How To Make Your New Gym Shoes and Sneakers *Not* Squeak and Make Noises

Photo: Getty Images/ Edwin Tan

There’s nothing like that feeling of putting on a fresh new pair of sneakers…until you start walking around and an embarrassing squeak follows with each step. So why does it happen and what can you do about it? Here’s how to make your sneakers not squeak. 

Why are my shoes squeaking?

There are two reasons a squeak attack may be happening to you and your new shoes. The irritating high-pitch noise is either caused by one of two things typically: “Squeaking is caused by friction either from your foot rubbing the side or the bottom rubbing against a smooth surface,” explains TikTok’s fashion problem solver, Christie Moeller. So the first step to fixing the issue is determining whether the noise is coming from the inside or out.

3 ways to make your sneakers not squeak

1. Spray the soles with silicone lubricant

Silicone lubricant sprays like WD-40 will solve your squeaky problem if the issue’s coming from the sole, the bottom of the shoe that makes contact with the ground. As seen in this TikTok video, the noise immediately disappeared after the lubricant was applied. This method is great if you’re working with leather, however, if your shoes are made from a material like suede, be very careful with the application, as any oil-based product can create a stain. 

2. Resurface the bottoms using sandpaper

Sometimes a little extra grip is all your shoes need to quieten down. In a TikTok video, Christie Moeller used a sandpaper block and lightly sanded down the sole. “Take your sandpaper and gently sand the bottom of your shoe,’ she shared. This will create tiny little grooves that will minimize that friction and let you walk squeak free.”

3. Dry your shoes

Another leading cause of squeaky shoes is excess moisture, especially in the midsole, which can happen after a particularly sweaty workout. Leaving your shoes out to dry, and either fill the shoe with a piece of newspaper or add a silica gel packet to allow the dampness to be extracted. 

Alternatively, if your shoes allow, put them in the dryer for a few minutes. An article for Reader’s Digest suggests adding a small amount of fabric softener onto a sponge or washcloth and tossing it in with the shoes—just be careful not to leave them in too long or your sneakers may shrink or get damaged.

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