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What's the best way to dry leather shoes? As soon as possible! You need to take care of this problem right away, then take preventative measures to limit problems with wet leather shoes in the future.
Leather is one of those materials that you really don't want to get caught wearing in the rain. Moisture seeps into the leather and can wear down the material or change its appearance for the worse over time. With leather shoes, the material can loosen and rip due to water damage combined with heavy wear.
The best way to dry wet standard leather shoes is with a clean, dry lint-resistant microfiber cloth. Cover the surface with the dry cloth and press gently to remove as much water as possible. Let the cloth sit on top of the shoes for a while so that it can absorb more moisture, similar to how a paper towel draws in the liquid from a spill.
If you have very wet, soaking leather shoes, try to use a shoe dryer. The device is made of two, four or more poles that inject heat upward to dry shoes from the inside. Place each shoe on top of the pole (upside down so that the sole is facing up). The drying action removes the moisture sometimes in a matter of minutes. You can find a shoe dryer at a home goods store or shoe repair shop.
Preventing Water Absorption
Take steps in advance to prevent water damage to your leather shoes. Spray the shoes with a water and stain protector product, which you can find in shoe repair shops. Also, if you plan to wear leather shoes when it might rain, bring plastic booties to cover them or a backup pair to swap if necessary.