Have you ever heard the expression “getting cold feet”? It’s usually used to describe someone hesitating to do something or second-guessing their choice. In this case, it can be a little stressful to navigate the different options you may have.
Now, have you ever experienced cold feet? We’re not talking about the pre-game jitters or the anxiety you feel before giving a speech. We’re talking about your actual feet.
If you’re ever been walking through snow in your boots or you stayed out a little too long on a skiing trip, you know just how uncomfortable it can be. Not only that, but once you get home, you have to place them by your heater or fire and just hope you have dry boots soon.
What if there was an easier way to keep your boots from getting and staying cold and wet? Now there is, and it’s called a boot warmer.
The Difference Between a Boot Warmer and a Boot Dryer
If you’ve heard of a boot dryer before, you may be confused about the difference between that and a boot warmer.
The fact is, they’re pretty much the same thing. A boot dryer can actually warm your boots using the same mechanism it uses to dry them off. It’s sort of a two-for-one deal for your wet footwear.
Most models are pretty versatile when it comes to what modern fabrics you can use them on. If you have work boots or sneakers made of canvas, rubber, neoprene, microfiber, and even PVC, you should be able to use your boot warmer with them.
Some models utilize quiet thermal convection, a fan heating element, and more to produce hot air. It all comes down to what key features you're looking for when you make your purchase: do you want to deal with loud fans, or are you interested in using less electricity?
Now that we cleared that up, let’s take a look at what having one of these magical contraptions in your cozy home means for you and your hiking or rain boots.
The Ugly Truth about Wet, Cold Boots
We have to be honest with you here. Cold, wet boots are bad. Really bad. Maybe even worse than you think.
Let’s look at what getting your boots wet can do.
First and foremost, we all know this one. Wet boots are just plain uncomfortable, and the drying time can feel like it takes forever.
Not only can they cause minor discomfort while you’re wearing them, but they can also lead to more serious conditions if you leave them on for too long.
Have you ever looked into trench foot? It’s a condition that first became recognized in World War 1 when soldiers had to wear the same boots and thin socks through wet, cold terrain or trenches for too long.
This caused blisters, redness, and dead skin. You can still get it today if you don’t take care to keep your feet dry.
They Make Your Feet Stinky
Another unfortunate side effect of cold, wet boots is that they can make your feet smell really bad—almost like mildew and stinky feet combined.
Though the odor is usually easy to get rid of, this foot smell can stick around and become worse. It also tends to linger behind in your boots, getting soaked into the material. This means that every time you put your boots back on, the smell will return. And smelly boots are hard to wash.
They’re Not Sanitary
If you’ve walked through something like a puddle or snow on a busy street, we hate to break it to you, but those boots are not clean.
Yes, we know that walking on the regular ground is also dirty, but when water carries that dirt, the situation only gets worse.
They Can Cause Damage to Your Boots
You probably spent a fair amount of money on those leather boots. Maybe they’re even your pride and joy. The last thing you want is for your favorite pair of boots to get ruined by water damage. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when your boots stay wet for too long.
How Does a Boot Warmer Help?
You care about your feet. You even have a footrest pillow to keep your feet protected from the floor of your office. So you want to take care of them, and that means doing everything you can to make sure that you have dry footwear.
How does a shoe dryer help you accomplish the foot health of your dreams? The answer is prevention and damage control. Here’s how.
Prevents Mold from Growing
Anywhere there’s water collecting and sitting around, there’s a chance for mold. This is especially true when it comes to porous materials like the fabrics your gear is made of.
When you take care to dry and warm your shoes right after you get home, you limit the amount of time that mold has to grow in them. The last thing you want is moldy, mildewy boots.
The heat from the boot warmer or dryer also helps with the removal of bacteria, meaning that gross puddle you stepped in or the unfortunate foot sweat you noticed won’t be a threat any longer.
Protects the Boot from Damage
A boot warmer can also protect your favorite boots from damage.
When you make sure to dry off your wet boots as soon as you get home, you don’t give them time for water and dirt to set into the material. Better yet, you can also use them for your damp ski gloves, helmets, or mittens to dry them out a bit and prevent damage too.
Plus, you shouldn't have to worry about the dryer getting too hot, because they usually have customizable heat settings that prevent the dryer from going over a certain number of degrees Fahrenheit.
This protects your boots from damage, whether they're synthetics, vinyl, or leather, ultimately helping them last longer (provided you don’t wear holes in them by wearing them every single day.)
Keeps Your Toes Warm
Last but certainly not least, a boot warmer can be used to keep your toes and feet warm.
If you know that you’re about to have to walk to work or to the bus stop in the cold, throw your boots on your boot warmer. This helps them become a toasty safe haven for your freezing feet. Well, at least for a while, until you step out into the cold. But it will be nice while it lasts.
A Boot Warmer Could Be Just What You’re Missing
You don't even have to be from somewhere with lots of snow, like Idaho. If you’re someone who always has to wear fuzzy fleece socks because your toes are just freezing, a boot warmer could be just what you need. These interesting contraptions can also make a thoughtful gift for that employee who you noticed always seems to wade through puddles on their way to work. Choose a model with a sturdy base and possible extras like tube extensions so that you can get the most out of your dryer.
No matter what the circumstance, a boot warmer can keep your boots warm and dry—just make sure you follow the correct instructions for usage.
Trench Foot: Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, and Treatment | Healthline
How To Get Rid of Smelly Feet: 6 Best Ways to Fix It and More | Medicine Net
Leather Care | The Laundry Station