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How to stop shoes squeaking

Have you ever worn sneakers that squeak with every step? This constant squeaking can begin to get annoying, not just for you, but for everyone around you. To stop your shoes squeaking once and for all, it is important to get to the bottom of why they are squeaking in the first place. A lot of different factors could be at the root of this pesky problem, but once you’ve figured out the culprit, it is then easy to find a solution that’ll fix it.

What causes shoes to squeak?

There are a bunch of reasons that could explain why your favourite pair of sneakers are squeaking as you walk. Some shoes may squeak as soon as you buy them or it might develop over time. Here are the main factors that usually cause squeaking shoes: 


Air is regularly the culprit of shoe squeaks. Sometimes air can get trapped between particular parts of your shoe. However, it is most common for air to get trapped in between your sole and insole. As you walk, this air is squeezed out, resulting in a pesky squeaking sound. 


Moisture is another element that can cause squeaking. As you walk, any excess moisture will get compressed and create a squeaking sound. There doesn’t need to be a ton of excess moisture for your shoe to squeak - a slightly sweaty foot or shoes stored in a damp house will do it. Wet shoes are very common in winter, with the wet weather creating a build-up of moisture before you know it. 

General friction

Generally, friction can cause squeaking. As you walk, it will cause any friction between the sole and insole to rub up and down, resulting in an audible squeak. This most commonly occurs with new shoes that need breaking in, with leather shoes being renowned for this. The squeaking can also be caused by friction between rubber soles and hard or smooth surfaces, whether that be a gym floor or a dance floor. 

Methods to stop your shoes from squeaking

Luckily, there are many different ways you can either stop shoes from squeaking or prevent them from making noise to begin with. Most of these methods can be done at home with little to no investment, which makes fixing this issue cheap and easy. The method you choose to use will depend on what the cause of the squeaking is. You may need to try a few different techniques if you aren’t too sure what is causing the squeaking.

Dry them out

If moisture is the cause of your problems, you’ll need to try and dry your shoes out. There are a few ways to go about this. 

One way is to toss them into your dryer. Although an easy method, this method won’t be appropriate for all shoes. Some fabrics may get damaged from this, so be sure to read your shoe care instructions carefully. If you do go down this route, make sure to set the dryer to a gentle cycle and put your shoes in with a dry towel. The towel will protect your dryer from any damage that hard shoes may cause. Just make sure not to leave them in there for longer than 10 minutes, as this could cause heat damage to your shoe. 

If you aren’t sure if your shoes are safe for the dryer, try drying them out the old-fashioned way. If you have a hot water cupboard, placing your shoes in there is a good alternative solution. Otherwise, feel free to find a sunny spot in your home and place them there. If you want to dry them out as fast as possible, you may need to pull out the insole beforehand. 

Another great hack for drying out your shoes is silica gel. If you’ve ever bought new sneakers, you most likely stumbled upon some silica gel when you opened the box. This silica gel is actually designed as a drying agent, absorbing excess moisture. If you happen to have some spare packets lying around, consider popping them in your shoes to help dry them out. At a pinch, newspaper can be used instead. If you are smart with your shoe storage options, you should be able to reduce the risk of moisture buildup over time. 


Soft sandpaper

The sandpaper method is particularly helpful if friction is causing the squeaking. This is often apparent with new shoes, as the sole of a new shoe comes out of the box smooth and unworn. Use the sandpaper to rough them up a little bit and stop the squeaking. 

Talcum powder

Have a go at using talcum powder if you think moisture is to blame for the squeaking. You’ll want to take out the inner sole, pop a bit of talcum powder on it and let it sit overnight. This should hopefully soak up any excess moisture. Then you can just brush off any excess the next day. 

If you are going to try any method first, try this one, as there is no chance of it damaging your shoes. It is also known for being extremely effective, especially if you have a pair of leather shoes that are causing you problems. 


If friction is to blame, it could be a good idea to add some kind of lubricant (depending on the type of shoe). 

There are some great lubricating products that can be used underneath the inner sole or on the external seams. Choose from specialised shoe conditioners, WD-40 or even vaseline. If you have squeaky leather or suede shoes in particular, you’ll want to stick with a specialised shoe conditioner as to not risk damaging your shoes. Make sure to remove your laces so you can have full access to the tongue of the shoe. You can also try lubricating your actual foot if there is friction between your skin and the shoe. Try using a skin slick spray if this is the case. 

Fix your shoes

If you’ve tried everything and your shoes are still squeaking, it could be because of damage to the actual shoe construction. This damage could cause components of the shoe to rub against each other, squeaking as they do so. 

If you can’t bear to part with your shoes, it could be worth taking them to a specialised repair shop. Squeaking can sometimes be due to a loose heel, which is common in dress shoes. In cases like this, a specialist may be able to glue them back together. However, we recommend you leave this to the professionals to avoid making the issue worse. 

In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace your shoes altogether. But more on that later! 

Give it time

If your shoes are brand new, you might just need to be patient. Some shoes take time to break in and they may squeak a little during the process. Over time, as the material begins to soften, your shoe should stop squeaking. 

The range of footwear at Rebel

At Rebel Sport, we have a wide range of brands and footwear styles to choose from. Whether you need a new pair of running shoes, rugby boots or a casual pair of everyday sneakers, we have something for everyone.

Men's Footwear

Our men’s footwear range is massive, with everything from walking shoes to football boots. We stock all your favourites, including the freshest New Balance shoes, Nike shoes, Reebok shoes, Puma shoes and more. We also cater to a large variety of different activities from team sports to solo ventures. Avid rugby players can choose from a large selection of Asics and adidas rugby boots to help you dominate the field. If you are a passionate runner or just starting out, we have a wide variety of men’s running shoes, with Nike running shoes being a customer favourite. We haven’t forgotten about the tennis lovers either - we have a bunch of tennis shoes from adidas, New Balance and Prince that will help you perform your best on the court.  

Women's Footwear

At Rebel Sport, we have an extensive selection of different women’s shoes to choose from. Your choice will ultimately depend on what kind of activity you need them for and what style you like.


If running is your happy place, you’ll want to ensure your feet are comfortable with a pair of quality New Balance, Asics or Nike running shoes. If you would prefer a pair of casual shoes, opt for an everyday pair of Skechers shoes or adidas shoes. With the aim of catering to all sports and interests, you’ll find women’s shoes for netball, hiking, hockey and much more. 

Junior Footwear

A comfortable child is a happy child - and with our range of junior footwear, they are sure to find quality shoes they love. With a selection of kid’s casual shoes, basketball shoes, running shoes, football boots, jandals and slides, you won’t be short of options.


What is cuter than your child having matching Nike shoes with mum or dad? 


We also have a bunch of fun, practical styles for toddlers and infants.


Online exclusives

Although it can be beneficial to see a Rebel expert in store when you’re trying new shoes, sometimes you may feel that you don’t need to. Or maybe you simply don’t have the time. Lucky for you, there are actually benefits to shopping online at Rebel Sport.

With our online exclusives, you can also get your hands on products that you won’t find in store. Stand out from the crowd with an exclusive pair of shoes that not everyone has. Not only that, but you can also score some hefty savings when you shop online. We are continuously updating our deals so make sure not to miss out.

Other advice for looking after your shoes

We rely on our shoes daily to comfortably get us from A to B, so it is important that we look after them so they last. 

Tips for cleaning white shoes

If you have a pair of dirty white shoes, you may feel like they’ll never be clean again. White shoes are very popular due to their timeless and versatile nature but they are notoriously hard to keep clean. In our guide on how to clean white shoes, we provide you with all the techniques you can use to get your kicks looking fresh and brand-new again. 

Tips for cleaning smelly shoes

Smelly shoes are super common, especially if we wear them a lot or exercise in them. However, you don’t need to throw out your beloved Vans or trusty Converse just because they smell. Thankfully, with the right products and techniques, you should be able to get rid of the smell in no time. Our guide on how to clean smelly shoes is super helpful, so be sure to try some of our guide’s top tips before giving up on your favourite kicks.  

Tips to make your shoes last longer 

Have you just bought a pair of sports shoes, knowing they are going to get a hammering on the track or in the gym? Some shoes, like running shoes, are known to wear out quicker than others. If you are looking for ways to prolong the lifespan of your shoes, head over to our guide called “How long should running shoes last” and note down some of our top tips. 

Ready to upgrade your kicks?

When every step is a squeaky one, it can get quite annoying - that’s for sure. Before angrily throwing your shoes in the bin, try to figure out the culprit first - is air, moisture or friction to blame? From there, you can test out a bunch of different solutions to try and solve the squeak. 

If you’ve tried everything and the squeaking won’t stop, it may be time to throw in the towel and just buy a pair of new shoes. Thankfully, we have a ton to choose from at Rebel Sport. Either shop our extensive footwear range online or pop in to your local store. We have a friendly team of Rebel experts that would be more than happy to help you find your perfect shoe.