How to Stop Shoes from Squeaking When You Walk

Today you’re going to learn how to stop shoes from squeaking when you walk.

In fact, these are the exact same tips I’ve used on dress shoes, leather boots, and sports sneakers. And I’m confident that you’ll benefit a lot from them.

Whether it’s your first time to experience that annoying sound or you’ve already tried a few solution but none of them worked, you’ll love this guide.

And let’s be honest:

Squeaky shoes can be embarrassing.

For me, it came at one of the most important times, during an urgent meeting with potential investors. I could tell from their faces that the sound from my sneakers was annoying. I had to take them off and do my presentation barefoot.

Yes, you read that right.

However, since then, I’ve done everything possible to fix this problem. So I’ll share some tips with you in a moment.

But first things first.

Why Do My Shoes Squeak When I Walk?

why shoes squeak as you walk

Before we look at how you can fix squeaky shoes, it’s important to look at what causes the annoying noise in the first place. Here are some possible reasons why your footwear simply won’t stop making that sound.

1. Moisture

A common problem you'll face if you have sweaty feet is the squeaky sound coming from your shoes. The sweat builds up moisture around your feet, which form air pockets that give room for the sound to penetrate.

Therefore, it is essential to make sure your feet are always dry. Later on in this guide, I'll show you ways you can keep your feet dry throughout the day.

2. Cracks in Inner and Outer Soles

Overtime your shoes wear out, and they are bound to develop cracks on the inner or outer parts of your sole. That depreciation is what causes the squeaky sound.

If that is the case for you, you simply need to buy a new pair of comfortable shoes. Even if you love the pair and would rather have them until they’re old, crack in the soles is a sign that you need to move on.

3. Shoe Parts Rubbing Against Each Other

If you can't seem to locate the exact source of the squeak in the bottom or upper region, then you should take a closer look at your shoelace.

At times your laces rub against the tongue, and a squeaky sound comes out. It's often as a result of the friction between these parts.

4. Generic Inserts

In case your shoes don't have custom insoles that fit, and you prefer to have them on, you need to exercise caution.

You see, many dealers won’t tell you that the right inserts should fit your shoes seamlessly. And that’s a big problem if you ask me.

You need to take a look at your current insoles to determine if they rest comfortably on the insole. Anything that doesn’t fit will result in air spaces, which eventually causes your sneakers to squeak.

5. Defects

People make mistakes, and shoes are not an exception. During the initial layout, manufacturers might miss a particular detail, which may cause squeaking. At such a point, it is so hard to determine whose fault it is.

If your shoes are new and by any chance you can't find the cause of the squeak, do a thorough research before getting back to the manufacturer.

How to Locate the Squeaking Part of Your Shoes

Now that you know why your shoes squeak, it’s time to locate where the noise comes from so that you can apply the best solution.

1. Sole Test

If you've recently bought your shoes, try walking on different surfaces with different techniques. You can dance around a carpet with one foot up. You can go out and walk on hard surfaces. Or you can try to walk faster on any surface thereof. 

The objective is to determine if the sound comes from the bottom of the shoes, hence the reason to put the soles to the test.

If a persisting sound comes from the bottom as continue to walk, you can be sure the sole is the problem.

If not, then you can rule out the possibility that the sole is the problem and move on to the next test.

2. Heel Test

You can determine the source of the squeaky sound by rolling out your foot slowly.

Let me put it this way:

For effective heel test, glide forward from the tip of your toe and run the step to the back of your heel.

If the sound crops up every time the back of your foot comes into contact with the ground, the chances are there's a crack on your heel.

3. Tongue to Lace Test

In this case, roll down your toes to the balls of your feet. If you happen to hear the squeaking sound, it's probably your shoelace rubbing up against the tongue of your shoe.

After you single-out the area of interest, it's easy to apply the right solution. Remember, your shoe is an asset. In fact, most people will judge you by the quality of your shoes. So you must leave a good impression. 

How to Stop Shoe from Squeaking Without Trying So Hard

Here then is how you can stop shoes from squeaking once and for all:

1. Sprinkle Baby Powder in Your Shoes

Baby powder prevents squeaking by:

  • Absorbing excess moisture caused by sweat from your feet
  • Prevents friction between your inner sole and the base of your shoe
  • Reduce air bubbles at the base of your shoe

For a better result, sprinkle the powder under the inner sole of your shoe. If your pair has the soles glued in, you can sprinkle some along the edge of the inner sole.

Make sure you do this a few how hours before you wear the shoe.
Talcum powder or cornstarch if you don’t have baby powder. And make sure you do this a few hours before you wear shoes.

2. Use Glue to Fix Loose Bottoms

Take a closer look at the heel of your shoe. If there's a gap between the bottom and upper part, then you're problem is half solved.

All you need to do is apply super glue and clamp down the region for two minutes to allow the glue to dry up seamlessly.

If you're not confident enough to perform this process by yourself, you can seek the services of a professional cobbler. You wouldn't want to ruin a good shoe, or would you?

3. Apply Some Saddle Soap

Rub some saddle soap on your laces if they’re the pain point. You can also lather the adjacent regions like the tongue and eyelets.

A saddle soap acts as a moisturizer and reduces the friction between your shoelace and the. 

So how often should you apply the soap? Once it wears off. That will prevent the squeaky sound from coming back again.

4. Use Appropriate Conditioning Oil

For a new pair of shoes, the outer part can be a headache depending on the type of fabric. In any case the right conditioning oil can work miracles.

You can decide to go for spray silicon oil or something you can just rub on the outer surface.

However, make sure the material is compatible with the substance you apply. It will prevent any negative reaction to your shoe. The only problem is you'll have to re-apply the oil once it wears off.

5. Get the Right Insoles

A more infamous way of getting rid of the squeaky sound your shoes produce is to get custom inserts. A cobbler can cut custom insoles to fit the size of your shoes.

Because they don’t leave any air pockets once they fit, custom inserts are great for fixing the annoying noise.

The only problem is that you have to bring your shoes with you to the shoe man. So don’t forget to pack them in your backpack before leaving your house.

6. Apply Some Rubber Cement

As one of the oldest tricks in the book, rubber cement works perfectly well on the heel of your shoe. The adhesive force in rubber cement forms a protective layer for your shoe such that the impact of your heel on the floor is less.

Less impact means lower vibrations and total silence. Therefore, you can walk comfortably even on hard surfaces. For the best results, you shouldn’t wear your shoes until the rubber cement on the heel dries up well.

Wrapping It Up

In essence, your shoe magnifies and complements your overall look. But even the best shoes in the market come with their fair share of errors. And squeaking is one those errors that you’ll have to deal with time and time again.

Now that you know why your shoes squeak, how to locate the areas where the sound comes from, and how to fix the problem, don’t let your shoes embarrass you like mine did in front of my investors.

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