1 of 2:Preparing the Cleats
Loosen the laces to open up the cleats. You want to get air to as much of the cleat as possible. Furthermore, wet cleats tend to contract as they dry, creating tension on the seams. Loosening the laces will alleviate some of this stress.
Remove the insole, if possible, and set aside to dry. Again, the more pieces of the boot you can expose to air, the faster they are all going to dry. Wrap the insole up in paper towels, or leave it upright by an open window or fan to start drying it.
- Hanging your insoles up with a clothespin is a good way to quickly dry them.
Wipe any mud, dirt, or grass off with a damp towel. Get as much of the mud off now as you can, as it will be harder to remove once it has dried onto the shoe. Don’t worry about adding a bit more water to them now to help wipe away the mud. If they are already soaked, this won’t make a huge difference.
Pat the shoes down with a dry cloth. Remove as much surface moisture as you can to kick-start the process. Get both inside and outside of the cleat.
Part 2 Part 2 of 2:Drying Your Cleats
Fill cleats with lightly balled newspapers, mimicking your foot in the boot. You’re not making a newspaper foot mold, of course, and you don’t want to stuff it so tightly that the cleats are bulging. Simply fill it snugly with newspaper so that it won’t shrink as it dries. To dry the tongue and laces, slide a piece of newspaper between them as well and lightly tighten the laces down.
- You don’t want to tightly scrunch the newspaper. The looser it is, with more surface area, the better it will wick moisture away from the boots.
- Paper towels, napkins, small hand-clothes, and other absorbent materials can all be used in place of newspaper if need be.
- The newspaper will also absorb water much more quickly than air alone.
Place cleats in a dry place, preferably with a breeze or light fan. Moisture is wicked away faster under moving air, so a fan or gentle breeze is a good way to gently speed up the drying process. Either way, don’t put them in damp or humid areas — drier air will lead to drier cleats.
- If your hair dryer has a cool or low setting this can be used to speed up the process slightly. Do not use the hot setting — if the air is too hot to hold over your skin, it is too hot for the cleats.
- If you don’t care about the smell, a refrigerator is a great place to quickly dry cleats — the cold air is constantly circulated, drying the shoes rapidly.
Change the newspaper out after 2-3 hours to speed up the process. As the newspapers fill with water, they become less effective at absorbing more. Changing out the newspaper greatly increases the moisture pulled out of your boots.
Understand that direct heat will damage cleats permanently. Using a hairdryer, a drying machine, or the oven will damage your cleats worse than moisture wil. Do not be impatient when trying to dry your cleats rapidly, as this will only lead to damaged leather and warped shoes. Do not:
- Put in the drier
- Blast with hot air
- Stick out in direct sunlight for more than 1 hour
- Stick in the oven, even at low temperature.