In order to resolve the embarrassing and annoying squeaking in your shoes you first will need to find out exactly what the source and the reason of that squeaking is. There are a wide number of reasons why your shoes may be driving you and the people around you with that horrendous squeaking.
How to fix squeaky shoes – step by step guide
#1 – Find the reason
To find out what the reason for the squeaking is, try noticing the cases in which the annoying sound creeps. Like, is it when they are wet, or when you are barefoot in them, or walking on hard floor surfaces?
#2 – Find which is the ‘guilty’ part
Also, try to localize the actual part of them which is making the embarrassing sounds. Is it the sole, the heel, the insole, or other? It is pretty rare, but that may also happen if you have high arch and there is a loud suction sound with every step. In this case I would highly recommend you to check the range of flexible cushioned athletic shoes.
#3 – Start easy
Once you have investigated and have identified the part of the shoe responsible for the squeaking, apply some talcum, baby powder or cornstarch to the area. This will help absorb the moisture and reduce the friction which is very likely causing the squeaking.
#4 – Fixing inside
If it is the inside which is squeaking, remove the insoles (if they are removable) and sprinkle the bottom again with talcum, cornstarch or baby powder to help capture any moisture and keep the inserts in place and quiet.
If the footbeds are not removable, you can apply some of the powder along the base of the shoe. Apply the talcum on the tongue under the laces, if that’s what’s been squeaking.
Once again you can help resolve the problem with these powders, in case it’s the base of the shoe which is squeaking. The cause is possibly an air pocket stuck in the outsole near the seams. Massage the area with the talcum or baby powder in order to get the air balloon out.
# 5 Fixing squeaky leather shoes
If your leather shoes are squeaking, one very likely reason for that could be that the leather has become dry. You can reduce or eliminate the squeaking whatsoever by conditioning the leather with the appropriate leather conditioner, with saddle soap, WD-40 or with plant-based oils. Make sure that you reapply the conditioner periodically, especially after your leather shoes have become wet. Wait for them to dry naturally, fill them up with newspapers or paper towels and make sure they are completely dry before applying the conditioner.
For suede footwear, use only specialized suede conditioner, because leather conditioner can ruin them.
#6 Fixing squeaky shoes bottom
For outsoles which squeak on linoleum and other hard floors, the solution is to reduce the traction by using sandpaper to gently sand them, or applying rubber sole spray or just plain ordinary dry soap on the outsoles. This should fix the problem immediately. In fact, the cheaper and plainer the soap is, the more efficient it will be.
If your shoes squeak when you wear them barefoot, then it is probably the moisture from your feet causing the squeaking. The obvious solution is to avoid wearing them barefoot. Bu if this is not possible you can apply some talcum, baby powder or cornstarch to the footbeds to absorb the moisture and reduce or eliminate the squeaking caused by the friction between your heels and the footbeds.
If the case is that they squeak only in wet conditions, then make sure you dry them completely before wearing them once again. This is done by letting them dry naturally (especially if they are leather, suede or tennis shoes) and stuffing them with paper towels or newspapers to absorb as much of the moisture as possible.
# 7 – Manufacturing defect
If your new shoes seem to have a manufacturing defect or are poorly construction, you should probably use your right to return them before taking any action for resolving squeaking issues by yourself.
If on the other hand, part of the shoe has become loose after months or years of wearing, it could be worth it to take them to a cobbler, or to try to stick back the heel or another part to the shoe with a strong adhesive.
Silicone caulk can be used to stick back an outsole which has detached itself, but if the wear and tear is too much, it is probably time to throw these shoes out and get a new pair.
Hopefully, this guide on how to make your shoes not squeak will help you resolve your particular problem. If not, take your shoes to a professional cobbler to identify the problem and to give you advice on whether you can return them, repair them or just need to throw them away.