How to remove the squeak from leather shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather shoes can be stylish, but often require more maintenance than shoes made from cloth or other materials. One persistent problem with many leather shoes is that they will develop a squeak, caused by layers of leather rubbing together and vibrating as you walk. Not all shoe squeaks can be fixed at home, but there are several do-it-yourself solutions that will work to silence most squeaky shoes.

Pull the insole out of the shoe and sprinkle in some talcum powder. Get the powder all around the inside bottom of the shoe, especially where the sole and sides of the shoe meet up. Replace the insole and walk around in the shoe briefly to see if the squeaking stops; it may take a bit of movement in the shoe to work the powder into the gaps between layers of material.

Rub neat's-foot oil or another leather conditioning product into the shoe, especially around where the squeaking is coming from (if this can be determined). If there is leather visible on the inside when you remove the shoe's insole, apply the conditioner there as well. The conditioner will soften the leather slightly, which can reduce or eliminate squeaking.

Look underneath the shoe's insole to see if any small nails or tacks holding the sole on are visible. If so, lightly tap each of these down with a small hammer to ensure that they are all securely attached and not working loose, causing gaps between the layers of material.

Apply shoe glue to any visible cracks or openings between layers of leather on the inside and outside of the shoe. Pay close attention to the area where the shoe sides connect with the sole on the outside, as well as any visible layer edges on the sides of the sole itself, as these are the most likely locations for any such openings to occur. Refer to the glue's instructions for use and wait until it is fully dry before wearing the shoe again to test the fix.

Things You'll Need

  • Talcum powder
  • Neat's-foot oil
  • Small hammer
  • Shoe glue
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About the Author

Ryan Voss is a freelance writer/blogger and artist/graphic designer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His areas of specialty are current events, politics and the martial and fine arts. He has been freelancing in a variety of creative fields since 2005.