When a fellow mountain biker asked me if my shoes ever get wet while bikepacking, I immediately said yes. A strange question as shoes usually get wet at some stage while out riding. I think wet shoes are one of those things that we as cyclists accept as part of our sport.
Mountain bikers might experience this more than most as trails are often wet and muddy after rain. I have often ridden in or after a rainy day and arrived home with wet shoes. Cycling clothes are made to dry quickly but shoes can stay wet for some time.
What we do about the wet shoe is something that I have not really ever thought about. When riding the next day my shoes are either dry or I simply use a dry pair of shoes.
The real question is what to do when you only have one pair of shoes while bikepacking.
I decided to purchase a set of shoe dryers only after being asked if they might be a solution for bikepacking.
Not sure if they would dry, deodorize and sanitize I quickly got to test them after some wet riding. They worked well and my shoes are usually dry by the next morning with the exception of when my shoes are really drenched. I found that by removing the inners the drying time is reduced.
As for the deodorize and sanitize part all I can say is that the shoes had no odors associated with wet shoes. Bacteria causes these odors and it is safe to assume that this part is true but without scientific testing I can not confirm or deny if the shoe dryers perform as claimed.
As a shoe dryer they work well and I would recommend that every mountain biker get a set. Are they a valuable item to take along on a bikepacking trip? If you have the space and know that you are on a route that might get rain or are wet in places then I would say yes.
Keep in mind that they need electricity to work and will add value if your overnight spots provide power.
If you plan to do winter riding they can be very helpful as natural drying times are longer in cold weather and getting dressed for the next day's riding with wet and cold shoes are not the best way to start a day on a bike.
What do you think?