According to a recent survey that I conducted, 100% of participants confirmed what I had long suspected — cycling in wet shoes sucks. However, as mountain bikers, we typically don’t have the patience to wait out the whims of Mother Nature and find ourselves riding in conditions that would keep many sane people indoors.
The folks at DryGuy are fans of all things non-saturated, and their new Force Dry DX is a solution to combat the unpleasant and all-too-familiar bane of feet everywhere: wet footwear. Does this dryer bring enough heat to keep your shoes fresh between rides or will it leave you feeling lukewarm?
The DryGuy Force Dry DX is aimed at dry extremity enthusiasts who want a better solution for keeping their foot coverings fresh between rides. With four stands and optional extenders, the dryer can accommodate shoes and boots of various sizes, making it a good solution for us outdoorsy types who often do more than just ride; hiking boots, ski boots, and snowboard boots are all welcome guests to the DryGuy’s four corners.
The Force Dry DX is a pretty straightforward affair, with a clean and unobtrusive design that won’t necessarily win over Industrial Design aficionados, but is far from being an overwrought mass of plastic. In fact, there’s a certain understated dignity in the design that’s easy to appreciate; as indicated by the name, this guy drys things and that’s about all there is to it. The “DX” designation is owed to the Dry Force’s use of a fan to push heated air through the apparel to be dried and the additional capacity over other dryers in the DryGuy family.
Using the dryer is simple enough that even a degreed engineer like myself can figure it out. Just put your preferred wet gear on the heating towers, flick the switch for the heater, crank the timer dial and voila — your gear is drying. The dryer will just hum along contentedly and quietly, with no need for any additional input from the soggy-footed user.
The Dry Force’s plastic exterior houses a clever and compact setup that utilizes one rotary blower to draw air in from intakes on the central tower through an electric heating element housed in the base. Once heated, the air is then forced out through the four outer towers and into whatever sodden sneakers are perched atop the towers. It’s worth noting that the towers can’t be individually switched on or off, so there will always be air circulating through the entire system. I didn’t notice any decreased performance when the Dry Force was half full of gear, but bear in mind that you might end up blowing mildly hot air around your gear room if you don’t fully load the dryer.
In order to fully appreciate the Force Dry, one must exert a certain amount of patience, as it certainly doesn’t put an emphasis on speedy drying cycles–but that’s by design. Higher temperatures can do some unfortunate things to boots and gloves, so rather than risk deforming your gear, DryGuy has taken inspiration from Goldilocks, opting for a “just-right” temperature of 105ºF for the heating element. This temperature keeps the drying process moving right along, without scorching your gear. Because of this, multiple timed drying sessions (at 3 hours each) can be required, depending on just how soaked you got yourself on your last ride. However, as far as gripes go, this is pretty minor — I’d much rather take the time to let my gear dry rather than crank a heater up full blast and watch my footwear do a Salvador Dali impression.
Treat Your Feet
The DryGuy Force Dry DX is one of those products that feels like a bit of a luxury purchase, but soon becomes a fairly indispensable part of a post-ride routine. Sure, one could still pull one’s shoes off after a ride and leave them in the trunk of their car to marinate a bit, but I’d venture to guess that the smell of well-used and drenched shoes is far from anyone’s favorite. On the opposite end of the wet shoe spectrum, few riders would want to throw their kicks in with the laundry to get dried after each ride.
The Force Dry DX is unobtrusive and compact enough that it can stay plugged in and ready in your gear room. Along with its small footprint (that was a podiatry pun), using it after a wet ride couldn’t be easier and has become just about automatic, so much so that I wonder why I haven’t thought of getting one sooner. After a few uses, this reviewer has grown rather fond of that fresh, just-dried feeling before each ride, and I wholeheartedly recommend that all riders give it a go.
With that said, I give the DryGuy Dry Force DX two big toes up.
Thanks to DryGuy for supplying the Dry Force DX for review!