Why Do My Shoes Squeak When I Walk?

There’s nothing quite as annoying or embarrassing as your shoes squeaking when you walk. Even if the squeak isn’t quite loud enough for anybody else to hear you’ll still know it’s there, taunting you and making you feel self-conscious.

There are a few reasons why your shoes might squeak when you walk and addressing the cause is the first step in fixing the problem. So, if you’ve ever found yourself asking “why do my shoes squeak when I walk”, you’ve come to the right place!

Below, we’ll take a look at what could be causing the squeaking. We’ll also explore what options you have when it comes to stopping it, giving you the ability to stride confidently and squeak-free once and for all.

Why do my shoes squeak when I walk

What Causes Shoes To Squeak?

Let’s get straight to the main issue. Squeaky shoes can be caused by a number of things. It might be that your shoes are too old or too new. There could be something stuck on the underside of the sole. Or, it might be a simple case of water creating that annoying squeak.

But why would these things cause a shoe to start squeaking? To find out, we need to look a little deeper into each of these potential issues. We’ll also explore some of the different ways you can fix the problem, leaving your shoes totally squeak-free!

Old Shoes

Shoes that have seen a few years of use are one of the main reasons why you could be hearing them squeak as you walk. No matter how well made they are, all shoes begin to deteriorate as they age and certain parts can become loose.

This most commonly happens to the sole of the shoe as it’s the part that gets the most wear and tear. And, as it becomes loose, it will start pulling from the heel or the front of the shoe. As it does this, a small amount of air may get trapped in the tiny gaps that are created. And, as you walk, the air passes to and fro, creating a squeaking sound.

The Solution:

Keeping in mind that your old shoes are probably squeaking because the soles are getting loose, the obvious solution is to fix the soles. Luckily, this is quite easy to do.

The first thing you need to do is figure out where the squeak is coming from. Put your shoes on and walk slowly, rocking your feet back and forth so your heels and toes are raised exaggeratedly.

Once you’ve pinpointed the location of the squeak, you can fix the insole using silicone caulk. Simply apply a little to the gap and it will lock the sole firmly in place again.

New Shoes

You wouldn’t expect a brand new pair of shoes to have any problems. But, surprisingly, shoes that are fresh off the shelf can be quite susceptible to squeaking.

The main reason for this is that the rubber used to make the soles of the shoes is too smooth, having not been able to build up a good amount of traction through use yet.

As you walk across different surfaces the soles undergo a little stress, developing traction in the process as the rubber begins to wear down slightly. Over time, this stops the squeaking.

The Solution:

The best way to stop new shoes from squeaking is to wear them as often as possible. The more traction you can build up on the sole, the quicker they will stop squeaking.

However, if you’re in a bit of a hurry and you need your shoes to stop squeaking as soon as possible, you can move things on a little faster by rubbing the soles of the shoes with soft sandpaper. Go for 120-220 grit, as this will wear down the rubber without causing damage to the shoes.

Something Is Stuck To The Sole

As you walk through the streets and across different surfaces, there’s a high risk that a small object may get stuck in the treads of your shoes. This could be a small piece of gravel, a leaf.

However, these two things are more likely to cause discomfort than squeaking. The real culprit when it comes to squeaky shoes is chewing gum, tar, or other sticky substances!

The reason sticky items cause squeaking is that the adhesive they contain gets slightly stuck to the floor. And, as you lift your foot up and down, it gets stuck and unstuck, making a small squeaking sound in the process. This usually continues until you remove the sticky substance or it gets stuck to something else that covers it.

The Solution:

If something sticky gets stuck to the bottom of your shoes, the simplest way to fix it is by removing it. However, this isn’t always that easy, especially if it’s something particularly sticky.

There is a fix, though. Take a little cotton bud, dip it in some WD40, and apply it to the sticky substance. This will eat through the adhesive and make it much easier to remove the stuck item.

Wet Shoes

Wet shoes are uncomfortable, but they can also become annoying by making squeaking sounds while you walk in them. Even if you’re certain that your shoes are dry, the insoles may still be holding onto some moisture that will continue to squeak while you walk.

The sound you’re hearing may be more of a squelching than a squeaking as you tread on a saturated insole. However, one thing remains the same – it’s super annoying!

The Solution:

The only way to stop wet shoes from squeaking is to make sure they are 100% dry before you wear them again. We’d recommend taking out all of the removable parts (insoles, laces, etc) and letting them dry separately. This will allow more air to get to them which, in turn, means they’ll dry faster.

You can also stuff the shoes with newspaper to help absorb moisture if they are very wet. Just make sure that you change it once it has soaked up the water. Repeat the process until the newspaper comes out dry.


As you can see, there is more than one reason why your shoes might be squeaking when you walk. But, by working out the cause and using the correct solution, you’ll be able to walk confidently without that annoying squeak in no time!

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