What Makes Shoes Squeak When Walking — 4 Major Reasons

what makes shoes squeak when walking
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Having squeaky noises coming from your shoes can be very embarrassing. And even when the squeaks are not loud enough to be heard by others, you still feel self-conscious about it.  

Finding out the reason your shoe squeak may be difficult. Because, as you may have noticed, your shoes may not squeak all the time you are walking.

It may only squeak when you walk at a fast pace or when you walk slowly.  Sometimes, you do not even know which shoe is making the noise. Is it the left or the right?

As always, we are here to help. This article discusses what makes shoes squeak when walking. We also gave some solutions to solve the problem once its source has been identified. 

Reasons Your Shoes Are Squeaky

There are 4 major reasons your shoes are squeaking.

i. Your shoes are old.

ii. Your shoes are too new.

iii. Something got stuck under your shoe.

iv. Your shoes got wet.  

These reasons are broad and have subsets reasons under them. Because of this, we will pick each of these reasons and discuss them. We will try to explain them as extensively as possible.

After we are done discussing all these, we will give solutions for your squeaky shoes.

Old Shoes

When your shoes get old, some parts come loose. And all these loose parts will create as much noise as they can. The most common part to come loose is the sole.

Your shoe’s outer sole will start pulling off if your shoes are too old. The soles will start to pull off from either the heel or the front. Your insoles may also begin to get loose. The solution to loose shoe parts will be discussed later on in this article.  

New Shoes

This reason may come as a surprise to most people. Brand new shoes sometimes make squeaky noises. The major reason for this is because the rubber soles of brand new shoes are often too smooth.

The squeak that comes off new shoes may increase when you walk on an equally smooth surface. The more you use your shoes; the squeaking is bound to stop.   

As you use your shoes on coarser surfaces, the rubber begins to wear off. However, if the squeaking from your shoes is much, you may have to have them returned.

You have to avoid trying to fix a squeaky new shoe by yourself. This is because if you do, you render the warranty on it void. If your shoe’s warranty has expired, only then can you try to fix the squeak yourself.

To fix this, you need more traction on your shoes. This can be done in several ways. We will discuss them in the next segment.

Something is Under Your Shoe

 You may have picked up some sticky material off the street. When walking, the adhesive on the sticky material may cause your shoes to squeak. The squeaking may stop after a while if something else covers the adhesive.

If the squeaking does not go away, do not worry, you can fix it. And we will tell you how.

Wet Shoes

If your shoes get wet, chances are the insoles absorbed the wetness. The insoles may be wet for a long time without your knowledge. And they may not show any signs until much later.

The good news is that you can dry out your shoes in different ways.

Now that you know why your shoes squeak when you walk, it is time to discuss the solutions.

How to Stop Your Shoes From Squeaking

These solutions are based on the reasons we have discussed above.

How to Stop Your Old Shoes from Squeaking

 Like we have stated, old shoes squeak because of parts that have come loose. To stop old shoes from squeaking, you need to reattach the parts that came loose.

The major parts that can come loose in your shoes are the sole and insole. To know what part to fix, you need to isolate the part the squeak is coming from. To do this, walk slowly while rocking forth and back with your heels raise.

To fix your sole or insole, follow the instructions below.


Reattaching your sole is quite easy to do. You simply need silicone caulk. We recommend the Gorilla Silicone Sealant Caulk. Put some of the silicone caulk in the gap where the sole has come loose. Then apply pressure on the part.

Click Here to Get The Gorilla Silicone Sealant Caulk Now


If the squeak is coming from inside your shoes, that means your insoles have come loose. You can fix this in two ways.

Make the insole slide rather than grind against the midsole. Or glue down the insole

You can make the insole slide rather than grind against the midsole. To do this, you need baby powder , coconut oil , or petroleum jelly. Take a bit of these and apply it under your shoe’s insole. For the oil, use cotton wad to apply the oil.

If you decide to glue down the insoles, the first step will be to lift the insoles. If it is already detached, then it should not be any difficult. If it is not, peel it off as carefully as you can.

If it is a sneaker, you should consider totally unlacing the shoes and then pulling out the tongue. This will give you a clearer view of what you are doing. Next, lift the insoles and the put silicone caulk where it is needed.

After a few seconds, put the insole back and apply pressure.

If you do not want to do either of these, you can achieve the same result with another method. Get a dryer sheet or a paper towel and place it under your shoe’s insole.

If your shoe happens to be too old, the best thing to do will be to get a new one. Check out this article to know when your shoes are old and need replacement.

There are various affordable comfortable sneakers you can pick from. We recommend the Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoe and the Skechers Sport Men’s Stamina Nuovo Cutback Sneakers.

Click Here to Get The Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoe Now!
Click Here to Get The Skechers Sport Men’s Stamina Nuovo Cutback Sneaker,Now!

How to Stop Your New Shoes from Squeaking

Like we have said, new shoes tend to squeak due to smooth rubber soles. If the noise is too much and your shoe is still under warranty, you can get it exchanged. If the warranty period is over, or the squeak is not so bad, then you can fix it yourself.

To fix the squeak from a new shoe, you simply need to improve the traction on your shoe. There are various ways to do this.

You may decide to sand the sole. You may use some dryer sheets. Or you may spray some rubber sole spray on the sole

If you choose to sand the sole, you have to make use of soft sanding paper. You need to make your soles slightly rough and not damage. We, therefore, recommend you use about 120-220 grit sandpaper.

You can use this method for both leather and rubber soles. Leather soles are more delicate. So we recommend you go for 60 grit sandpaper.

The second method to improve the traction on your shoes is to make use of a dryer sheet. Simply rub the dryer sheet against your shoe’s sole.

Lastly, you may spray a rubber sole spray on your sole. Read the instruction on the spray and use as directed.

How to Fix Sticky Soles

One of the causes of squeaky shoes is having some sticky material under your sole. Fixing this is easy. Simply dip a wad of cotton in WD-40 and then apply it to the sticky area.

Click Here to Get The WD-40 Multi-Use Lubricant Spray Now!

How to Stop Your Wet Shoes from Squeaking

If your shoe is squeaking because they got wet, you simply need to get them dry. There are various ways to achieve this.

The first method is letting the shoe get dry naturally.

Take out all the removable parts. Open up the shoe as wide as possible. Place the shoes in an airy and warm place. The natural air and heat should get your shoes dry in no time.

The second method is absorbing the moisture from the shoe.

To do this, you need a newspaper, baby powder, or rice. Put any of these inside your shoe to soak up the moisture. You may as well leave the shoe out in a warm place.

If after all of these, your shoes are not dry enough, then you can put them in the dryer. We recommend you put a piece of fabric softener along with your sneakers in the dryer.

Ensure you do not leave the shoe in the dryer for longer. 10 minutes should do the trick.   

For a visual explanation, check out this video


In this article, we have discussed the various reasons why shoes squeak when walking. We have also given solutions to the various reasons mentioned.

If you have further questions, do not hesitate to let us know in the comment section below.

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