Friday 28 July 2023

How to stop leather shoes squeaking

* Collaborative post

Leather shoes are gorgeous. When cared for well, they can last a very long time, and will look stylish for that whole period. Sometimes, though, leather shoes squeak. Suddenly, your stylish leather shoes are awkward and embarrassing. Luckily, with tips from The Leather Colour Doctor there are a few things that you can do to stop leather shoes from squeaking.

Using talcum powder/baby powder or cornstarch

Since most squeaky shoes are caused by friction, you can often use talcum powder, baby powder or cornstarch to help fix the squeaky shoes. Usually, this works best on squeaks coming from the insole or inside of the shoe. With talcum powder and cornstarch, there's an added bonus of it decreasing the moisture and smell of your leather shoes!

How to use baby powder to stop leather shoes squeaking

  1. Take the laces out of your leather shoes

  2. Remove insoles if possible (the padded layer at the bottom of the shoe)

  3. Take baby powder/talcum/cornstarch and sprinkle around 2 tablespoons of powder inside the shoes.

  4. Shake the leather shoes to ensure an even coverage of powder

  5. Leave the shoes in a well-ventilated place for 24 hours.

  6. Shake away any excess powder

  7. Re-attach the insole

  8. Repeat if necessary

Dry your shoes in a tumble dryer

Sometimes, moisture in the shoe can lead to leather shoes becoming squeaky shoes. Your leather boots may squeak when you've sweat a lot in there, or if you've stepped in a couple of puddles.

How to use a dryer to fix your leather shoes:

  1. Take a sponge or cloth with some fabric softener on it

  2. Throw the sponge or cloth into the dryer alongside the shoes

  3. Turn the dryer on for around 5 minutes. Any more than 10 minutes, and you risk damaging the shoes.

Use a dryer sheet or sandpaper

If the squeaking noise seems to be coming from the outside of your leather shoes, it is likely caused by friction on the soles. If this is the case, one way to fix it is to use a dryer sheet or sandpaper on the sole of the shoe.

How to use a dryer sheet or sandpaper to fix squeaky shoes:

  1. First of all, clean the leather shoes using a clean cloth and warm water.

  2. Let the shoes dry for a couple of hours

  3. Take a dryer sheet and rub the rubber sole back and forward. This will allow the sheet's residue to the soles of the leather shoes.

  4. Take sandpaper and lightly rub the soles of the shoe. This will help to add grip and add texture to the soles.

Apply petroleum jelly to your leather shoes

Petroleum jelly is another way to add lubrication to your leather shoes. It is a fairly temporary solution to stop your shoes from squeaking.

How to use petroleum jelly in leather boots to stop them from squeaking

  1. If the leather shoes have removable insoles, remove them

  2. Rub a small amount of petroleum jelly under the insoles. This should help to reduce friction.

  3. You can use leather conditioning oil (a type of leather conditioner) or coconut oil instead of petroleum jelly if you'd like.

  4. Allow the shoes to dry, and then test them out to see if the shoes squeak once dry

Use saddle soap to stop leather boots from squeaking

Whether you're trying to stop leather boots or leather shoes from squeaking, sometimes it's caused by the friction between the shoe tongue and the sides of the shoe rather than the rubber soles or the front of the leather shoes. If that's the case, one way to stop shoes from squeaking is to use saddle soap.

How to use saddle soap to stop the shoe tongue from squeaking on new leather shoes

  1. Remove the shoelaces

  2. Brush the leather shoes with with a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth to remove the dirt

  3. Add some water to the saddle soap if needed

  4. Use a clean cloth to wipe some saddle soap onto the fabric

  5. Using small, circular motions, rub the sides of the shoe and the shoe tongue with the cloth

  6. Repeat 3 to 4 times to stop leather shoes from squeaking

Wear thicker socks

Sometimes, leather shoes squeak when the material rubs up on your skin. This usually happens if the shoe is ill-fitting. If this is the case, you can of course return the shoes, take them to a shoe repair shop to see if there's anything they can do about the fit of the shoes. Alternatively, though, you can wear thicker socks in larger shoes to help make them easier to wear.

Use leather conditioner regularly

Firm leather shoes that are not able to bend or move very easily are more likely to squeak than stiff leather shoes. If your shoes squeak, it might be worth using leather conditioner on your leather shoe on a regular basis to help ease the noise.

If you have suede shoes, make sure you've got a leather conditioner that will not damage them.

Take your shoes to a shoe repair shop

A shoemaker should be able to identify the issue with the shoe and should be able to either fix it or to tell you what you can do with the leather shoe to prevent it from squeaking so much!

Quite often, one of the causes of a squeaking leather shoe is a broken or damaged heel. At a shoe repair store, you should find that they are able to replace the heel for you.

Use a shoe tree

Shoe trees can be used to help keep your leather shoe in good condition. They are devices that you place within the shoe that help to reduce moisture, prevent creases from forming and prevent leather shoes from squeaking by keeping them in the right shape.


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