Having the right equipment for a task is crucial to successfully carrying it out. For example, the right kicking equipment for a soccer player is a dry soccer cleat be it leather, synthetic, or rubber. However, one might be left with a wet cleat due to adverse weather conditions.
For instance, playing soccer in the rain or even making mistakes when washing can often result in having thoroughly soaked kits. This is why it is essential to know how to dry soccer cleats accurately and without damaging them.
Well, if you are having challenges getting your soccer cleats dry, then this article is for you. This article hopes to explain the several methods available for drying your wet soccer cleats.
How To Dry Soccer Cleats?
Before the actual act of drying the cleats, it is essential to take specific steps. These steps help speed up the drying process while preserving the quality of the cleats.
For instance, the preparation process considers the different components of the cleats, ensuring they dry completely.
Preparation for Drying
- Loosen up Laces
When preparing your cleats for drying, the first step is to remove the laces. Most shoelaces are made from cotton, and this material tends to absorb and retain moisture after washing. Therefore, removing them helps hasten the cleats’ drying process.
- Cleaning accumulated dirt
The several movements required in a soccer game often leave cleats dirty and in need of a wash; hence cleaning is necessary. This process not only helps to clean the cleats but also to guard against the damage caused by dried dirt.
Unfortunately, when dirt (mud) dries on a cleat, it makes it extremely difficult to wash.
- Remove the insole
The insole is the usually soft material placed in the cleats. This cleat portion is heavily padded as the soccer player’s sole rests on this portion.
For maximum comfort, this portion is made to absorb a lot. As a result, it should be dried off separately. This is also done to create space within the cleat to allow quicker drying of air as possible.
Methods for Drying Cleats
There are several methods to dry a soccer cleat, which require cool air. At no point is it advisable to use hot air; however, different methods would suffice depending on how urgently they are needed.
The speed at which different methods can dry your cleats may vary, but each of these processes will eventually give you the desired result. Listed below are the significant methods for drying your cleats:
1. Natural Air Conditions
Using natural air in a well-ventilated environment usually gives the best results. This is because the natural process of evaporation only targets the moisture in the atmosphere, leaving the cleat components intact and in their best conditions.
- It gives the best drying result.
- Fresh air is cheap and readily available in most places.
- Safe drying method; it doesn’t damage the cleat in any way.
- Natural air can remove foul smells from soccer cleats.
- Can be long and time-consuming.
- It is dependent on having dry weather conditions and cannot be used during rainy seasons.
- It requires a lot of supervision during the drying process.
2. Placing under or in front of a fan
This method is bound to give a much faster result than when one tries to dry using normal weather conditions. It also solely targets wicking out the moisture, leaving the core components of the cleats undamaged.
- It is usable under all conditions and requires minimal supervision.
- Doesn’t take as long as the natural air method.
- Safe dry method; it doesn’t destroy the components of the cleats.
- Suitable in confined spaces where fresh air is not fully accessible.
- All thanks to diffusion, the smell of a wet cleat will fill up the entire area where it is situated.
- Fans attract dust over time; this could stain an already washed cleat.
- Require electricity or battery to function.
3. Clean with absorbent Medium
Materials that absorb moisture quickly, like towels or napkins are also advantageous in the drying process. They are placed in the insole region to stretch out the cleat and absorb moisture from every part of it.
- Speeds up the drying process
- Can be done multiple times till the desired result is accomplished
- Asides from stretching out the cleat, there is a minimal chance of damaging the cleats through this process.
- This method is not a standalone solution and often needs the other methods above.
- It is slow and can often be tiring.
- It doesn’t dry the entire length of the cleats, leaving unsatisfactory results.
- Requires the replacement of the absorbent material as they quickly get wet during use.
4. Using Heat Energy from an Incandescent Bulb
Incandescent bulbs radiate a lot of heat and have been used in cold climates to help stabilize room temperature. The heat they give off is mild yet effective for drying.
- Keeps the component of the cleats undamaged regardless of the design used.
- Faster than the natural air method of drying soccer cleats.
- Suitable for confined spaces.
- It doesn’t eliminate smell but only dries the cleats.
- Fails to cover the entire length of the cleat; as a result, some parts may be drier than others.
- It is not the fastest drying method.
- Requires supervision to ensure that all parts are covered.
- Consumes a lot of energy but the efficiency is not high
5. Use paper stuffings
Paper-based materials like newspapers and magazines can come in handy when drying your cleats. They can be squeezed and made into balls to be placed inside the cleats.
They should also be made loose to cover a greater surface and moisture collection from the shoes. The paper should fill the clits to the brim to ensure that the cleats dry evenly. If for instance, paper is not available, one could also use towels, napkins, and other small cloth-based materials.
However, frequently check the state of the absorbent material during the drying process to know if it needs replacement after absorbing moisture. Depending on the wetness and type of material, after about 3 – 4 hours, the soccer cleat should be dry and ready for use again.
- An effective method to dry soccer cleats.
- It is an affordable quick dry method.
- Doesn’t require much effort.
- Anyone can do it.
- Takes time to dry.
- It might not dry your soccer cleats thoroughly.
6. Using a cleat dryer
Cleat dryers can also be used when looking for a drying solution for cleats. They are designed so that they not only help in drying the cleats but also perform other functions to preserve their quality.
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- It gets rid of foul smells.
- Can eliminate cleat fungus.
- They effectively remove agents that cause material deterioration like mold and mildew
- Prolonging the usability of cleats.
- They dry cleats quickly and efficiently.
- Cleats dryers also come with heat sensors that help measure how hot the boot is to minimize the risk of damaging the cleats.
- This method is much more expensive than the other methods of drying cleats.
- Heavy and space-consuming.
- Repeated usage of cleat dryers over a long time can result in the damaging of the cleats. The leather starts to crack, and the cleats slowly deteriorate.
- Cleat dryers consume a lot of electricity, without which they cannot function.
7. Using a Blow Dryer
Although not the safest method, you could also use a blow dryer to dry soccer cleats. Taking necessary precautions when using a blow dryer is key to attaining the right results. These precautions include removing the laces and the insole, the same as you will find in other methods.
- Dry up cleats quickly and efficiently when used correctly.
- Suitable for a confined space with little access to fresh air.
- It dries up the cleat without damaging its components with the proper application.
- Blow dryers require a lot of electricity and could quickly run up your light bill.
- Do not eliminate the smell given off by wet cleats.
- When a blow dryer isn’t used correctly, it can result in an unevenly dry cleat.
Drying a wet mud-stained dirty cleat is like putting the cart before the horse; hence, it is important to dry clean soccer cleats properly. This will help keep your cleats dry even after washing.
Note: When trying to dry your cleats, some ideas may seem appealing but are counterproductive and could result in totally damaging the cleats or reducing their overall efficiency and usability. Some of these habits include
- Blasting with hot air or incorrectly using driers
Most cleats are made of leather or synthetic rubber, which react to extreme heating conditions. Using these methods destroys the core materials used in the production of the cleats.
- Using ovens
Ovens get as high as 200°C when hot and quickly suck out the moisture in most materials. However, it burns up their components for cleats. You should note that there is no provision for moisture escape in these devices.
Every method comes with its advantages and disadvantages. However, it is advisable to exercise patience when selecting a suitable method for drying to ensure the quality and structural integrity of the cleats are preserved after the drying process.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!