What Causes Squeaky Shoes?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 11 January 2020
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Friction, a loose heel, and excessive moisture are some of the most common causes of squeaky shoes. Some shoes can squeak when they are brand new, and the problem eventually goes away as they are broken in and become more flexible. A few types of shoes may squeak as a result of defects in the fabricating process. Fixing squeaky shoes is fairly simple in most cases, and some people find that certain remedies work well depending on the kind of shoe material as well as the source of the noise.

Stiff leather shoes can often squeak due to dryness, and this issue can usually be fixed by applying a leather conditioner to the shoes. Saddle soap is another shoe care product that can moisturize leather as well. These products are often left to soak into the shoes overnight in order to soften the leather and reduce the squeaking. Some leather shoes with laces can also squeak due to friction between the shoe tongue and the tied laces, so applying a thin coat of conditioner to the shoe tongue usually solves this problem.


Heels on some kinds of formal dress shoes can become loose over time, creating a squeak whenever the wearer takes a step. The sound results from friction between the heel and the bottom of the shoe. A similar problem can happen if the inner sole becomes loose. Some people find the exact source of the squeak difficult to find at first, and it usually helps to have a friend check for the squeaks in the heels or soles of the shoes while taking a few steps. In both cases, the squeaky shoes can usually be quieted with some simple repairs at a shoe cobbler's shop.

Water-logged shoes are often prone to squeaking, particularly if water seeps underneath rubber soles or in between the heel and bottom of the shoe. While getting shoes wet from rain is sometimes unavoidable, squeaky shoes can become a noticeable problem if not dried right away. Even when shoe parts are not initially loose, excess moisture can still lead to the vibrating friction that produces the sound. Depending on their material, wet squeaky shoes can usually be dried with a hair dryer or in a clothes dryer on warm, low settings. Shoes made from more delicate leather are often best left to air dry before dusting the insides with talcum powder to soak up any remaining moisture.


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Post 3

The type of floor cleaner they use at my workplace was making my shoes squeak. My coworkers were really frustrated with the sound of my shoes. Then I found out from a friend that I can treat this problem with skin lotion! I kept the lotion on the soles overnight to soften them, wiped them off in the morning and the squeak was gone! Awesome!

Post 2

I personally hate it when my shoes squeak. But I recently bought children's squeaky shoes for my two year old on purpose!

These shoes have a little piece in them that make squeaky sounds when my daughter walks. She thinks it's really funny and it's encouraging her to walk so I don't break my back carrying her all the time. It's fun!

The good thing is I can take the squeaky piece out whenever I want. Otherwise, it would get really annoying. This is the only circumstance though where I'm okay with squeaky shoes!

Post 1

I think that the main reason shoes squeak is the material the soles are made from. I have a couple of leather squeaky shoes and all have a plastic type of sole. I'm not sure what the material is called but it must be some type of plastic that results in the squeaking. They also tend to squeak more on slippery floors.

My other shoes, that have a different type of sole don't squeak like this.

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