Wetsuit boots are a staple for many divers, surfers, snorkelers, wakeboarders, and other water sports participants. They help protect your feet from possible cuts and keep them warm in colder waters.
Knowing how to dry wetsuit boots correctly is integral to keeping them in top-performing condition and extending the lifetime of the boots.
But, what are the best ways to keep this type of footwear dry and clean? Read on to learn how to dry wetsuit boots properly.
How Do You Dry Wetsuit Booties?
Before you dry wetsuit boots, you need to wash wetsuit boots. Make sure they get a good rinse with freshwater, just like your wetsuit.
This removes harmful chlorine, salt, sweat, and other organic materials from the boots that grow harmful bacteria.
Once you give them a good five-minute spray down (preferably with warm water), then you’re ready to move onto the drying wetsuit boots stage.
Air drying is the gentlest way to dry your wetsuit boots. Many people turn the boots upside down and hang them on hooks or poles to drip dry. Avoid creasing or crushing the wetsuit boots to ensure maximum retention of their insulative, thermal properties.
You can suspend them upside down outside in a sunny location to dry, but remember that repeated exposure to sun drying can cause the colour to fade and eventual deterioration of the boot materials.
The best long-term option for air drying is to set them up in a shady, dry spot with good airflow.
How Do I Stop My Wetsuit Boots From Smelling?
The easiest way to cause wetsuit boots to become smelly is by not washing them thoroughly after use, drying them only partially, and then chucking them at the bottom of a gear bag. Leaving boots unwashed and damp is a recipe for microbe growth and stink.
Properly washing your wetsuit boots immediately after use and ensuring the boots dry completely are the two most essential factors in keeping your boots from smelling.
Bacteria thrive on damp and organic matter, so confirming that the boots have been thoroughly washed after use and then thoroughly dried is of the utmost importance.
How Can I Make My Wetsuit Boots Dry Faster?
There are several keys to ensuring optimal wetsuit boots’ drying efficiency, and they are all similar to the methods used for keeping other types of footwear dry and free from mildew or rancid smells.
Towel drying your wetsuit boots directly after washing is an excellent way to speed up the drying process. You can towel dry the boots until they are no longer sopping wet and then hang them up to dry.
Hang Upside Down
Hanging the boots upside down to air dry will help speed up the process rather than letting them dry right-side up. The first method ensures that the water will efficiently drip from the boots.
Airflow and Temperature
You can increase airflow and air temperature to the drying area to speed up the drying process. Increase airflow by placing the boots in front of a fan. If you are drying your wetsuit boots in a temperature-controlled room like a bathroom, then you could set them in front of or near a hot vent.
Once your wetsuit boots have been towel-dried and have been drip-drying for a while, you can crumple up a newspaper or heavy-duty paper towels into the boots to help absorb the rest of the moisture.
Adding in the absorbing material after the boots have partially dried is imperative, ensuring that you create a mess of overly absorbed, soggy material in your boots.
Some people also use manufactured boot dryers to speed up drying their wetsuit boots. If you’re considering this, make sure that your specific wetsuit boots are suitable for being dried by these products. It’s also still a good idea to towel dry the boots first before placing them in the dryer.
Can You Put Neoprene Boots in the Dryer?
Neoprene boots, and any wetsuit boots, should not be put in a dryer that is not explicitly designed for drying boots. Standard dryers can cause significant damage to the adhesive of the wetsuit boot soles and will degrade and cause wear on the material. The damage can be substantial enough to destroy your wetsuit boots.
To recap, thoroughly washing and drying your wetsuit boots after every use will help ensure that your boots stay stink-free and durable.
Make sure to always completely dry your boots before storing them away, and remember to never put your wetsuit boots in a dryer except for an approved boot dryer suitable for your boots’ materials. Ideally, store your boots in an area with good ventilation and low air moisture content.