We’ve all been there. A quiet corridor, harmony reigns supreme until the irritating creak and repetitive rasping of a pair of squeaky shoes. But there is no need to despair: there are plenty of solutions to make this unwanted sound effect a thing of the past.
Dry Out the Moisture
To begin, it helps to understand what causes the squeak in the first place. Moisture from your feet or even from external sources can become trapped in the tiny spaces between the layers of materials in your shoes. Once in place, this moisture can expand or cause the layers to rub together resulting in the annoying squeak.
A simple remedy exists, which you probably already keep in your home: bathroom talcum powder. Shaking some talcum or baby powder around the inside sole of the offending footwear is enough to dry out the moisture and stop the friction, also leaving you with a pleasant scent.
Alternatively, a few pieces of scrunched up newspaper can form an excellent sponge to absorb any dampness. For best results, leave overnight for maximum moisture removal.
Stop the Friction
Another reason why your shoe might squeak can be friction, caused by poor glue or wear and tear. If the source can be found, it can be eliminated with a simple repair but deeper flaws can be hard to find. Never fear! The solution is, again, in your home already.
Kitchen roll beneath the insole can stop a loose insole from rubbing and in doing so silence the squeak forever. Alternatively, a drier sheet in your favorite aroma can not only stop the screech but leave your shoes smelling as fresh as newly washed laundry.
Close inspection might reveal parts of the shoe that are beginning to separate and this might be the source of the squeaking. Good, old-fashioned superglue can come into its own here, with the use of string or elastic bands to help hold the repair in place until the glue dries.
Oil Your Way To Peace
If you had a squeaky door hinge then reaching for the oil would be a no-brainer. The same can be true with your shoes. Leather conditioning oil can soften the material and stop the leather drying out which can, otherwise, lead to cracks and annoying noises.
If the leather conditioner alone is not enough, even more lubrication can be applied with WD40 or silicone spray. However, you will need to be careful to check on an inconspicuous area first as this could affect the color of your shoes. If your squeaking shoes are suede, you will need to avoid oil altogether.
Locating the Problem
Repairing the shoe is one thing but you need to know where the weakness appears before you start. Try standing in front of a mirror and rocking gently forwards and back on your feet. When the noise occurs, notice which part of the shoe is bending and you will be able to pinpoint exactly where to look for the problem.
New Shoes, New Sounds
Another reason your shoes may be squeaking could be simply because they are too new. Rubber soles that have not been worn in are sometimes overly smooth and, when met with another smooth surface such as a linoleum floor, a squeak is unavoidable. This problem is easy to fix by simply “roughing up” the surface of the sole. Sandpaper works well or you could just drag your feet, and shoes, on rough ground wherever possible.
A Slip of the Tongue
Sometimes the squeaking is caused by the movement of the tongue under the base of the laces. In this case, it is time to reach again for the handy baby powder and apply a generous amount where the tongue touches the rest of the shoe. This forms a gentle layer that stops the rubbing from making a noise.
There is nothing worse than a loose heel, both for causing instability and for squeakiness. This time, an old decorator’s tip can come to the rescue: silicone caulk. A squirt or two in the right place will re-affix the heel and give you both confidence, and silence.
Wax On, Squeak Off
Another great household staple that can work wonders in silencing noisy shoes is the trusty candle. A rub of candle-wax, beneath a buckle or where other pieces rub together, can be a great way to create a smooth barrier that can deafen any squeaking.