Squeaky shoes can be annoying and embarrassing. But don’t rush to throw them away. There may be a way to deal with the squeaking after all.
First of all, it is essential to determine the source and reason for the annoying sound. This is a pretty easy task.
Find the reason for the squeaking
The first thing to turn your attention to is to when the squeaking tends to occur. If they squeak when you are walking on a hardwood floor but make no sound at all when stepping on carpeting, then it is a friction issue you have there.
If the squeaking happens when you are wearing the shoes barefoot in the summer, then it is likely that your sweaty or moist feet could be the problem.
If you have noticed that the shoes squeak only when they are wet, then this could be a case of cracking of the material and air bubbles getting stuck in the sole, or it could be a loose sole.
If you can’t determine a particular “pattern” of the squeaking occurrences, you should examine your footwear closely. Make sure you look for any cracks, loose connections between the sole and the foot beds, the fit of the liner and other potential problems.
Our 4 ideas how to fix squeaky shoes:
1. Try to reduce any friction
If the insoles are removable, then take them out and apply some talcum, baby powder or cornstarch dusting powder to the bottom of the shoe. Put the insoles back inside. The powder helps absorb any moisture and helps keep the insoles from slipping and causing squeaky friction when walking.
In case the source of the squeaking seems to be the tongue, powder the upper side of the tongue which is under the shoe laces.
= Quick tip – how to fix squeaky shoes bottom:
If you find that it’s the base or bottom of your shoe squeaking, this could be due to an air bubble somewhere near the seam. You can try to get rid of it by massaging the area with the baby powder or talcum.
Sometimes with leather shoes like higher quality nursing shoes or some other types of special footwear, influenced by the weather conditions, the upper can stretch beyond the sole causing a squeaky sound. This can be resolved by adding a tiny bit of mild plant based oil on the leather upper to condition it. Do a tiny spot test first, and use the oil sparingly because it can cause permanent staining.
You can try applying some WD40 or possibly silicone spray instead of the oil as well. Do not do that for suede or nap leather materials, because the oil or any other oily substance will destroy them. Check this quick video to see this in action:
= Quick tip – how to stop squeaky shoes on floors:
If your soles squeak when you are walking on hardwood, linoleum or other, then you may try to reduce the friction by sanding the soles gently with sandpaper, or rubbing dry, ordinary soap on them. This should help reduce or eliminate the squeaking instances altogether.
2. Repair loose soles and cracks
If the upper is not well attached to the sole or heel, then a squeaky sound will likely occur. This can be repaired by using a strong adhesive for leather or rubber, or other strong multi-purpose glue. Look for other parts of the shoe, sole and heel which may have become loose, and fix that too.
3. Put on some socks
If you wear your shoes barefoot and they are constantly squeaking, then one possible solution is to simply put on some socks. The snnoying sound is likely caused by your sweaty heels rubbing against the insoles of the shoe. The socks help absorb moisture and they also add bulk which reduces the friction. You can also try dusting the beds inside with talcum or baby powder, if the shoes cannot be worn with socks. This works amazingly well with tennis shoes.
4. If nothing else works – ask a professional
If nothing of the abovementioned works or seems to be the problem causing the squeaking, then most probably there is a problem with the internal structures. If you notice the squeaking soon after purchasing the shoes, you can return them because internal structural problems usually mean that the shoe is poorly made.
But then again, if the squeaking is for no apparent reason, but you still love them and want to continue wearing them, then you can take them to a cobbler. They have different methods for silencing squeaks and will repair the problem in a professional manner. Some problems which can occur over time, and are not due to poor quality are: a loosened heel, trapped air somewhere in the sole, or a broken sole. In most cases, the problem is solvable.