How to Fix a Squeaky Shoe

If you have a favorite pair that keeps squeaking, here's how to silence it.

Try these DIY tricks for fixing a squeaky shoe, and if they don't work, you can always visit a cobbler. . Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock

Squeaky shoes can be more than annoying—they can be downright embarrassing if you're walking down the aisle in a quiet auditorium, entering a serious staff meeting, or finding your seat in a silent testing facility. Luckily, if you have a favorite pair that won’t stop squeaking, it’s possible to silence them for good. This way, they'll last longer and you won't feel the need to replace them with a non-squeaky new pair.

Stopping the Squeak

First, figure out where the squeaky noise is coming from. If you need to, have a friend put her head close to the floor while you walk to help you isolate which part of the shoe is making the noise. If you're having trouble, try staying in one spot and rocking your feet forward and back and from left to right, advises WikiHow.

Once you know what part of the shoe is squeaking, sprinkle that area with baby powder, cornstarch, or baking powder. This will help to absorb moisture and reduce noise from two parts of the shoe that may be rubbing together.

You can also get rid of moisture that's been absorbed by tossing fabric-based shoes in the dryer for ten minutes. (Avoid doing this if they're leather or suede.) Don't let it run for too long, as you could end up shrinking your shoes, but it is an effective way to dry them out. A safer option might be to use a hairdryer or set the shoes above a radiator or floor vent. Stuffing them with newspaper and leaving them somewhere warm can also be effective.

If it’s the inside of the shoe that squeaks, lift the insoles and sprinkle powder along the inner seam. If the insoles are non-removable, rub the powder into the edge of your shoe base. If the tongue of the shoe squeaks, powder that area under the laces, according to WikiHow. If the base of your shoe is squeaking, massage the powder into the base at the seam since there are probably air bubbles.

Sometimes leather conditioner or saddle soap can work. Just rub some of it into your shoes or onto the tongue beneath the laces, and then buff with a dry cloth. If they are suede shoes, be sure to use special suede conditioner and not regular leather conditioner. Another option is petroleum jelly like Vaseline or even coconut oil. Rub this beneath the insole to reduce friction with the bottom and sides of the shoe. You can also take a dryer sheet and slip it beneath the insole to get rid of squeaking.

You can also try swabbing your shoes with WD-40, according to It can be more effective at removing squeaks than leather conditioner, but you do need to apply it very carefully to prevent damage to your shoes. Spray one of these lubricants onto a cotton swab or cotton ball. Rub it into the outside seam of the shoe, working along the squeaky area or its entire outline.

What to Do About New Shoes

If they are new shoes, the squeaking may be caused by a manufacturing defect and you may be able to return the shoes, according to In this case, if you try to fix the squeak yourself, you may void the warranty in the process.

If the squeak is due to a loose heel, or the bottom of a shoe has come unglued from the top of the shoe, sometimes a tube of silicone caulk can help, WikiHow says. Carefully squirt some caulk into the hole, and let the shoe dry with rubber bands around it overnight, which will help keep the two parts of the shoe tightly together while the caulk dries. If the shoes are coming apart from wear and tear, it may be time to get rid of the shoes. And if they are new shoes, particularly expensive ones you don’t want to damage, your best bet may be to take them to a cobbler.

If the smooth rubber bottoms of new shoes are squeaking as you walk, try sanding them down lightly with a piece of fine-grain sandpaper. This speeds up the wearing-down process slightly and can get rid of unwanted noise. You could also spray them with a grip adhesive, such as this BareGround spray for slippery surfaces.

A cobbler may be the best solution if you can’t fix a squeak yourself. Though shoe repair shops seem few and far between these days, a good cobbler will be able to isolate a loose shank (a structural support piece) inside the shoe or another hardware problem you can’t fix on your own. Cobblers are skilled professionals whose work is usually quite affordable.