While hiking one of the major problems that anybody can face is rain. Rain can ruin your hike by slowing down the pace. Not only that rain also makes you to become more alert towards your gear and cloth, but mainly your shoes because shoes are less protected during a hike, on the ground. While hiking in the rain one should ask themselves how to keep shoes dry when hiking in the rain? and come up with not many answers to that. But don’t worry today I will tell you some ways that help you to keep your shoes dry when hiking in the rain.
Reasons to keep your shoes dry when hiking?
Trench foot is a condition where your foot gets wrinklish and redish because of staying long in wet boots. While this may be a minor problem but this can be life-threatening sometimes. In world war 1 many soldiers of America and the British army have lost their life due to trench foot. yes, you may be surprised but this is the less covered topic, especially in hiking where you can get trench foot because of water inside your boots and socks. Don’t worry this will only happen if you keeping using wet boots for many hours without drying them out.
Trench foot can cause
- Skin redness and wrinkles
- blisters are common
- inability to walk
- skin dies and falls off
There are also more symptoms of trench foot but these are some common that are faced by hikers on the trail. So to stop any of these from happening. Follow the guide below.
Avoid trench foot by
Cleanin the feet as soon as possible- Remove the wet socks and clean your feet as soon as possible you get time. Wash your feet with a clean-running tap or bottle water.
putting heat object on the spot
use anything warm or hot and apply it on your feet for 5 minutes according to Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source.
How to keep shoes dry when hiking in the rain?
Use boot cover
In case you have hiking shoes that are made of fabric that absorbs moisture quickly, then use a river crossing cover. This works also in rain, usually, it is a cover that you wear over your hiking boots, it can go up to your knees height. Before using the river cover you should know that they are usually made to cross rivers, but you can use these if the trail surface allows you. Don’t use them if the surface is muddy and too slippery because you may lose your balance and grip. This works best if the trail has rocks and a hard surface. This may be not the best option but it can protect your shoes from water in the rain when hiking. If you are hiking in rain then use it only if you feel comfortable and confident.
using gaiter is helpful in keeping your shoes dry when hiking mostly, but the method may not be fully protective, nor does any method work 100 percent. The great thing about gaiter is that it can also protect your lower leg and ankle area thus prevent any water comes directly to your shoes from the top. Gaiter is the fabric shield that needs to be tied across your leg, ankle, and covers the top area of your shoes. The only part that is left exposed is half toe front, but it protects more than 60% of your boots in the rain when hiking.
How to use gaiters?
- step into gaiter by putting the strap under your feet and fabric around your leg in a way that the front opening is in front. (while doing so keep the buckle of strap on the outside)
- Now, pin the hook of the gaiter in boot laces.
- close the opening in the front by closing the buttons available at the downside of gaiters.
Wear aqua shoes
Another best way to keep your hiking boots dry in rain is to use or carry aqua shoes with you and put them on in rainy weather. The best thing about aqua shoes is that you can wear them on any surface because they have great grip ability and also lighter than hiking boots because of a thin layer of fabric at the top and rubber soal at the bottom. Aqua shoes is a good replacement for hiking boots in rain but besides all its praises, the main flaw or problem that you may experience on trail is that aqua shoes absorb moisture and they become heavy but still not more than wet hiking boots. The pair may cost you around 10 $ but a great option for hikers on trails.
If you use aqua shoes then you should pay a little bit more attention to your surroundings because these boots are usually under your ankle height and which is an invitation to insects. Change them immediately after the rain stops and wear your hiking boots for protection.
Wear pool shoes
If you don’t find the other options great then replace your hiking boots with pool shoes when hiking in rain. The best thing about pool shoes is that these shoes don’t absorb any moisture or water inside because they are made of rubber material and whole water will drain off them. There is no need to dry pool shoes, just shake and the water inside drains off. Pool shoes are also very useful on slippery trails because of their strong grip. This is a better option than aqua boots and works great in rain, and some hikers who know this, use them.
Wear sandals on flat trails
If you don’t want to spend any money on other options then use your everyday sandals if you have on trails when raining. Now, this is not a great option but most hikers use this. Although you may raise some risk of an insect bite or fall off on the slippery surface, but you can do this easily if you remain a little bit more alert and aware of your surroundings.
Waterproof your boots before hiking
This is a very important option if you have hiking boots that are made of suede leather or any other material that absorbs water. if your boots already have other things like Gortex membrane then avoid this method, your boots don’t need this.
How to waterproof hiking boots
- first, know the material used in a boot.
- Take waterproof boot products like- wax.
- Apply the wax or cream on the boot by rubbing or spraying.
- Now, let the wax or cream, to fully fill inside the open pores of the material
- let the boot dry for as many hours as instructed.
You may also like- How to Tell if Hiking Boots are too Big?
What are the best ways to dry hiking boots?
Avoid using campfire for drying
If your hiking boots are wet in any case avoid drying them by using any type of heat because that will destroy the material. Instead, follow the procedure to dry them manually, the process does take some time but that the best and recommended way to dry hiking boots or any wet boots.
- Clean your shoes first
First, clean your shoes you don’t need to wait for the dirt to dry and then remove it because usually, the dirt will block inside the p[ores of leather and sticks there as time passes. So, use water to wash your shoes, but first remove the lace and other shoe gear.
- use paper to dry
Usually, the natural process to dry wet boots will take more than a day. So, to speed things up you can use the paper. To use this method, just fold the big piece of paper and place it inside your shoes, after few hours the paper will absorb all moisture and water from the boot and helps the boot to dry quickly.
- let the boots dry in the sunlight.
If the sun is hard, then prefer sunlight to make your shoes dry because nothing dries better than natural sunlight.
what if there is no sun?
In case there is no sun, then you still have other options to dry the wet boots.
- use towel
Use a towel to dry your shoes. To do so, place the two ends of the towel inside the boots and then cover the whole shoes with the other two ends or corners. Keep it there for 30 minutes or more to let the towel soak up the moisture, and then remove it.