The sound of a squeaking shoe is probably one of the most annoying sounds there is. Nobody will notice that you are wearing the latest Skechers for walking or the most expensive Asics in the market. All they will be doing is to close their ears.
Can you imagine being known as “Steve the Squeaky Shoe Guy” at the office? The good news is, there are ways to stop the squealing, no matter where it is coming from.
What Causes Shoe Squeaking?
Squeaking can be caused by several things and can occur in different parts of the shoe. Squeaking commonly occurs in the insoles and on the outsoles of the shoe.
One of the reasons why shoes squeak is due to trapping of moisture or air on some parts of the shoe, like the insole.
Parts of the shoe can also rub against each other and produce that ungodly sound. It might also be caused by walking on a slick surface, as is common when wearing shoes with rubber soles.
There are several ways to stop the different parts of the shoes from squeaking, be it the insole or the outsole. Let us see some of them.
How to Fix Squeaky Insoles
An insole is the part of the shoe that your foot rests on. The trapping of moisture mostly causes squeaking in this area. This can occur when your foot sweats while in the shoe. It can also occur if you walk in a damp or wet place, causing moisture to get trapped in your insoles.
The quick fix to sweating is wearing socks. Socks prevent the moisture from your feet from coming into contact with the insoles; thus, you prevent squeaking. If that does not work for you, try some of these other techniques:
1. Apply leather conditioner
Depending on what you have at hand, you can use a leather conditioner or coconut oil for this procedure. For a long time now, I have used Leather Honey Leather Conditioner to minimize squeaking on my shoes.
What I have realized about this non-toxic leather conditioner is that it does many things. Apart from reducing the screeching, it softens, moisturizes, rejuvenates, and promotes flexibility of the shoes. This leaves my shoes protected from dryness for a longer time.
You need to remove the insoles, apply the leather conditioner on the bottom, rub it in, and then replace the insole. The leather conditioner will act as a lubricant to reduce the amount of squeaking when you are walking.
For better results, apply a thin layer of the leather conditioner.
2. Use baby powder
The powder is a renowned drying agent. You need to first determine whether your insoles are squeaking because of moisture. Then sprinkle some baby powder into the shoes. Baby powder will dry the moisture up immediately. You can then try the shoe and see whether it still squeaks.
Squeaking occurs because your shoes’ insoles are not attached properly to the shoe. In this case, all you have to do is lift the insole and sprinkle some of the baby powder into the space below the insoles.
The baby powder will work by reducing the friction caused by the insole and the shoe rubbing, thereby eliminating the screeches.
You can also do the following:
- Use cornstarch or talcum powder in place of baby powder;
- Sprinkle the powder around the seams and at the edges near the base of the shoes if you cannot be able to remove the insoles;
- Rub the powder into the laces if the shriek is emanating from the tongue.
3. Use paper towels
Another way to stop the squeaking of the insoles is by using paper towels. Use two paper towels, or more if necessary. Remove the insole, fold the paper towels, and place them underneath it, then replace the sole.
Paper towels will work the same way as the powder. They will absorb the moisture and stop the movement of the insoles to prevent squeaking.
Alternatively, you can use napkins or dryer sheets to replace the paper towels. If you decide to use this method, make sure to replace the paper towels after a few uses to stop the smelling.
How to Fix Squeaky Soles
Soles, especially leather or rubber, can be a nuisance when walking on some surfaces. The friction caused on the bottom of the shoe, especially those worn by overweight walkers is what causes the squeaking. Here is how you can fix the problem:
1. Use dryer sheets
Shoes can squeak when walking on slick surfaces like hardwood floors or tiles. You can use a dryer sheet and rub the bottoms a couple of times to make the shoeless slick and removing the squeaking.
You may need to use dryer sheets regularly. The aim is to remove the slickness of the shoe after wearing them a few times. If you don’t have dryer sheets, you can substitute them with a dry cloth.
2. The use of sandpaper
For many years, grains of sandpaper has been used in various ways. Carpenters use it to smoothen timber while blacksmiths use the sandpaper to ensure their metalwork shines. Thanks to its roughness and rigidity, the sandpaper can get rid of the smoothness of the shoe sole. Sand the surface of the bottom of the shoes with fine sandpaper until they become rough. Do not overdo the roughness. All you need to do is just gently rub the sandpaper.
Roughness caused by sandpaper makes the bottoms less smooth, and this will stop the squeaking.
A 120 to 220-grit sandpaper does better to prevent scratching the shoes too much.
3. Apply superglue
If the problem is with a gap between the upper and bottom part of the shoe, you can use superglue. The superglue will fill the gap between the two parts. Apply superglue, hold the two sides together, use a clamp or rubber bands, and leave the glue to dry.
Reattaching the two parts might stop the squeaking noise caused by loose shoe bottoms. For better results, let the glue set for 24 hours before wearing the shoe. This will ensure that the glue settles.
4. Use silicone caulk
Silicone caulk works the same way as the superglue. It works by binding together a loose heel or the shoe’s sole that had become unglued. If you try using the caulk and the shoe still doesn’t stick together, you might need to take it to a cobbler.
Squirt a small amount of the caulk into the open space and bind the parts together with rubber bands or clamps. Leave it to dry overnight before wearing the shoe.
How to Fix the Outsole
The outsole might also squeal because of the rubbing together of the materials on the outside. If this happens to you, you can try the following:
1. Use conditioning oil
Rubbing a liberal amount of conditioning oil on the outside part of the shoe might reduce or even completely remove the squeaking. This is because the oil will act as a lubricant and so reduce the friction caused by the materials rubbing together.
Not any conditioning oil works for this problem, it has to be one that is designed for the shoe you use. Use leather-conditioning oil for leather shoes, suede conditioning oil for suede shoes, and rubber oil for rubber shoes. If you do this, you are less likely to damage your shoes.
Only reapply the conditioning oil when the shoes start squeaking. Regular application even when the shoes do not shrill will spoil the shoes.
2. Saddle soap
If the squeaking is coming from the rubbing together of the tongue and the laces, you should consider using saddle soap. Saddle soap can be used to lubricate shoes, as it is a conditioning cream.
Rub the saddle soap on the tongue, the front side to be exact. This will lubricate the tongue, and this, in turn, will stop the tongue and the laces from rubbing together, eliminating the squeaking sound. Reapply the soap once it starts wearing off.
3. Plain old drying
Moisture that builds up inside the shoe can be one of the reasons why shoes squeak. Drying your shoes is the best way to stop the boots from screeching. There are different ways to dry your shoes, including air-drying, hanging them in a dry and warm laundry room, or placing them at a warm spot near the fireplace and let them dry.
Alternatively, you can stuff newspapers inside your waterproof walking shoes because they are likely to trap moisture and never let it go. The newspapers will absorb the moisture from your shoes, leaving them dry, warm, and comfortable the next time you wear them.
Shoes squeak differently on different surfaces. How do you stop your shoes wooden or cork shoes from shrieking? Here are some DIY ways you can use:
Apply candle wax
You can use candle wax to fix the squeaking from the buckle of your shoes. The most commonly used wax is beeswax. Rub the wax inside the two buckles and the surface under them. This will lubricate the area between the buckles.
Liquid silicone tends to solve the squealing issue on any part of the shoe. You can find silicon in lubricants, glues, and other insulations. Silicon will also act as a lubricant and reduce the friction on the areas that rub together.
For maximum performance, spray some silicone on and around the area that squeaks. Make sure to apply a light amount and apply it evenly. Let the liquid silicone dry completely before wearing the shoes.
Use rubber cement
Rubber cement contains a vulcanized rubber, and it acts as an adhesive. It works by gluing things together. This will work well in shoe parts that are detached or forming protective layers to reduce the squeaking.
Apply a thin layer of the rubber cement on the heels of your shoes. The rubber cement forms a protective layer between the floor and the shoe and removes the squeaking sound. Allow the rubber cement to dry before wearing the shoe.
As you have seen, you can use common every-day things to fix the shrilling of your shoes even if the shoes are designed for martial arts, a sport that is filled with noise.
If there are items you can’t find at home, you can shop at your nearest store. Otherwise, you are going to find most of these products online. Once you fix your squeaky shoes, you can walk confidently without announcing your arrival to everyone.