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How To Stop Shoes From Squeaking: Our Top Tips

If you're trying to figure out how to stop your shoes from squeaking, you've come to the right place.

We know that when you unbox a new pair of sneakers for the first time, one of the last things you want is for them to make a noise each and every time you take a step.

Generally speaking, this happens when moisture gets trapped inside the shoes and starts to rub, or when new rubber creates friction against other surfaces as you walk.

With that in mind, we've put together a few top tips to help you tackle the squeaking at its source, whether that's from the insoles, outsoles, or the uppers of your shoes.

So from leather sneakers, like some of the best Air Force 1s, to canvas shoes, like some of the best Converse, we've got you covered right here.

How To Stop Shoes From Squeaking

When it comes to squeaky shoes, you can normally track down the source to one of three areas: the insoles, outsoles, and uppers.

Therefore, we've put together a few top tips to tackle all three. That being said, let's dive in...


A common cause of squeaking is moisture trapped underneath the insoles of your shoes. Fortunately, this tends to be a relatively simple problem to fix.

One way to beat the moisture is to sprinkle baby powder underneath the insoles of your shoes as it's designed to absorb water and reduce friction. Baby powder is usually very delicate as well, so shouldn't damage your shoes in any way.

We'd recommend something like this Johnson's Baby Powder with purified talc to absorb as much moisture as possible under your insoles.

Johnson's Baby Powder product image of a white bottle with light blue branding.
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Credit: Johnson's

Another approach you could take is to add a thin paper towel layer underneath your insoles to stop them moving as you walk as well as to absorb moisture as you go about your day-to-day life.

Of course, you'd need to replace the paper towels from time to time, especially if they become soaked; however, you can pick up a relatively inexpensive pack of Amazon Basics towels which should last a little while.

Amazon Basics Paper Towels product image of a green and translucent package containing white paper towels.
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Credit: Amazon Basics


If the insoles aren't your problem, then the squeaking may be coming from the outsoles of your shoes.

This tends to happen with new shoes before the rubber has had a chance to wear down. As a result, a frequently used method to stop squeaking is to rough up the bottoms of your shoes yourself.

To do this, you can either walk around in them on a rough surface, or use a small amount of sandpaper to just take the polished sheen off the rubber. We'd recommend using 220 grit or less sandpaper to avoid scratching your outsoles too much.

HSYMQ product image of grey and blue pieces of sandpaper.
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Credit: HSYMQ

If the outsoles of your shoes are slightly detached in any way, then this may also cause your sneakers to squeak.

In our opinion, the simplest solution in this situation would be to reattach the outsole to your shoe using a strong adhesive like Gorilla Glue. You'll most likely only need a small amount to rejoin, but make sure you press the outsole together with your shoe until the glue has completely dried.

Gorilla Glue product image of orange packaging that contains super glue featuring a gorilla graphic at the top.
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Credit: Gorilla


Much like the insoles, you may find different parts of the outside of your shoes rub together which can create friction and thus cause your sneakers to squeak.

We believe the easiest way to reduce friction is to apply a conditioning formula or oil to the upper material to reduce friction by making the outside of your shoes slightly more lubricated.

Make sure you use the right conditioning oil for the material of your sneakers. For leather shoes, we'd recommend something like Kiwi's Conditioning Oil, and for suede, we'd suggest something like this Care & Cool spray.

Care & Cool product image of black spray bottle on top of brown suede.
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Credit: Care & Cool

Keep in mind though that the oil will fade over time, which may cause the squeaking to return. Simply reapply some conditioner if this starts to happen.

Things To Avoid When Trying To Stop Your Shoes From Squeaking

There are several things we'd recommend against doing when trying to stop your shoes from squeaking, some of which we've already touched on like using 220 grit or less sandpaper.

We'd also advise against wearing your shoes without socks. Not only is this unhygienic, but it's likely to only make the squeaking worse by adding moisture inside your shoes. If you're still after that no-sock look though, then we'd recommend picking up some invisible socks like this set from Jormatt.

Although you might see it recommended elsewhere, we'd warn against ever putting your shoes in a dryer to remove moisture. As we've mentioned in our guide to cleaning Converse, the heat can cause some of the adhesives to melt which, in turn, may lead to permanent damage.

Finally, avoid wearing shoes that are either too big or too small for you as this may create more friction between materials and therefore induce squeaking. To ensure you get the right fit, make sure you check out our guide to measuring shoe size right here.

Read More: Best Protective Shoe Spray Available Now

For more articles like this, take a look at our RealKit page.