How to Fix Squeaky Shoes? [2024]

Have you ever had that moment you see a brand new pair of shoes and thousands of thoughts fly through your mind and you know no matter what you just have to get it?

Or do you have a pair of shoes that you can’t bear to part with?

However, you notice there is a terrible squeaking sound when you walk.

But where is this annoying sound coming from?

Your heart sinks as you realize the sound is coming from your shoes.

Trying to figure out if it’s the outside or the inside of shoes is causing it to squeak can be hard to decipher.

Don’t throw out the shoe just yet because we are going to discuss the many ways on how to fix squeaky shoes in this article.

How to fix squeaky shoes

Is your shoe squeaky?

There are various ways to stop squeaky shoes that do not include throwing them out.

Some of the solutions on this list are quite simple while others may require you to purchase some extra products.

All in all, most of the methods are fairly easy and can be done by you.

If you’re ready to fix this problem, then keep reading on how to stop squeaky shoes.

Let us jump right in and discuss some of these ways.

Improve Traction on new shoes

If your new shoes are still under a valid warranty you can return them to the store.

If your warranty period is up then you can try to roughen up the bottom of the shoes.

This will get rid of the smooth rubber sole that causes your shoes to squeak.

To do this you can follow either of the 3 methods below.

Using a dryer sheet

The easiest of these 3 methods is using an item you probably already have at home.

Stopping shoes from squeaking is as easy as taking a dryer sheet and rubbing it against the sole of the shoe.

Moreover, you can place the dryer sheet under the insole to act as a buffer sheet to stop it from moving around and creating a racket.

Sand the sole

If that doesn’t, work, then use any fine grain sandpaper or a sanding sponge to sand the bottom of the shoes.

Sand them just enough to get some texture, you do not want to damage your shoe by sanding it too much.

  • All-purpose sanding sponge
  • Reusable
  • Use wet or dry

The 3M sanding sponge is an all-purpose sanding sponge that works no matter the surface you’re working on.

It is made from a durable flexible foam material and comes in a block shape that is easier to hold and work with.

It doesn’t matter if the surface is flat, contoured, or irregular, using the sanding sponge is easy.

The great thing about this sponge is that it is reusable, so making a one-time investment is all you need.

You can either use the sponge wet or dry and it delivers the same results.

The 3M sanding sponge measures 14.5 x 6.94 x 5.5 inches and weighs 5.5 ounces

Add some grip adhesive

If all else fails, then you will need to add some grip adhesive.

This usually comes in a spray form so it is easy to apply.

Spray on an even coat, let dry and try your shoes again to check if it still squeaks.

  • Long-lasting
  • Specially designed nozzle
  • Will not harm leather or rubber.

The Bare Ground Spray-On Shoe Grip Adhesive features a long-lasting formula so no need to reapply constantly.

With its specially designed nozzle, it applies the formula directly where you want it thus eliminating waste.

Feel free to use this grip adhesive spray on your leather and rubber soles since the formula will not harm them in any way.

In addition to adding some traction to your shoe soles to stop squeaking, the Bare Ground grip adhesive can also reduce slips and falls.

2. Fix Water Damage

Since shoes are almost always worn outside, there is a higher chance of them getting wet at some point.

There are various ways to treat water damage like using the best quiet hair dryers on the market.

You can also throw it in the dryer for a short period, place it in direct sunlight or stuff it with newspaper or rice.

Whichever method you choose, remember to remove as many parts of the shoes as possible.

This opens up the shoes and allows parts to dry separately instead of together as a whole unit. 

Drying the parts separately may shorten drying time.

3. Reattach loose parts

There are two main areas on your shoes that can create squeaking noises.

They are the outer part of the shoe which is the sole and the inner part which is the insole.

Between these two parts lie several layers consisting of the heel wedge, support, and midsole.

However, the sole and insole are the only two that may become loose with time.

The sole can cause a squeaking sound but may cause a slapping sound as well if it becomes loose.

The sound may sound similar to a round of applause as you walk.

To fix a clapping sole, you will have to use a professional grade glue that can withstand water and all other outdoor elements that your shoe may come into contact with.

After using the glue, you will need to apply pressure or add weight so that the loose part bonds with the glue and the underside of the shoe.

On the other hand, if your insoles are loose, they can make a squeaking noise when they slide against the midsoles.

Just like fixing the sole, you can superglue the insole so that it does not move around and squeak.

If the insole is loose it won’t be hard to remove entirely and glue it down.

If it is partially loose, you can carefully peel it away until it’s completely loose or you can loosen the laces, pull the tongue out, reach in and glue the loose parts.

stopping squeaky shoes with loose sole

  • Waterproof
  • Bonds, protect, and rebuilds
  • Easy to apply

Shoo Goo as the name suggests was made specifically for use on shoes of all kinds.

The glue dries clear which means it will not alter the style or color of your shoe in any way.

It does not harden and crack but remains flexible after drying to keep loose parts attached longer.

What is more, is its waterproofing ability so it is perfect so reattaching soles to the underside of the shoes and reducing any noise.

Simply apply the glue and leave it to dry for some time.

Three to four hours should be enough to ensure that it bonds well and stands up to normal wear.

You can build up a thick layer if needed by applying thin layers and allowing the recommended time for drying between layers.

4. Sprinkle baby powder

Moisture can cause squeaky as we have mentioned before with water damage.

However, other sources of moisture can also lead to this like sweating.

To tackle this type of moisture, try sprinkling some baby powder inside the shoe by the inner sole or under the inner sole.

Leave the shoes for a little while and let the powder do its thing.

Not only will you get a dry noiseless shoe but it‘ll have a nice fresh scent as well.

Furthermore, you can leave the powder in and go about your day as it will whisk away moisture right away as your feet sweat.

5. Apply some petroleum jelly

It may seem wack but can be just the hack you need.

Apply some petroleum jelly on the insoles of the shoe.

You probably have a jar at home anyway so you might as well try it.

It will eliminate any squeaking sound coming from your shoe.

6. Use WD-40 cleaner and degreaser

Using WD-40 only applies in some cases so be very careful if you go this route.

Do not apply WD-40 cleaner and degreaser to shoes made up of suede, doing so can damage the soft material.

If your shoes are not made of suede, spraying a small amount on a cloth or small cotton ball and applying it to the outside seams of the shoes can stop them from squeaking.

  • Grease and grime fighter
  • Biodegradable bio-solvent formula
  • Non-flammable

WD-40 cleaner and degreaser is a powerful grease and grime fighter.

It can be used for many uses around and not just to clean the outside of your shoes.

The biodegradable bio-solvent formula is non-flammable and meets U.S. EPA Safer Choice Standards.

It is also non-abrasive, non-corrosive, and has a low odor.

This powerful 2-in-1 cleanser and degreaser is VOC compliant in 50 states.

7. Polish your shoe

Some types of leather shoes tend to squeak no matter what you try.

Buffing your shoes with some shoe polish can help to eliminate any squeaking sound that may be coming from the type of leather.

Dress shoes made from leather will not only stop squeaking after polishing but will have a sleek new look and have you stepping out looking sharp and well put together.

For shoes made of other materials, check the manufacturer’s specification on how to care for them.

  • Complete kit
  • Contains carnauba wax
  • Long-lasting shine and protection

The Kiwi Shoe Shine Kit consists of everything you need to restore world-class shine to your shoes.

This kit comes with 2 tins black shoe polish, 1 shine brush, 1 dauber, and 1 shine cloth.

The shoe polish contains carnauba wax that adds shine, nourishment, and protection.

It also increases the water resistance properties of the shoes.

This complete kit can even have your oldest pair of shoes looking like new.

8. Break in your new shoes

The good thing about new shoes squeaking is that it stops after you’ve broken them in.

Wear it about the house while doing stuff so that it can get familiar with the shape and movement of your feet. 

After a few practice wear, it should stop squeaking. 

9. Check for defects

Check your shoes for any defects whether they are new or old.

If your shoes are old, maybe it is time to try to throw them out.

Sometimes throwing them out may hurt if you are in love with them.

If this is the case, hopefully, you have a cobbler nearby so you can take it to get fixed.

If not you should probably cross your fingers and hope the store still carries the same shoes.

If it’s a new shoe, then the manufacturer’s defects can cause squeaking.

If you have a valid warranty, return to the store and you should be able to switch it for a better pair.

If the store does not have the same model, then you may be able to choose an alternative.

10. Flooring Type 

Sometimes it isn’t your shoes that squeak but the floor that you walk on that is causing the squeak.

Changing the flooring can eliminate your noise issue or changing the detergent you clean the floor with.

For ways to soundproof your floors, read how to soundproof a floor.

stopping shoes from squeaking with glue

Why do shoes squeak?

So why do shoes squeak?

Yes, some shoes do squeak but sometimes it may not be the shoe that is creating the squeaking sound.

If it isn’t the shoe, then what could it possibly be?

One possibility could be the floor you walk on with your shoe.

The friction from the shoe and the floor can make quite an irritating sound.

In other words, if you walk on a smooth surface you will find that your shoes squeak.

However, your shoes may not squeak if you walk on a floor covered in carpet.

That being said, it is very hard to say exactly why shoes squeak.

But we will try to explain it as best as we can.

The reason a shoe squeak can be placed into three categories.

New Shoes

New shoes will squeak since they haven’t been worn before.

They came straight from the factory to the display unit in the store.

When you start to walk, the new shoes crease as you move and as a result, a squeaking sound emits.

Further, it could be some defect from production that is causing the squeak or a smooth rubber sole.

Old Shoes

Shoes are going to fall apart after some time, that is a given.

Normal wear and tear are going to take their toll on your shoes.

No matter how comfortable or great they are, the time will come where you will have to throw them out.

Shoes consist of many parts that can become loose over time.

If you want to fix an old shoe refer to some of the steps we mentioned above.

Damaged shoes

You can damage your shoes in many different ways.

If you wear your shoes in rain or mistakenly spill water on them and this may cause them to squeak.

We have discussed a few ways to deal with water damage, give them a try, and hopefully the squeak is gone.

Other damages you can cause to your shoes are running in your shoes or dancing.

Both these activities can loosen the heel or sole and even the insole of your shoe.

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