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How to Keep Feet Dry in Work Boots? (Tips You Can Try)

Fact checked by A. Thompson

how to keep feet dry in work boots

Sweaty feet in boots is a situation you never want to experience. Sweating is natural, especially in hot weather. However, when your feet are wet, they will make you feel uncomfortable.

Sweaty boots not only cause unpleasant odors and feelings. They are an ideal environment for bacteria development, which can bring about long-term health issues. Therefore, it is advisable to explore how to keep feet dry in work boots.

Ways to Keep Feet Dry in Work Boots

What to prepare

  • Moisture-absorbing socks and inserts
  • Foot powder
  • Foot deodorant
  • Water
  • Mild soap

There are many methods to stop feet from sweating in work boots. You can try them one by one, but the best solution is to combine several to get an effective result.

1. Choose breathable boots for sweaty feet


Our feet consist of more than 250000 sweat glands. Hence, keeping them breathable is significant. If you work in warm weather, your feet will produce more sweat. Choosing a pair of boots with well-ventilated mesh linings can keep feet dry in shoes.

They allow sweat to evaporate quickly, preventing odors and bacteria. Never pick shoes made from 100% synthetic materials, as these won’t provide enough air for your feet.

Do you have to wear rubber boots? If yes, you need shoes with a moisture-absorbing lining to keep feet dry in waterproof boots. This material will embrace the feet tightly and boost ventilation. Examples of such linings include Softext, acrylic fleece, and polyester.

2. Wear moisture-absorbing socks and inserts


Besides looking for breathable work boots for sweaty feet, you can select socks for sweaty feet or shoe inserts. They can keep feet cool in work boots and absorb moisture, so they prevent smells as well.

Cotton is not an ideal material for absorbent socks as it retains moisture. Merino wool is better, as its outer area is hydrophobic. Synthetics like polyester, Coolmax, and Thermolite are worth a try as well, especially for vegans.

You can bring multiple socks and wash them often during your trips to ensure the pairs are hygienic.

As for shoe inserts, they offer you breathability and absorbency. They can inhibit bacteria’s activities so that your feet will not release unpleasant odors. In terms of materials, charcoal and bamboo are perfect to pick.

3. Clean boots frequently


Dirty work boots themselves have unpleasant odors. If you don’t clean them, debris will be stuck in the leather pores. The air won’t ventilate well as a result, leading to feet sweating in boots.

Hence, you should wash your boots and shoe inserts with mild soap regularly. After cleaning, dry the boots completely before wearing them. Don’t put on wet shoes as they will smell quickly.

Read now this guide to learn more about detailed steps to clean work boots.

4. Keep feet clean


If you don’t wash your feet carefully, they will be a shelter for bacteria, dirt, and dust.

Dry cracked feet are especially hard to clean, as they may have wounds that are sensitive to touch. Lack of sanitation then fosters bacterial growth, so the air cannot ventilate normally. The result is smelly, sweaty feet.

You need to clean your feet under warm water carefully after taking off your boots. Then, use a specialized soap to remove dirt and other microorganisms. Let the skin dry thoroughly before wearing boots again.

Proper hygiene will eliminate odor and prevent bacteria and fungus from forming. Changing socks and boots often are other ways to keep feet from sweating in work boots.

5. Use foot antiperspirants


You can use foot antiperspirants to reduce odor and prevent feet from sweating. There are 3 types of deodorants: stick, gel, and spray. The spray is the easiest to use. Just keep your feet dry, then spray an even layer onto your feet before wearing socks.

You can also apply the product to your interior boots instead. Alternatively, use a natural deodorant with cornstarch or baking soda (combine both in a 1:1 ratio or mix ¼ tsp of baking soda in some water and apply it to your feet). Remove the mixture from your skin, clean it, and put on socks and boots as usual.

6. Use foot powders


Using foot powder is an effective way to give off a fresh scent and stop sweaty feet in work boots. The powder may leave some fine grains in the boots, though you should still be able to wear them.

Clean and dry your feet in advance. Adding powder to socks and shoes will promote their effectiveness and protect your feet from fungus. If foot powder isn’t available, you can use baking soda, cornstarch, or baby powder instead.

Why Do My Feet Sweat in Work Boots?

Your feet include around 250,000 sweat glands, which are responsible for regulating your body temperature. They work with the thermosensitive neurons in the brain’s hypothalamus, since these receive signals from skin receptors. When your brain gets a green light, it will kick off the sweat glands.

How Do You Absorb Moisture in Work Boots?


Step 1: Wash the boots quickly

Prepare soap and water to wash inserts and laces. Dry the accessories before wiping the outside of the boots. You can pick one of 2 solutions: a damp cloth and saddle soap or mesh fabric and a gentle detergent. A toothbrush will help you remove debris.

Step 2: Remove soap residue

Use a clean cloth to soak up soapy residue on your boots. Remember to squeeze out leftover moisture.

Step 3: Dry up your boots

You can try various ways to dry up breathable boots for sweaty feet.

 01 Use waste paper

Waste paper is an option that costs no money. Put it into your boots and wait for 8 hours or more to dry shoes, but remember to change paper every 2-3 hours to speed up the process.

 02 Use dry towel

Instead of paper, you can add a dry towel to the boots. Ensure the towel can fill the inside and wrap up the outside of the boots entirely. Then, place them under the sun or in dry and warm areas. After several hours, your boots will be moisture-free.

 03 Boot dryer

Using a boot dryer is a pricey but effective option. They help to dry up your boots and kill bacteria inside.

 04 Use a vacuum cleaner

In case the above methods don’t work for you or your boots are significantly wet, you can use a vacuum cleaner. First, remove the inserts and place them at the openings of the boots. Switch the machine to blower mode and adjust its power to at least 2hp.

This device will release warm air to dry your soaked boots within 30 minutes. Make sure you put the hose inside the boots.

 05 Fans

Hang the boots and ensure the fans can blow winds directly into them. It takes about eight hours to dry the boots entirely.

 06 Uncooked rice

Pour rice into 2 socks and place them inside your boots. The rice will absorb moisture.

Helpful Tips


1. Take off work boots

If you don’t have any helpful tools to soak up sweat, try taking off your boots. Your footwear needs time to dry, and ventilation can help with that. Simply remove the shoes for 5-10 minutes every few hours.

In case it’s rainy and you want to keep feet dry in rain, you need to choose water-resistant shoes. Then, clean and dry them up after each use.

2. Cedar shoe trees

Cedar shoe trees offer you 2 main benefits. This wood can get rid of unpleasant smells and keep shoes in good shape.

3. Drink more water & maintain a healthy weight

Water evaporation can cool down body temperatures, which is why drinking fluids helps our internal thermoregulator. The water used to prevent us from overheating must be replaced.

So, if you’re exercising to lose weight, proper hydration is necessary. Shedding some pounds may also reduce perspiration if you’re overweight.

4. Try homemade treatment

Soaking feet in DIY treatments help eliminate bacteria and sweat. Try apple cider vinegar and black tea separately, as both of them can reduce body odor.

Lemon juice diluted in water may also help clean your feet.

5. Wear comfortable work boots

Avoid wearing boots that seal your feet tightly. Instead, you should choose suitable sizes with a secure footbed and breathable lining.

6. Buy work boots for hot and cold weather separately

Choose well-ventilated boots to work during summer. Waterproof, insulated boots are perfect during winter.


Now, you surely know how to keep feet dry in work boots. The methods here are simple but effective in reducing unpleasant feelings due to sweaty feet. Good shoes take you to good places, so choosing a pair of breathable and fitting boots is a priority.

Remember to prepare feet accessories like socks, insoles, and more to wick moisture. Lastly, combine a few tips and ways to achieve an optimal result.

Before you go, please take a look at the following guide to take care of your boots, such as:

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