Kit Test: Warm & Dry
PUBLISHED: 10:57 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 10:57 05 May 2016
The editor reviews some new thinking in boot dryers
Do you take care of your expensive boots? No, nor do I, at least not as well as I should. Whether they’re wellies or lace-up leather ones, they’ll be more comfortable and last much longer if we take proper care of them. Boots left wet and muddy can literally rot, and the linings can end up breaking down and stinking. So how should we care for them?
Firstly, we should wash off the mud and then open them up to allow air to circulate inside, helping to dry them. This is best done in a warm room, but never put them on a hot radiator or boiler. That much heat will almost certainly cause harm. An old technique was to stuff boots with scrunched up newspaper and it did work, but only as long as you took the paper out immediately after it had absorbed the water. If you didn’t, it stopped the air from circulating.
A better way still, is to use a boot dryer and over the years I’ve seen all kinds, but I’ve never been that keen, so these new ones from Seeland were a pleasant surprise. They plug straight into the mains with a proper UK three-pin plug and are simply dropped down inside the boots. There are no fans or hoses, just thin electrical cables to carry the power to the heating elements. The units are perforated to allow the heat they make to circulate, creating convection inside the boot. This lifts the moisture up and away. They only get gently warm, so there’s no worry about cooking the boots and damaging them. Because of their size and shape they also work well inside gloves and putting on a toasty warm pair of gloves on a cold morning feels great.
The other trick they have up their sleeve is that they emit ultraviolet light, which kills the bugs that make boots smelly. You can see a faint glow coming out when they’re down inside a dark boot.
Having used them for a month of truly terrible weather I can confirm that they do just as they claim with no hassle at all, and they’re inside a pair of boots as I write. They seem like good value for money compared to some dryers I’ve seen in the past, which adds to their appeal. I can see that these are going to get a lot of use in my house.