4 Actionable Ways To Stop Leather Boots and Shoes From Squeaking

Despite the fact that leather boots and shoes are some of the most useful and popular forms of footwear, one of the problems they present is that they can often squeak while you’re walking.

Although this squeaking isn’t dangerous or unhealthy, squeaky boots can become a bothersome and embarrassing situation when they’re not dealt with.  

This tutorial will present a few simple methods for how to stop leather boots and shoes from squeaking that you can do at home, using items you may already have in the house!


Brand New Leather Boots That Squeak

If you have just purchased your leather boots  and find that they’re squeaking already, you’re probably in luck! You may be able to return them for a new pair that won’t squeak.

It is not inevitable that all leather boots squeak, so if you’ve just purchased them, you should try to return them, either to the store where you purchased them or to the company that manufactured them.

Don’t be shy! You should be able to get a new pair at no extra charge. But if you’re here, a simple exchange is likely not an option for you. So, let’s move on ahead!


Older Leather Boots That Squeak

If you’ve already been wearing your boots for some time when you discover that they squeak, then you probably won’t be able to return them but will need to fix them instead.  

Photo by stevepb Licensed Under CC0

Don’t worry if this is the case—that’s exactly what this tutorial is for.

If you plan on fixing the squeak yourself, get ready to do a little bit of work. If you’ve never worked on shoes before, don’t worry. None of the solutions presented in this tutorial requires high levels of skill. With a little patience, though, you’ll be rewarded by having boots or shoes that no longer squeak.


The Reason Your Leather Boots and Shoes Squeak

  • Why do your leather boots and shoes squeak?
  • How can you get your leather boots to stop squeaking?
  • Are there more and less effective methods of getting your boots to stop squeaking?

Photo by Esthermax Licensed Under CC BY 2.0

The reason that leather boots  squeak is because of the way the material of the sole is attached to the upper. The sole, as you probably know, is the part of the boot or shoe that you actually walk on. The upper is the part that covers your foot.

When the two parts of the boot are being put together at the factory, there can often be imperfections which can cause squeaking. In fact, the slightest amount of friction between the two can cause the boot to squeak.

It’s difficult to spot this when the shoe is being assembled, but for the owner, as you walk, the material of the two parts rubs together, which causes it to squeak.

Lucky for you the solution can be nearly as simple as the problem. These methods work differently depending on the boot, so you may need to try a few before you find the one that works for you.


Preparing a Work Area

Anytime you’re getting ready to work on your shoes and boots at home you should prepare a work area for yourself. If you have a basement or garage, these are ideal workspaces, where you can spread out, and even make a bit of a mess. But if you don’t have these, any free space should do, as long as you set down a layer of newspapers or rags for yourself to work on.

Once you’ve prepared your workspace, you’re ready to get to work.


Method #1- Use A Household Powder

Needed:

  • Baby Powder, Talcum Powder, or Corn Starch
  • Shoe Adhesive (optional)

Once you’ve set up your workspace, take the boot in question and examine it to see whether the inside comes out easily. Many boots and shoes have removable liners inside. These are called the insole.

If you can, start the process by prying up the removable liner of the boot or shoe and setting it aside. If the insole does not easily come out of the boot, you have to make a decision. Are you willing to remove the insole and glue it back in? If so, then go ahead and remove the insole of the shoe.

If you’re not willing to remove the insole of the shoe, this may be when you take the shoe to a professional cobbler.

If you’ve removed the insole, you’re ready to apply some powder.

The various types of powders all serve the same purpose, which is to reduce the moisture between the sole and the upper, so it doesn’t matter too much which of them you use.

Whichever one you already have lying around the house is probably the best one for you!

Once the sole has been pried up, apply the powder of your choice to it.

Make sure you use enough powder to cover the whole heel. After you’ve applied the powder, set the boots aside for 24 hours to let the powder absorb any excess moisture. After 24 hours, knock away the leftover powder and replace the sole in your boot.

Take the boots for a walk! The squeaking should be gone. If the problem remains, try another method.  


Method #2- Use a Dryer Sheet or Paper Towel

Needed:

If you don’t have any talcum or baby powder handy, a paper towel or dryer sheet will do just as well. Like in Method #1, you want to remove the liner from the sole of the shoe, and then place a dryer sheet or paper towel in between the sole and the liner.

This method will also reduce the amount of moisture in the sole and can help get rid of the squeaking.


Method #3- Oiling the boots

Needed:

Just like in Methods #1 and #2, Method #3 begins with removing the insole of your boot.

Once the insole has been pried up, apply some coconut or mink oil around the perimeter of the sole. The oil should lubricate the area where the sole is attached to the upper, minimizing the friction there.

Set the boots aside overnight until the oil has dried.

Once the oil has dried, glue the sole back into place. You’ve now removed the squeak from your leather boots!


Method #4- Drying the Boots

Another reason that your boots or shoes might be squeaking is due to excess moisture in the leather. This moisture might be coming from outside of the boot or inside the boot. Either way

The solution to this problem is to dry the shoes or boots.

Drying Them by Hanging

The simplest way to dry your boots is to hang them in a warm, dry room. Removing the insoles first is also a good idea.

If you have a shoe tree, go ahead and mount them there. Otherwise, just tying the laces together and hanging them from a coat rack can do the trick.

Drying Them with Newspaper

Another method for drying your boots is to stuff them with crumpled newspaper. Go ahead and fill the shoes until they are snug with old newspaper and leave overnight. The paper will draw the moisture out of the shoes and this can often take care of your squeaking problems as well.


Which Method Is Right for You?

Choosing the method for solving your squeak problems can be difficult, but solving the problem should be easy. Perhaps you can start with the solution that seems most convenient to you.

Photo by snicky2290 Licensed Under CC0

If you have talcum powder or cornstarch lying around, then that might be the one to start with.

If you have a hunch about mink or coconut oil, then try that on for size.

Of course, if none of the above methods seems to work, you may have to end up taking your shoes or boots to a professional shoe repair shop.


Conclusion

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this tutorial on how to stop leather boots and shoes from squeaking!

We also hope your fix has been successful and you’re on your way to a squeak-free walking experience.

Even though squeaky  boots aren’t the most serious problem to have, they can be seriously bothersome, so we hope that we’ve helped to solve those problems here. Nobody should have to deal with a problem this simple, especially when there are solutions right at your fingertips.

If you have thoughts and opinions about what you’ve read here or want to share a success story about how you fixed your leather boots from squeaking, please leave them in our comments section.

Also, if you found this tutorial helpful, please feel free to share it with friends or on social media.

Thanks for reading! Happy repairs to you and enjoy your squeak-free leather boots or shoes.


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