3 Reasons Why Shoes Squeak and How to Stop Shoe Bottom from Squeaking

So, you have a new pair of shoes and they can’t stop squeaking every time you use them? That can be very annoying and you may wonder: Why do my shoes squeak? And what can I do about this? 

Well, there are many different reasons why the bottom of shoes squeak and today we will talk about them. We will also give you a short guide on how to fix squeaky shoes so you’re not embarrassed every time you wear them!

Shoe Squeaking Picture for reference

3 Reasons Why Shoes Squeak

Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine why the bottom of your shoes squeak. Is it the surface you’re walking on? Could the shoes be defective? Does water damage have anything to do with it? 

Well, it depends. We can say there are three main reasons for squeaky shoes; they are brand new, they are too old, or they are damaged. If you want to learn how to stop shoes from squeaking, you have to pinpoint the reason first. 

Your Shoes Are New

If you have new shoes and the bottom of the shoes squeak, it could be because the soles are too smooth. If that’s the case, every time you walk, the sole’s contact with the floor will create that awful sound. 

When your sole is smooth and the surface you’re walking on is also smooth, your shoes will squeak. Usually, the squeaky noise will go away as you wear the shoes. Especially if you walk on rough surfaces often. 

However, if you don’t want to wait however long that may take, you can fix the issue right away. The only thing you need to do is increase traction and there are many ways to do that. We will talk more about it in our section on how to stop shoes from squeaking.

Your Shoes Are Old

If your shoes have been with you for a while or they don’t have the best built, they will eventually start squeaking. Over time, wear and tear will take its toll on the shoes. Not to mention many parts may come loose and lead to the annoying squeak. 

Inexpensive or old shoes will start coming off at the sole at the front or at the heel of the shoe. The insole may also come loose, so the inner pad will start slipping on the midsole. Both of these things may lead to the bottom of the shoes squeaking.

The good news is that both issues can be solved without too much work and it won’t cost you much. You can take them to a skilled professional or you can fix it yourself. But more on that on the section on how to fix squeaky shoes!

Your Shoes Are Damaged

Last but not least, your shoes may be squeaky if they’re damaged. For example, if your shoes get wet in the rain or something, water damage may be the reason why they’re squeaking. 

It’s also possible that there’s something stuck on the sole of the shoe. For instance, many manufacturers put sizing stickers on the sole. If you don’t take it off, it will make noise when it comes in contact with smooth surfaces. 

If you’ve taken the sticker off, the culprit may be the residue of sticky material. However, other things may get stuck on the sole and lead to squeaking. Such as small stones, debris, etc. Whatever the damage may be, we will help you find a solution in the next section!

How to Fix Squeaky Shoes: 13 Useful Solutions

This guide on how to stop the bottom of your shoes from squeaking will provide many different solutions. The one that works for you will depend on the reason your shoes are squeaking in the first place. 

So, make sure you try your best to identify the reasons why the bottom of shoes squeak. Then, be sure to try whatever solutions may apply. If you don’t solve it on the first try, make sure to test other relevant fixes!

Raise Traction on Your Brand New Shoes

One of the most common reasons why shoes squeak is that the sole is too smooth. To solve that, you need to improve traction. If you do that and the shoes still squeak, you may want to use the warranty and get them replaced. 

Improving traction on new soles means you need to rough them up a little. This way, they won’t make annoying noises every time you walk, especially on smooth or wet surfaces. 

To improve traction, you can: 

  • Use grip adhesive. You can use this one from Amazon, but there are other options available. All you need to do is spray the shoe soles with one coating and let it dry completely. Make sure it doesn’t get wet while it’s drying. After that, the shoes will be ready to go. 
  • Use a dryer sheet. Lastly, you can use a dryer sheet and rub it well against the sole. It’s likely you already have dryer sheets at home, so this is one of the easiest methods. You may have to do this a few times to get the desired traction, but it won’t cost you much time or effort. 

Fix Water Damage

Water damage is another of the most common causes for the bottom of shoes squeak. After all, it’s very easy for shoes to get wet when you spend time outside. If that’s the case, you can use a hairdryer to dry the shoes completely. You can also use your dryer, put them on your radiator, or place them under the sun for a day.

Before you put your shoes out to dry, make sure you separate all the parts so they can all get completely dry. You can also stuff the shoes with newspaper or rice to soak up the moisture, but that’s a bit more of a hassle. It’s up to you, though!

Reattach Any Loose Parts

Wear and tear may lead to loose parts, which is another common reason for squeaking shoes. To check for loose parts, focus on the inner part of the shoe and the outer sole. Both of these places are made of several layers and they are likely to come off in time.

If the sole of the shoe is coming off, apply super glue and pressure or place a weighted item on top until the glue dries. If the insole is loose, you can glue it down or you can fold a paper towel or dryer sheet and place it under it. Another option is to detach the insole entirely so it can move against the midsole without squeaking. 

Use Baby Powder

Moisture will unavoidably lead to squeaky shoes. That’s why using baby powder is a good solution and it will also help prevent this. Baby powder removes moisture very quickly. Not to mention it’s super easy to use! 

All you have to do is sprinkle baby powder under the inner sole and on it as well. Let it dry so the baby powder can work its magic and you’ll be good to go. You’ll have to do this often and it can be a bit messy, so do it over the sink or a container. 

Use Petroleum Jelly 

Petroleum jelly is known as a powerful moisturizer that does wonders for dry skin and lips. However, it has many other uses. If you’re dealing with squeaky shoes, applying a bit of petroleum jelly under the insoles can fix the issue very easily. 

All you need to do is make sure the layer is thin so it doesn’t become uncomfortable to wear the shoes. For this fix, it’s a good idea to detach the insole entirely, especially if it’s already partially detached. 

Dry Your Shoes

As mentioned before, wet or moist shoes will squeak. That’s why you need to keep your shoes dry at all times. This won’t only help you avoid squeaky shoes, it will also help with odors and it will reduce the risk of foot or nail fungus. This is an easy fix because all you have to do is throw the shoes in the dryer. 

It may seem way too obvious, but it works well and most people don’t think about it right away. The dryer will do all the work for you. Additionally, you can add a bit of fabric softener on a sponge and throw it in as well for a nice smell. 

Ideally, you want to keep the shoes in the dryer for only 5 minutes. If you go over, you risk damaging or shrinking the shoes. So, make sure you use a timer. Once you do this, the squeaky noise should disappear. 

Use WD-40 

Water Displacement, 40th formula, also known as WD-40, is a multi-use product that’s meant to protect the metal from corrosion or rust. It also removes grime, grease, and more from surfaces. This product is well-known and it has many different uses. 

If your shoes are squeaky, using WD-40 can help. It’s very easy to use, all you have to do is spray the product on a cloth or cotton ball. Then, apply it to the outside seams of your shoes. 

This should get rid of the squeaky sound. However, you can’t use this product on suede and it’s only meant to be applied on the outside seams. If you apply it in other regions, you may damage your shoes. So, take your time and be precise with your application. 

Rub the Shoe Laces With Saddle Soap

Though it may not seem that way, shoelaces can also lead to squeaky shoes. It’s worth checking out because most people ignore it and it could be the reason. When you walk, the shoelaces can rub against the shoe and lead to squeaky noises. 

This is particularly true for leather shoes. So, if you have leather shoes with laces and the squeaking is driving you crazy, try saddle soap. Saddle soap is different from regular soap because it’s designed to clean, condition, and protect the leather. 

This is something you should have if you’re a fan of leather shoes and products. All you need to do is rub the lace with some saddle soap to stop your shoes from squeaking. This will eliminate the friction between the leather material and the shoelaces very effectively. 

Wear in Your Shoes

Brand new shoes are very likely to squeak because the sole hasn’t seen any action yet. When you first get your shoes, the soles are shiny and hard. That’s why manufacturers use black paint on the soles to make them look more elegant. 

As such, they will unavoidably squeak when you walk on smooth surfaces. So, if it’s driving you crazy, wear the shoes often. Walk a few miles in them and the squeak will go away. Using squeaky shoes often, especially on rough surfaces, will take care of the issue. 

Granted, this will take you a little while, so you may have to deal with squeaky shoes for a few days. If you don’t want to do that, you can go back to solution #1. There, we explain how you can increase traction on the soles in very little time and with very little effort. 

Keep Your Leather Shoes Polished

If your new shoes are made of leather, some squeaking is bound to happen. Leather can be very loud, especially when it’s new. That’s why you need to keep your leather shoes polished. Very similar to rubber, leather will soften with use. 

However, if you want to get rid of the annoying squeaking noise sooner than that, polishing the shoes will help. Doing this will keep the leather flexible and it will also keep moisture at bay. That way, the leather can always look shiny and elegant. 

Additionally, polishing leather shoes will reduce or eliminate friction. To do this, you can use a shoe shine kit. Now, this process can be messy, so keep that in mind. Also, this method only works on leather shoes. If you try it on other materials, it may ruin the shoes. If you don’t know how to polish leather shoes, this tutorial will help!

Apply Waterproof Spray

Using waterproof spray on your shoes is another great way to fix squeaky shoes. This is an alternative to polishing, so if your shoes are not made of leather, use a waterproof spray. It will keep dampness at bay because it will protect shoes from liquids.

Additionally, waterproof sprays will reduce squeaking noises caused by the tongue of the shoe rubbing on the uppers. The KIWI shoe waterproofer is a great option. 

This brand also has different versions of this waterproof spray for different kinds of shoes, such as boots and sneakers. Waterproof sprays are easy to use and they will help keep your shoes dry. However, you will have to apply this product regularly. It’s very easy to apply, though, so that won’t be an issue. 

Replace the Laces

If you got new laces for your shoes and they started squeaking after that, the laces might be the issue. If they don’t fit properly, they will cause friction and lead to annoying squeaking. Laces that are too thick for your shoes will lead to friction against the eyelets. 

So, if it’s difficult for you to thread the laces through the eyelets, it means you have the wrong size. The good news is that shoelaces are easy to find and they’re not expensive. All you have to do is make sure you have the right fit. 

Replace the Heel or Sole of the Shoes

Last but not least, you can replace the heel or sole of the shoes if the squeaking is caused by wear and tear. If your shoes have been with you for a while now, they’re likely tired. High-quality shoes will stand the test of time, but eventually the heel or sole will have to be replaced. 

All you have to do is take your shoes to a cobbler and they will re-heel and re-sole your shoes for you. Do keep in mind that this solution is only viable for dress shoes and it’s only worth the trouble for expensive, high-quality shoes that still have a few years in them. 

Final Words

As you can see, there are many ways to get rid of the annoying squeaking noise your shoes are making. This guide on how to stop shoes from squeaking provides easy and effective fixes anyone can try. 

They won’t cost you much time, money, or effort. First, identify the reason for the squeaking and then go through the list so you can choose among the relevant solutions. This way, you can say goodbye to squeaky shoes!

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