How to Stop Leather Shoes From Squeaking

Imagine you are walking through a crowd silenced to concentrate on something important but an annoying noise is coming out of the stylish leather shoes that make everyone stare at you with a surprised look. Suddenly you will feel like an alien in the middle of some respectable people. Or imagine that you are attempting to enter your classroom filled with students listening to the lecture, but the abnormal noise coming out of your shoes all of a sudden makes you think of running and hiding immediately.

 If you ever experience this awkward situation, then you know well how embarrassing it is to confront the moment. This annoying and embarrassing noise is called squeaking. Your favorite leather shoes can develop squeaking and make you irritated and tensed over the solution. Now your most mental stress on the question would be “How to stop leather shoes from squeaking?” Luckily there are both prevention and cure of this problem. There are some DIY (Do It Yourself) steps you will have to follow to get rid of this issue which we are going to discuss further in this article.

Remember that silencing the noise will not be that tough, but you have to find out the source of the noise beforehand. Whatever the source or reasons behind the squeaking is, we will discuss some effective solutions that we discovered after deep research. 

Why Do Leather Shoes Squeak?

Some of the squeaking noises develop from inside the shoes. Like from the insoles and sometimes it develops from the bottom or outsoles of the shoes. Hence, there are plenty of reasons behind the noises.

Wet Insole or water drops inside shoes

The wet surface inside the shoes is the most common reason behind the shoe squeaking. Somehow water drops enter your shoes and get trapped inside the sole. Then when you wear them and step on the floor, the trapped water drops are pressurized and start rubbing each other and make noises. Usually, our shoes get wet inside if we walk through wet surfaces or if we walk through the rain outside. Besides drenched or soaked socks also increase the possibility of squeaking. The squeaking noise will continue to bother you if you don’t remove the water and make the shoes dry well. 

Friction from Smoot Outsole

It is a coincidence that if both the outsoles of the leather shoes and the surface are smooth and clean like new then the friction during the steps tends to create squeaking noise. If your shoes are new and come in contact with a polished surface then friction between both the smooth surfaces creates noises. Surfaces like a pitched road or concrete make this noise but tiles, marble, or other polished and smooth surfaces are more slippery and your leather shoes will rub against them with more squeaking noise.

New leather shoes

New soles tend to cause squeaking noise much because they rub against inside the shoes. When you buy a new leather shoe you may experience this as the structure of the new leather inside has not been properly molded yet. Although it doesn’t take much time to resolve but still irritating if it happens on any occasion. 

Design of the leather shoe 

Sometimes the design of the leather shoe can also contribute to the squeaking. Some shoes are constructed and featured with wooden splints between the arches. Welt leather shoes usually have these wooden splints to bridge the arch of the foot which causes squeaking noises. 

Rubber outsole

If the outsoles of your leather shoes are made of rubber then it could be another key reason behind the squeaking noise. It creates noise in two ways. Either the rubber outsole creates noise when comes in contact with the smooth floor or when the rubber sole rubs against the leather. Manufacturers use rubber outsole for anti-slip support but on the other hand, it also squeaks and sometimes gets worse.

How to Stop Leather Shoes From Squeaking?

When your shoes squeak, it will make you feel annoying and embarrassing. Many people seek help to encounter these noisy issues. First, you need to identify where does the squeaking noise come from? After knowing it, just take some tricky actions with some potential components instead of changing your leather shoes. To stop the aggravation of squeaking you can follow some effective ways. 

Use Dryer

Trapped water is one of the major reasons behind squeaking. In that case, you have to bring out the water and let your leather shoes dry immediately. Use a cloth or a sponge and add fabric softener to it, then keep them inside the dryer along with your leather shoes that make the noise. Leave them around for 10 minutes. But you should not leave them inside the dryer for too long otherwise it could increase the risk of overheating damage. 

Talcum Powder or Baby Powder

Using talcum powder underneath insoles is one of the most common and effective ways to stop squeaking. Sometimes, we walk on the floor wearing leather shoes that have moisture inside, then soles inside the shoes rub against each other continuously and make squeaking noises. But powder can reduce friction by absorbing moisture and reducing humidity. Talcum or baby powder creates a protective layer between the insoles and let not squeak anymore. Besides solving the squeaking issue, talcum powder keeps your shoe odor-free and that turns into a pleasant smell. 

  • Put some powder inside your shoes after removing insoles. 
  • After applying talcum powder put the sole back on. You may repeat this process to solve the noise issue. 
  • You can use either baby powder or talcum powder, if the powder is not available then use some cornstarch powder or baking powder.
  • If your shoes have a fixed insole then put the powder inside your shoes. 

WD- 40 

You may take help from any lubricant or penetrating oil. This option is another solution to stop squeaking. WD-40 can lead to dryness by removing water and lubricate mechanical circuits. Before applying this spray, make sure you put on gloves beforehand. Apply it with a cotton cloth or sponge.

  • Before application, know the place where the noise comes from
  • First, remove the soles
  • Spray oil inside and leave for few minutes (Minimum 5 minutes)
  • If your insole is glued then spray the upper side 
  • You must apply both the outside or inner sides of the sole
  • Your shoes are going to become silent after this process, if you get any noise again then repeat the process twice or thrice. 

Check the heels

Sometimes shoes start to squeak when heels are coming apart. You find some heels are staked on top with a layer of leather or wood. After few days of using those heels start to separate and make squeaking while walking. When the heels pull away from the sole, the space gets air to fill and start squeaking in each step. In that case, you must repair your shoes as soon as possible otherwise sudden falling can happen along with squeaking. 

Dryer sheet

Putting a drier sheet or paper towel can solve this problem effectively. It will fill the place between the insole and shoes and absorb moisture. This process reduces friction and smells good. 

  • Add a piece of kitchen roll or dryer sheet beneath your insole.
  • Try using a napkin or paper towel if a dryer sheet is not available. It will prevent squeaking as much while walking. 
  • Change paper towel after every wearing otherwise it will start to smell
  • You may put silica gel packet also

Soften your shoes

Your shoes need to be softened so that you would get a chance to wear them without disturbance. The procedure is super simple, just use sandpaper and gently rub off your shoe surface; down to the bottom.

Apply coconut oil

Coconut oil can help this issue with its lubricant formula. This process will stop squeak like magic. Sometimes, hard rubber rubs against the floor and starts to squeak while walking. Lubricating your soles are effective for solving squeaking. 

  • Remove the insole first
  • Apply a thin layer of coconut oil 
  • Rub coconut oil inside of shoes 
  • Reinsert the sole
  • Repeat the process, if shoes again start to noise.

Check humidity 

Usually, wet shoes always tend to squeak. Never wear wet shoes. The wet leather shoes can make your feet unhealthy along with squeaking issues. We suggest drying your shoes when you stop wearing your shoes no longer for few days. 

  • You can wrap them with newspaper 
  • Place them against the wall 
  • Remove the insole to expose the air and leave them until dry 

How to Keep Your Shoes From Squeaking?

From the previous categories, now you know how to fix the squeaking problems. In this part, you should take some actions to maintain your shoes to get squeaking-free or noise-free wear. There are several solutions to keep your shoes free from squeaking. 

Repair water damage

  • Let your shoes dry. Make the insole and shoe and dry separately. Some shoes need plenty of time to dry, allow them enough time to get dry naturally. 
  • To speed up the drying process, use a fan. Keep your shoes directly towards the fan to be dry in a shorter time around 20 to 30 minutes. 

For New shoes

New shoes tend to squeak more than your older pair of shoes. After buying new footwear, the wise step will be to soften your shoes immediately. 

  • Rubbing with sandpaper is a DIY to make your shoes smoother. 
  • Place an extra layer for few days when your shoes are brand new. keep some tissues inside the insole or use WD40
  • If your new shoes are too stubborn to manage like uncomfortable or squeaking issues, then think again to check the manufacturing defect. If those are still under warranty then change as soon as possible. 

Repair old shoes

Indeed, your old shoes need more attention. Instead of buying a new pair of shoes, repairing the old pair is much easier. 

  • Cover the squeaky parts with petroleum jelly. It will create a thick layer to reduce friction.
  • If some parts of your shoes come off then need to paste the parts with strong glue. You may search for a cobbler or do it yourself to repair and get rid of squeaking. 

Final Recap

We hope those potential tricks will help you to draw out the dampness. We advise paying more attention while buying new shoes. Good quality, comfortable, and durable footwear always makes your walk easier and smarter. However, friction is the main reason for squeaking, so reducing friction is the most effective step. The good thing is, to fix the squeaking issue, you do not need to take any complicated care. There is no need for any expensive repairs. Those potential steps are too easy to do, you can apply them without tiring effort. No more squeaking or no more noise in the middle of something official. “just start your day happily.”