It has been said that to have old shoes squeak while you wear them is a sign of good luck. For most people, however, squeaking shoes are not looked at as a good luck omen, but rather as a pain in the…ear! Announcing your arrival and departure, waking the sleeping, annoying the pensive, and not to mention constantly ringing in your ears, squeaking can turn a good pair of shoes bad in no time at all.
Yet before you cast your squeaking shoes into the depths of your closet, never to be heard from again, there are a few methods that you can employ in hopes of ridding your soles of that not so soulful sound.
There may be a number of culprits behind your squeaking shoes, but in most cases, the basic reason for that unpleasant sound is friction. Two materials on your shoes are rubbing together, and that friction creates vibrations, which in turn produces sound energy or that annoying squeak. The first step to ridding your shoes of their unwelcome voice is isolating the source of the sound.
This should be easy, as shoes generally vibrate in the area that causes the squeak. However, if this is not the case, get a friend to help you locate the source of the friction. In a quiet room, get down near the source of the problem (this probably means getting on your hands and knees, unless you have a table sturdy enough to support you or your accomplice’s weight,) and then just listen.
You should be able to pinpoint the source of the sound within a few steps, and once you have located it, hopefully, eradicate it with one of the methods listed below:
If the squeak seems to be coming from the tongue rubbing the laces, applying saddle soap or another leather conditioner to the tongue should do the trick. You may need to reapply as time goes by.
If the squeak comes from the heel, it may just be loose or was never glued or nailed properly. In this case, you may try to secure the sole with some contact cement. Make sure you apply it to both sides that are split and hold them together to dry. If this does not work, a professional can do the job for you.
Talcum powder seems to be a cure-all for many squeaks. If the squeaking seems to be coming from the inside of the shoe, lift the inner sole partly, and dust with the powder. (This also has the bonus effect of absorbing sweat and stink!)
If the shoe in general just seems to be squeaky, lubricating the shoe with conditioning oil should do the trick, focusing especially on areas that appear to be rubbing together. Again, this is only a temporary fix, and you will need to reapply as the leather dries.
If your shoes are brand new and squeaking, wear them around for a few days, if the squeak does not go away, you may have a defective shoe, bring it back to the store and asked that it is fixed, or get a new pair of shoes.