Do Shoes Shrink in the Dryer: How to Dry Shoes Properly and Tips in Shrinking Them to Make Them Fit You

Yes, shoes shrink in the dryer. However, the shrinking size is typically minor and doesn’t significantly impact the shoes’ function. So if you’re concerned about shrinking shoes, ensure they are thoroughly dry before putting them in the dryer, and the temperature setting is low enough to avoid heat damage. 

How to Dry Shoes in the Dryer


It’s essential to take the proper precautions to ensure your shoes do not shrink in the dryer. Check the care label of your shoes to find out if they should be machine- or hand-washed. Dry them in a low heat setting and allow them to air dry if possible.

Preventing Damage 

You can take several steps to prevent damage to your shoes and dryer. First, always put your shoes in the dryer in the lowest setting possible. This will reduce the chances of them getting too hot and causing damage. 

Don’t overload your machine with clothes, and avoid using fabric softener – these chemicals can cause irreparable harm to footwear. Instead, inspect your shoes every time you take them out of the dryer to ensure they are not damaged, as even minor tears in leather can lead to severe problems down the line (e.g., water seeping inside and creating mold). 

And lastly, let them air-dry completely before storing them away – this way, any moisture will be eliminated from their surface area altogether, ensuring that they remain in good condition for a longer time.

Check the Manufacturer’s Recommendations

It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check them before putting shoes in the dryer. If there is any sign of wear or damage, it is best not to put them into the dryer. Instead, air-dry your shoes for the best results.

Understand How Different Materials Respond to the Drying Process

When it comes to drying shoes, understanding the different materials and their drying process is essential. Synthetic materials are usually shrink-resistant, while natural materials are not. Cotton is a very absorbent material and will therefore cause most things to shrink.

Take Into Account What’s Best for the Dryer

Only use the dryer for your shoes as a last resort. If you have a clothesline, hang your boots on it instead of putting them in the dryer. If you don’t have one, put your shoes in a mesh bag before placing them in the dryer. Additionally, rotate your laundry so that all items get an equal chance to air-dry.

Don’t Let the Shoes Bang Around in the Dryer

To avoid banging shoes around the dryer, place them one at a time and ensure they are evenly spaced and not stacked on top of each other. Put only a few shoes in the dryer at a time – it will overload the motor and cause it to heat up excessively. 

Leave the door open just a few inches, so air circulates and prevents scorching of your shoes. Be mindful when the washing machine runs hot – sometimes wet sneakers fall victim to being damaged inside as water gets trapped inside the plastic casing.

Choose the Right Settings

When it comes to drying your shoes, follow the instructions on the item’s tag and make sure you check the size and fit first. They will not dry if you overload your machine or leave them exposed to direct heat. 

Alternatives to Throwing Shoes in the Dryer

There are a variety of alternatives to throwing shoes in the dryer, depending on your needs and preferences. One option is to use a clothes steamer. Be sure to handle your shoes carefully so they don’t get creased or wrinkled. 

If you put your shoes in the dryer, set them on low heat and avoid spraying them with water while inside. As always, be sure to follow the safety guidelines that come with every appliance in your house.

Tips on How to Shrink Shoes to Make Them Fit You

It can be tough to shrink your shoes the right way, but with some practice, you can do it. Check your shoes every day after shrinking them to ensure they’re not coming loose or breaking apart. 

Toss Them in the Dryer

There are a few ways to shrink sneakers properly. One method is to heat them in the dryer on low heat. Alternatively, you can put them in the freezer for some extra crunch. If you cannot use the dryer or freeze them – you can place them in a bag with some rice or beans and leave them overnight.

Over-drying shoes can make them stiff and uncomfortable while using a steamer, hair dryer, or clothesline will only slightly reduce their size. For everyday shoes that don’t need to be shrunk very much, tumble them with a damp cloth before drying. Finally, remember: Shoes will start to feel stiff and uncomfortable after being shrunk in the dryer too many times!

Use Items at Home

There are many natural ways to shrink your shoes without using heat. Vinegar, baking soda, and salt are all good options – mix the ingredients and leave them to do their work. Once they have shrunk, it is time to put them back on and enjoy your stylish new sneakers!

Leather Boots

Leather boots can be shrunk in various ways, depending on your chosen method. Boiling water is one common way to shrink leather; glycerin or ovens may also work. Experiment and find the shrinking plan that works best for your boots!


Shrinking sneakers is easy with the help of a dryer. Preheat your dryer to the correct temperature. Do not overstuff or overlap your sneakers – this will cause wrinkles. 

Canvas Shoes

If you’re looking to shrink your canvas shoes, four simple steps will help. First, preheat your dryer to its maximum heat setting, hang your shoes on a hanger, so they’re evenly heated, remove them before they reach the “dry” stage, and put them away in a cool and dry place. Canvas shoes will shrink more than leather or other shoes – follow these steps to ensure a good fit!