Imagine you are attending a formal event where everyone is required to keep silent. Then, just with a tiny movement, your shoes squeak. How embarrassing, right?
Most sneakerheads are familiar with squeaky sneakers. We have all once experienced this kind of annoyance and wished we could stop the squeaking noises for good.
If you are having the same problem, you are at the right place. Since “how to fix squeaky shoes” is a burning question, I have attempted to make my shoes less squeaky, and guess what? Made it!
So, I will now share with you the best tricks that I discovered to get squeak out of shoes. You can stop squeaky shoes using powder, tissues, dryer sheet, sandpaper, coconut oil, glue, silicone caulk, conditioner and soap. Moreover, you can learn how to dry shoes quickly to get rid of squeaks.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Squeaking Shoes Appear?
- The First Thing to Get a Squeak Out of Shoes
- Get Rid of Squeaky Insoles
- Stopping Squeaky Shoes From the Bottom
- Deal with the Outside Sections
- A Shoe Squeaks Because of Wetness
- Last Resort
Why Do Squeaking Shoes Appear?
Before knowing the way to fix squeaky shoes, pay attention to the reasons they squeak. Squeaking shoes are mostly caused by friction, especially with leather shoes. But how can this friction be created? There are three main reasons.
Nothing can be flawless, to be honest. So, it’s comprehensible that some manufacturers have made mistakes when producing your footwear, leading to annoying squeaking noises.
A long time of usage
Wear and tear is the second reason your shoes squeak. Normally, every boot contains a wooden splint bridging the base of the heel. In the long run, there will be inadequate gluing for the splint. It might come free and scrape against the welt while you walk, causing an unpleasant squeak.
Squeaky noise can also be caused by water. While walking, you must put great pressure on the inner sole. With a liquid environment, the amount of pressure is even larger, making the water trapped in the footwear. It then leaks out, and a squeak rapidly turns into a squelch.
Bottoms, inner soles, and outside sections are vulnerable parts of the shoes where the squeak is often witnessed.
The First Thing to Get a Squeak Out of Shoes
Squeaky noise can come from three different parts above. So, before choosing a holistic solution, you must locate the problem.
This process is best executed by two individuals. Thus, you should ask a friend for help. One person lowers his/her head to the floor, and the other will wear the boots to move forward and backward, or left and right.
By putting your ears to the floor, you can hear the squeaky sound more clearly. Pay attention to every movement. Once you hear an annoying noise, immediately investigate the part that flexes.
Get Rid of Squeaky Insoles
After finding out which part of the shoe causes squeaking noises, you should quickly take action. First, I will show you the best way to fix squeaky shoes with problems referring to the insoles.
As you know, trapped water is the main reason leading to squeaking in boots. Baby powder, baking powder, talcum powder, or corn starch are effective ingredients to absorb moisture. Thanks to its efficiency and low cost, you can effortlessly solve the problem of your rubber soles.
- Step 1: Remove your inner sole.
- Step 2: Sprinkle powder. Make sure you cover your insoles with powder evenly.
- Step 3: Let the shoes dry completely. You can see the baby powder absorb moisture, and when the process is done, put the insole back.
Pro Tip: In the case of non-removable soles, you can massage the baby powder into the footwear base’s edge or along the inner seam instead of below it.
Another reason for a squeaking shoe is that your insole keeps sliding a lot during your walk. Stopping squeaky shoes in this case can be done by adding some supporting devices to your footwear. For example, a piece of paper towel. It makes up for the excess space in a shoe, resulting in less squeaky sounds.
First, estimate how much paper you need for a shoe. Then, fold them in a fit size and place them beneath your insoles.
- Dryer sheets and napkins are wonderful replacements for paper towels if you can’t find some.
- Remember to remove the towels after a while to avoid getting an uncomfortable odor.
Use coconut oil or petroleum jelly
Working as a conditioner to reduce squeaky sound for your boots, coconut oil or petroleum jelly like Vaseline is also an effective method. What you need to do here is pull out the inner sole, apply a thin layer on the heel, and put the insole back.
Once a shoe has been moisturized with petroleum jelly, fixing squeaky shoes is no longer a tough task. Remember to re-rub the oil frequently to maintain the best results.
Stopping Squeaky Shoes From the Bottom
Use a dryer sheet
I guess everyone has a dryer sheet in the laundry room, right? Maybe you have never thought this small accessory can be a life-saving hack.
If you hear an annoying sound even when you are walking on flat terrains, such as tile or marble, the bottoms may be overly slick. Take a dryer sheet and rub it against the underneath of the squeaky shoe bottoms to add the shoe’s traction. Your shoe will soon be less slippery.
Use fine grain sandpaper
Based on the same principle as a dryer sheet, sandpaper helps reduce the slipperiness in your squeaky shoes. You can buy it online or simply get it at supermarkets and local stores.
Just apply a piece of fine sandpaper under the squeaky shoe bottoms and rub for a while. Sanding is also an efficient way to soften the sole and improve traction when it comes to new shoes. Keep doing this until your soles are rough enough.
- Instead of sandpaper, a sanding sponge can deliver the same results.
- 120-220 grit sandpaper is best for your footwear. Otherwise, the polish layer would be damaged.
Use super glue
After long usage, many parts of your shoes will fall off, causing squeaking. Loose heels are one of the most common phenomena. You can witness the sign with bare eyes: a hole between the upper and bottom part of the shoe.
You can reattach loose parts of your shoes easily with super glue. Just fill the hole and put it down. The process finishes when the glue dries, but you should leave the loose heel to rest for about one day before trying it on.
Pro Tip: You must put great pressure on the upper part to hold it in the right place during the putdown. Using clamps or rubber bands is a good idea in this case. But if you don’t have any tools, put some thick books on your shoe to add more pressure.
Use silicone caulk
Sometimes reattaching loose parts of your shoes is impossible since they are damaged too badly. Don’t worry, I can suggest another way to fix your squeaky boots: using silicone caulk. This is a tube made of specialized silicone, which is mainly used for sealing outside seams and joints against leakage. Silicone caulk is well known for repairing broken soles.
Insert the tube’s tip into an empty gap between the footwear and the bottom and spray it in gently till the space is covered. Allow the sneaker to cure completely after clamping it together like the previous method.
Use professional tool
As a sneakerhead, I’m really glad to introduce you to WD40, or also known as silicone spray. WD40 has a reputation for removing moisture and preventing corrosion.
Using WD-40, you can get rid of trapped water in the bottoms of your shoes and prevent them from squeaking. Here is the way:
- Step 1: Wet a cotton ball with these lubricants.
- Step 2: Lather this cotton ball up the outside seams with circular motions, especially focusing on the squeaky parts.
Pro Tip: It is not recommended to apply WD-40 on suede or leather shoes.
Deal with the Outside Sections
Apart from squeaky noises coming from the bottoms or the insoles, you must also solve this problem relating to the outside sections. Due to a manufacturing defect or long usage, some materials on the outside of a shoe will rub together and create friction, making shoes squeak. You often see this in leather shoes.
In this case, a leather conditioner is your lifesaver. It moisturizes the shoe and avoids excess friction. To reach the best outcomes, you need to prepare a dry cloth, leather conditioner, and squeaky shoes.
Now, apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to your squeaky shoe, then polish it with a clean cloth. Polishing a shoe provides it with a stunning look while also stopping it from squeaking.
- Instead of the leather conditioner, other conditioning oils can work well on the same principle.
- You can buy leather conditioner both online and offline, and it comes in various types, sizes, and colors. Choose a suitable color for your footwear.
- Pay attention to suede shoes. Suede conditioner is the only product that I recommend with suede shoes.
- This can prevent shoes from squeaking temporarily, but not for good. The leather conditioner can fade away in the long term, so remember to repeat the process when your shoes squeak again.
Use Saddle Soap
Working as a fabric softener, saddle soap is another effective solution to squeaky shoes. However, its efficiency is still controversial among shoe lovers. Some indicate that saddle soap will damage the leather, some don’t agree. So, if you are not a risky person, do not apply this trick to leather or suede shoes. With other types of shoes, I believe it will stop squeaky shoes for good.
Like leather conditioner, rub an adequate amount of saddle soap on the desired part and polish with a clean cloth. Especially with a squeaky tongue, saddle soap is a holistic solution. It lubricates the laces and the tongue to prevent them from rubbing together and causing the squeak. But similar to the leather conditioner, you need to reapply the saddle soap on the tongue of the shoes after a while.
A Shoe Squeaks Because of Wetness
When your footwear is wet, it squeaks even when you walk on smooth surfaces. The most efficacious way is to dry your shoes. But how? Throw it in the dryer? The dryer can toss your boots immediately, but it can’t protect your shoes. If you want to prolong the lifespan of a boot, follow our tips here.
Step 1: Get rid of the insoles:
Many shoes contain removable inner soles. So, pull the insoles out to speed up the laundry process.
Step 2: Choose a suitable place
Drying cannot happen in a wet and damped location. Therefore, place your shoes somewhere warm and sun-baked. The sun is the best heat source for drying a shoe, so you should leave it to air dry under the sunshine.
Pro Tip: If you are in a hurry, fill your boots with papers or newspapers. Paper can absorb trapped water quickly and catalyze the process.
Step 3: Use shoe tree
If workable, use a wooden shoe tree. It is a branching item that inserts into the heel instead of pulp to keep the form of the sneaker while it heals. A wood shoe tree is very useful since it draws humidity from the heel.
Step 4: Wait
In the last step, you must leave your shoe to dry at room temperature. Position it upside down and against a wall to accelerate the process.
Although I’m sure one of the previous tricks will work well on your squeaky boots, some exceptions can precipitate.
If your brand new shoes squeak, before fixing them, look at their return policy. Most brands allow you to return your products if there is a manufacturing defect. Nothing is better than a replacement or refund in this case, right? But the warranty will no longer be valid if you have changed or fixed the shoes yourself.
Unlike new shoes, second-hand or used ones squeak because of long usage. You can apply these hacks above. But when nothing works, consult a professional. In simpler words, visit a repair shop.
A cobbler will know exactly which problems you are having and how to solve them. A quick fix will be made even if there is a loose shank inside the footwear. It requires extra cost, of course, but is comprehensible.
Now, you know how to fix squeaky shoes inside out. Hopefully, you can easily solve the squeak no matter the problematic part. If you find this article informative and helpful, please let us know in the comment section.