Shoe Squeaks Begone: How to Silence Your Squeaky Shoes
If your shoes have developed that telltale squeak, don’t despair—you can easily fix the problem in just a few minutes with two products from around the house. Follow these simple steps to get rid of shoe squeaks once and for all and get back out there looking sharp and feeling great in your favorite pair of shoes!
Dampen the inside of the shoe
Fill a spray bottle with water and give your shoe a spritz. This will help soak up some of the moisture inside your shoe. Damp shoes are more likely to squeak than dry shoes, so you may want to try dusting off any dirt that’s built up on your soles or treating them with special anti-microbial spray before putting them back on again.
Once they’re damp, wear them around for a few minutes and then listen closely while walking around—if they still squeak, give them another spritz or two. Once you’re satisfied, leave them overnight and check again in the morning—if they’re still squeaking, repeat until no more squeaks are heard!
If it’s too late to prevent an embarrassing situation, apply baby powder or corn starch (or both) over wet areas inside your shoes as well. This should absorb any extra moisture and should help reduce friction between shoe parts; it could even make your pair last longer by preventing premature deterioration of materials.
If you notice that one area is causing more noise than others, use tape to cover those specific areas instead; this should muffle noise if all else fails. If all else fails…replace them!
Replace the insole
The most common cause of squeaking shoes is a worn-out insole. Changing them out can be relatively easy, but will require you to take your shoes off and put them back on again. First, remove your old insoles. Some are just glued in, while others may be nailed or stitched into place.
Once they’re removed, replace them with new insoles—you can pick up a pair at any shoe store for less than $10. If there’s an obvious reason why your insole has become damaged (e.g., it’s been punctured by a staple), you might want to try replacing it sooner rather than later.
But if it looks like an ordinary wear issue, there’s no need to rush things. In fact, leaving that old insole in place could help protect your feet from pressure points or blisters that could occur if you were to start walking around without one for long periods of time.
You might also want to look into getting some gel pads or other anti-squeak inserts; these are typically placed under either foot (or both) and can provide additional padding between your feet and the sole of your shoe—which should make any remaining squeaks quieter.
Replace the heel cap
If you’re hearing squeaking coming from your heels, a good place to start is by replacing the heel cap. Heel caps, which are attached to shoes at the heel with screws, sometimes become loose and no longer fit properly over time; as such, they can rub against your shoe’s leather and cause friction—which leads to squealing.
To fix it, simply unscrew the old heel cap and replace it with a new one. This will usually do away with any excess rubbing that may be causing your shoes to make noise when you walk. However, if it doesn’t work or if you have squeaked in other parts of your shoe, try some of these other solutions instead.
Different kinds of footwear tend to develop issues differently, so it’s important to remember what kind of shoes you own before trying a particular solution. For example, boots typically suffer from creaking noises caused by loose leather rather than rubbing between layers (as occurs in lighter-weight shoes). Therefore, fixing creaking boots requires different techniques than those used for sneakers or loafers.
Replace the shoelaces
Is your shoe squeaking? One way to fix a squeak is to replace your shoelaces. This method isn’t always effective, but if you have shoelaces that are still in good condition and haven’t stretched out, you may be able to temporarily stop a shoe from squeaking by replacing them with new laces.
Sometimes just changing out an old lace can eliminate squeaking in your shoes. For example, one user on Reddit said his brand-new pair of sneakers were making noise when he walked. He discovered that it was because his shoelace was tied too tightly and caused friction against his shoe.
Once he loosened up his laces, they stopped squeaking entirely. Another user on Reddit said she had a similar experience when her sneakers started making noises after wearing them for only one day. She noticed that her shoelace was tied too tight and once she loosened it up, her shoes stopped squeaking completely.
You can solve most squeak problems with a generous application of baby or mineral oil. Rub it into the offending area, then leave it overnight (or at least a few hours). The moisture in your skin will wear off over time, and your shoes should be back to normal. (Baby oil works best because it doesn’t have any fragrance that might discolor leather, but mineral oil is cheaper.)
If you’re squeaking on wood floors, use a little WD-40 on the dry cloth before trying oil. It’s also worth checking out some inexpensive rubber protectors for your heels and soles; they’ll save you from walking around like a duck! And remember: Wearing new shoes without socks can make them squeak too. They need to be broken in slowly so they don’t rub against your skin—and against each other.
Use chalk powder spray
This is a quick fix but it does work. Make sure you clean any residue off of your sole so that it sticks well and that you use enough of it. This will help for a few years, but won’t last forever. It’s also better for non-rubber soled shoes as rubber doesn’t stick to double-sided tape very well at all.
If you don’t have chalk powder spray, try using talcum powder or even just some cornstarch. Just make sure that whatever product you’re using has enough texture to grab onto your shoe. If not, it’ll just slide around on top of your shoe and won’t do much good at all.
Spray your feet with antiperspirant before putting on your shoes to prevent further squeaking (and stinky feet). Also, put deodorant inside of them too! I always wonder if my sneakers are squeaking because they need deodorant in them. 😉 Use petroleum jelly: Another method is using petroleum jelly like Vaseline.
It acts like a lubricant between your shoe and it’s sole; simply put some in each corner of both parts of your shoe and you should be set! You may want to wipe off any excess with a paper towel first, though. You could even just use cooking oil, which might work better than petroleum jelly because it won’t dry out as fast and will still protect against wear & tear from walking around outside during rain storms.
Tape up the bottom of your sole with double-sided tape
This is a quick, simple fix that you can use while on a walk or just out and about. Simply unroll some tape and stick it to your shoe’s sole. To help hold it in place, put some tension on your laces once you’ve applied it. You could even use duct tape for something sturdier.
Remember, double-sided tape is removable so if things get too noisy later you can peel up the bottom of your shoe and re-apply another layer of tape! This DIY trick works well with other rubber shoes as well like rain boots, bike shoes, and more. Check out our list of DIY fixes to keep your sneakers squeak-free below!
Bake soda: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda at the point where your shoe rubs against itself when you walk. Shake off any excess powder before putting them back on—and go for a test run. The baking soda will absorb moisture from the inside and should quiet down any squeaking sounds.