Introduction: Running Shoe Dryer

About: Be limited only by your imagination.

This is a modification of an instructable I posted previously. The device draws air into a box heated by a 60W bulb and expels it through 3/4 inch pipes at the top of the device and this dries the shoes. Here is a link showing the concept and the device in action.

Youtube video of the project

Step 1: The Original Model and It's Problems

Here is the link to the original model

In the original model I used an old American Tourister makeup bag as the box. This was the first problem. Even after years it smelled like someone's attic. I also aged the pipes to create what I hoped was a cool rusty Diesel-Punk look. That was the second problem. My shoes had rust stains. The pipes were smaller diameter and the fan was smaller and that led to a more limited airflow. It did however have really cool light effects and when I deconstructed it, I incorporated those marbles into another instructable with multicolored blinking LEDs shining into marbles.

Multicolored Blinking LED Project

Step 2: Materials and Tools Used

I'm going to keep this pretty simple here because you can use any configuration of pipes that please you, and can use any kind of wood or enclosure.

  • 3/4-inch diameter pipes with a floor phlange
  • Wood for the case - I used 3/4 inch pine.
  • Wire for 120 V
  • Wire for 12 V
  • 12V transformer
  • 12V fan (I got one for a computer that had LED's in it, but any exhaust fan will do)
  • 60W lightbulb with a base.
  • Lighted 120 V rocker switch
  • Lighted 12V rocker switch
  • Various fasteners
  • Spray Lacquer
  • Plug


  • Drill
  • Drill press
  • Forstner bit 1-inch to remove wood behind the switches so they can be flush
  • Soldering iron
  • Jigsaw to cut out the fan opening
  • Random Orbit Sander with 60 and 120 grit

Step 3: Building the Case

I chose to build a box that had a sloping front but you can make it any shape you want. Any box will do. You can even use pre-made boxes like a cigar box if you want. Mine is held together with 1 1/4 inch Torx screws. The front panel required quite a bit of trimming and sanding.

Step 4: Finishing the Case

After cutting out openings for the fan and drilling a 3/4 inch hole in the top for the airflow and two holes for the switches I began to finish the project. This included

  1. Sand to 110 grit, softening the edges
  2. Use a microfiber cloth to get the sawdust off
  3. Use a tack cloth to get more sawdust off
  4. Apply 4 coats of spray lacquer with 1/2 hour between coats
  5. Scuff with a choreboy(green) pad to remove any dust or blemishes
  6. Apply a very light finishing lacquer coat

Step 5: Wiring It Up and Attaching the Pipe/Vents

  1. The wiring is simple but see the schematic.
  2. All connections are made with wire nuts
  3. All wires are soldered onto the switches.

Step 6: Running Shoe Dryer - the Movie

Youtube of the Running Shoe Dryer

How I use this: After coming home I put my running shoes on the device and turn it on for 2 hours. I use a timer for this but I think I can leave this on indefinitely without problems. I've never seen any char on the wood from the 60 watt bulb and the energy used is pretty minimal.

I've done experiments where I've dried one shoe to see if it actually accelerates the process and there is no doubt about it. The shoe on the dryer is dried in about 2 hours and the comparison shoe is often damp the next morning.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and would love to hear your comments and experiences!