Is a pair of squeaky shoes driving you past the point of insanity? Try these simple techniques to return your shoes to their normal, stealthy selves.
Option #1: Baby Powder
Remove the insole and sprinkle the inside of the shoe with baby or talcum powder. This is a catchall solution and is especially useful if it sounds like the squeak is coming from the inside of the shoe (versus the outer sole, etc). Most of the time, the squeak is caused by two parts of the shoe rubbing against each other. By sprinkling baby powder on the inside of the shoe, you are reducing friction and thereby reducing noise. (Plus your feet will smell better too!)
Option #2: Glue the Heel
If you think the noise is coming from the heel area, it may mean that your heel is loose. Check to see if the shoe’s heel is securely attached. If not, use some kind of shoe glue (Shoe Goo, super glue or industrial rubber cement will all do the trick) to secure the heel in place. Make sure the glue dries thoroughly! If the heel is also attached with shoe nails, it may be helpful to tack in a few nails in addition to using the glue.
Option #3: Air ‘Em Out
Often shoes start squeaking after they get wet. The squeak may indicate that there is still a little moisture in the shoe. Try removing the insoles and putting paper inside the shoes to draw the moisture out. You can also pop certain shoes in the drier (with fabric softener) and thoroughly dry them that way. (Make sure your shoes are drier-safe!)
Option #4: Soften Them Up
Even though it might make you cringe to do it, rubbing lotion, oil or Vaseline into squeaky leather shoes may eliminate the squeak. Try to choose lotion or oil without a lot of extra fluff added (i.e., you don’t need your shoes to smell like “spring rain” or “rose petals”).
If the shoes are old, the squeak may be the result of a loose sole, loose shank or worn down tread. If you are feeling ambitious (and confident that you have correctly detected the squeak’s source), you can resole your shoes at home. If not, take your shoes to a cobbler or shoe repairman who can identify the squeak’s source and hopefully fix the problem. If your squeaky shoes are new, don’t be afraid to take them back to the store where you purchased them. The salesman may be able to exchange your shoes for a non-squeaky pair, give you a refund or help you figure out the source of the squeak.
Jane Barron works for OddShoeFinder.com,a free online website that helps people find mismatched footwear.Get more information on club foot, club feet or corrective shoes.