Squeaky shoes can be frustrating, embarrassing, and just generally an incredible nuisance. Often, you buy a pair of shoes that look great and feel amazing, but make a painful squeaking noise every time you take a step. Of course, you won’t want to get rid of your new shoes, but also you won’t want to deal with that squeaking noise all the time, every time you try to go for a walk. Stopping shoes from squeaking can be quite frustrating and challenging, but it is far from impossible with the help of a few helpful steps and tricks that you can use to make sure your shoes do not squeak anymore, allowing you to walk in peace once more.

There are many different problems that can make shoes squeak, and here at Shoe Advisor, we have put together a guide to some of the most common problems that make shoes squeak and cause problems. Below, you will find an introduction to some of the most common causes of squeaking shoes, along with tips and tricks that you can use to deal with these problems and make any shoe quieter and squeak-free. No matter why your shoe is squeaking, you can read on below to find out how to deal with this issue!

What Does The Term “Squeaky Shoes” Mean?

You may find that when you take a step, your shoes make a squeaking sound. That could be the sound of air escaping from between parts of the shoe, or of different shoe parts rubbing against each other, or even of the sole twisting as you walk. This squeak can get very frustrating, so you may well want to get rid of the sound, particularly if you wear the problematic pair of squeaky shoes on a regular basis.

Why do my Shoes Squeak Every Time I walk?

There are several different reasons that you might be having problems with squeaky shoes, and each one requires a different approach to fix it.

One of the most common reasons that a shoe squeaks is that the bottoms of the soles are too slick. This can usually be identified by the squeaking primarily happening when you walk on smooth floors like tile or hardwood surfaces.

If the sole of your shoe has come loose, then this can cause squeaking. Air and water seep into the gap between the sole parts, and as they get forced out, they create a loud squeak. Trapped moisture is one of the most common and most frustrating sources of a shoe squeak!

Insoles can also be a problem. If the inner sole of your shoe rubs against the inside of the shoe itself, it can cause squeaking noises. This is usually a softer squeaking sound than you would get from trapped moisture, but it can be equally annoying.

If you have leather shoes that are squeaking, then the upper part of the shoes could be a problem as well as the soles. The leather parts could be rubbing together at the seams, or the laces could be rubbing against the tongue. Either of these could well be the culprit!

Why do my Heels Squeak when I walk?

If the squeaking sound in your shoe is coming from the heel part of your shoe, then it is probably an issue with the sole. The heel of a shoe sole is often made from several different layers of material, particularly with a rubber sole. That means that if any of those layers of sole start to become separated from one another, that makes a gap that water, air, or anything else can get into, causing an irritating squeak.

How do I make my Shoes Stop Squeaking?

A squeaky shoe can be a nuisance, but the good news is that every source of squeaking in shoes can be dealt with without too much difficulty, as long as you are prepared to put in a bit of work.

Every different shoe problem will require a different solution, but we have put together a list of our favorite ways to deal with some of the most common shoe problems and stop your shoes from squeaking. Make sure you know what is causing your squeaky shoes, and you should be able to get them to stop squeaking soon enough.

Stop Shoes From Squeaking with a Dryer.

One of the most common causes of squeaky shoe issues is trapped water. If you have got gaps or leaks in your shoes, and then you get them wet, then water can become trapped inside your shoes, causing unwanted squeaky sounds. Fortunately, the way to deal with this problem is exactly what you might expect: all you have to do is to make sure that they are completely dry to stop the squeaks.

Add a little bit of fabric softener to a cloth or sponge, and throw that into the dryer along with your shoes. Give them about 10 minutes in the dryer to clear out the last of the water, and they should be fixed. Be sure not to leave them in for longer than that, though, as the heat could very easily damage and shrink your shoes, causing even worse problems!

Using Baby Powder to deal with Squeaky Shoes

If you don’t have a dryer but do have water trapped in your shoes causing a squeak, then don’t worry. Baby powder is an alternative option here that can provide great results, as well as being a useful resource for a range of other scenarios in your home.

To deal with this problem using baby powder, just remove the insole of your shoes and shake a bit of talcum powder or baby powder under the insole. Baby powder and talcum powder are great for absorbing moisture and should dry your shoes out quickly and easily.

If your shoes do not have removable insoles, then try shaking the baby powder around the edges of the inside sole, and it should be able to wick out the water. Baby powder is a very useful tool to have around, and you almost certainly already have some baby or talcum powder lying around your house!

Softening Hard Soles

Fresh new shoe soles are often stiff and hard until you have had a chance to wear them in. That means that while you are wearing in your new shoes, you are going to be dealing with an irritating squeaking sound, particularly on smooth floor surfaces. Your shoes should soften up on their own over time as you wear them around and break them in properly, but if you don’t want to wait, then you can use sandpaper to soften up the soles and get your shoes into shape as fast as possible.

All you have to do for this method is to gently rub the underside of the soles of your shoes with sandpaper. Don’t rub too hard, or you might damage the sole and cause problems; all you need is a gentle rubbing motion, evenly applied across the whole of the sole’s bottom surface.

The Petroleum Jelly Method for Squeaky Shoes

If the insole of your shoes is rubbing up against the inside of your shoe and making a squeaking noise, then you will need to lubricate it to prevent that sound. This is an easy process if you have got shoes with removable insoles – all you will need is petroleum jelly or lotion-like vaseline. Just remove the insole from your shoe and smear a thin layer of petroleum jelly under the insole, and this should allow the two parts to run against each other a bit more smoothly, preventing the squeaks from happening.

Dryer Sheets: the easy Solution

The humble dryer sheet is one of the best solutions for squeaky shoes if the squeaks are caused by the insole rubbing against the inside of your shoe. Just grab a dryer sheet from the laundry room, and you will be ready to go. All you have to do is remove the insole from your shoe, slip the dryer sheet in underneath it, and put the insole back in place. The dryer sheet should create a buffer between the two parts of your shoe, stopping them from rubbing together and preventing those squeaks.

WD 40 for Squeaky Seams

If you have got leather shoes, then the different pieces of leather that your shoes are made up of can rub together and cause squeaking noises. That means that you will need to soften and lubricate the edges with a leather conditioner or lubricating spray like WD 40. Softer leather that has been treated with leather conditioner won’t rub together as harshly as fresh, hard leather, so the squeaks should stop. Just spray some leather conditioner or WD 40 onto the outside seams of your problematic squeaking shoes, and the edges of the leather should be softened up enough to keep the shoes nice and quiet.

Saddle Soap for Squeaky Leather Shoes

It is not just the seams that can be squeaky and loud on a new pair of smart leather shoes. The shoelaces can also cause problems; there are a lot of places where they touch other parts of your shoe without being held into place, and they can rub up against the tongue of your shoe very easily. This is more of a problem with fresh laces, which are stiffer and often coated with some sort of treatment spray. Older laces tend to soften up a bit and be a bit easier to work with, but a new pair of shoes with new laces can be very loud as the laces rub against the tongue every time you take a step.

The solution to this problem is saddle soap or other types of leather conditioner. Take a little bit of saddle soap and rub it all over the top of the tongue of your shoe. You don’t need to apply saddle soap to the laces too; only the tongue. This should condition the leather well, moisturizing the problem area, and stopping the noise.

Loose heels and How to get rid of Them

A common cause of squeaking shoes is when the heel starts to come a little loose. This can be difficult to spot early on, and often only becomes easy to spot after the heel has loosened a lot, often long after the squeaking starts. You will need to examine your heel very closely to find the gap, but once you have found it, fixing the problem shouldn’t be too difficult at all.

Once you have found the gap where your heel has started to come loose, just put a little bit of superglue or two-part epoxy glue (if the gap is a large one) into the gap and use a clamp to hold the shoe tightly together until the glue dries.

If you are worried about leaving an unsightly smear of glue on your shoe, then you are probably using too much glue. If that is a real concern for you, though, then you can take your shoes to a professional cobbler to get them repaired professionally to keep them looking as sharp and fresh as possible with no need to worry about problems.


There are many different problems that can cause your shoes to squeak, but every single one of the common problems listed above is easy enough to fix at home without needing any technical specialist equipment or skills.

The most important thing here is to take your time working out why your shoes might be squeaking. Each one of the solutions above only works for very specific causes of squeaking, and they are not interchangeable. Take your time and be careful, and it should be no problem stopping the squeaks and returning your shoes to blissful silence. Squeaking shoes are not a permanent problem in any way, and you don’t need to worry about having to dispose of a pair of shoes because they squeak too much!

About the Author

Hey, I'm Lilly Harvey. If there's two things I'm passionate about in life, it's shoes and writing!

Combining both my passions with my Fashion Design degree, I've helped create Shoe Adviser to help readers choose the best shoes for them, enjoy!

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