How to stop real and faux leather boots from squeaking? 8 simple steps you can take
There must be a way to get rid of that bothersome sound right? In this post, I will be showing you some ways on how to stop leather boots from squeaking. I have personally tried these methods and most will work fine.
I believe I speak for most people when I say that squeaky leather boots, whether made of real of faux materials, are extremely annoying. Unfortunately, it is one of those things that can happen pretty commonly as moisture gets trapped between the upper and the soles.
It’s one way to get attention and make people stare at you, but not in a cute way as a toddler would receive when they run around in their squeaky shoes.
What soundproofing tips can help you to get rid of that squeaky noise? Read on to find out how it’s done.
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Why are my leather boots squeaking?
Before we dive into the solution, I thought it might be useful to discuss some possible reasons why your boots make a squeaking noise. Baby mice won’t be able to live it there so don’t worry about that. Ok, bad joke.
The main reason why this annoyance comes about is due to the vibrations that are created when two surfaces rub against each other, kind of like when you step on the brakes of an oil car and you hear that loud shrieking noise. There’s just too much friction.
Looking into the issue a bit deeper, you can say that it is related to the way the shoe is constructed. If the connection between the upper layer and the soles is not made properly, or a defect occurs, there will be lots of friction, which leads to vibration, and ta-da, you get your squeaky boots.
Another common problem is due to the presence of moisture.
So if this is happening to a new pair of boots that you just purchased, I highly recommend that you return it to the retailer and seek out a new pair instead. New boots should not have such a problem, and its presence suggests it is defective.
If it is an older pair though, check out the tips below to learn about silencing loud leather boots.
Remember after a day out in the rain and returning home? Your boots is more likely to develop squeaking noises after a day like this.
Hey, quick one. If you intend to start a soundproofing project soon, check out our Best Materials for Soundproofing post to get a headstart. Most projects require similar materials, so this post will save you a ton of time researching.
Ways to stop leather boots from squeaking
The first thing to know about getting your leather boots to stop squeaking is where the noise is coming from.
There are a few points on your shoe that might cause the issue, and each would require a different solution.
Below, I will talk about them in more detail.
1. Use baby powder or talcum powder
As you walk around in your leather boots, try to pay attention to where the sound is coming from. This can be difficult at times, but if you realize that it is coming from the inside of your shoes, it is likely an issue caused by friction between the insoles and the bottom part.
When you are walking, the insoles are rubbing against the rubber soles, leading to a squeaking noise.
By applying baby powder or talcum powder, you can effectively reduce the amount of friction between the two surfaces by creating a protective layer.
Take note though, not every pair of boots come with removable insoles or liners. If you have a brand new pair of boots, I recommend that you return them immediately rather than trying to fix it as it might void the warranty or return policy.
If you choose to do it yourself, gently remove the insoles and apply the power all along the entire bottom of the shoe. This has two effects: reducing friction and removing any excess moisture.
You should also let the shoe ‘rest’ for a day for it to take full effect, and remember to dust off any excess powder before re-inserting the insoles of your boots.
2. Applying glue
This step is related to the insoles of your boots too. Sometimes, the insoles might get too loose, especially after prolonged use and wear and tear. You can of course purchase new insoles, but if the model is a bit old, you might find it hard to find the right ones.
By applying glue to the bottom of the insoles, you secure it against the bottom of your shoes, not allowing it to slip and slide and create friction. This can potentially reduce the amount of squeak your boots cause.
3. Dryer sheet or paper towel
In case you realize that the noise is coming from the bottom of your boots, the culprit is likely the soles.
Try walking across a soft surface such as grass or carpet and listen if there is a squeaking sound.
On hard surfaces, it is more likely that a pair of boots might squeak but they should not be on softer ground.
Please don’t confuse it with walking on wooden floors!
If this is happening, you need to clean out the soles of your shoes properly. Give it a good wash and be sure to scrub out any dirt and grime stuck in the grooves. Make use of a cleaning cloth and warm water to do the job. You do not need it to be spotless, but you have to clean up most of the dirt first.
Next, ensure that the boots are dry before using the dryer sheets. You can use a dry cloth to wipe it and leave it to air dry for a couple of hours.
When your boots are completely dry, you can use a dryer sheet to wipe the soles. Do so firmly and across the entire surface, spreading any residue all over the soles. This has the effect of creating a layer of lubrication from the residue that will remove the noise.
4. Sandpaper your soles
To add to the above step, you can consider using sandpaper to scrap the bottom of your boots. This is particularly useful if the soles are too slick.
Using sandpaper with a grit of 60-120, lightly scrape the soles using the palm of your hands so that it creates a less uniform grip. This will prevent your boots from squeaking when walking on smooth surfaces such as tiles or smooth concrete.
Be careful when using this step. You do not want to apply too much force and end up damaging the soles in the process.
5. Applying saddle soap
If you realize that the squeaking noise is coming from your boot laces and tongue area, applying saddle soap is the best way to get rid of the noise. Friction between the tongue and the sides can often cause light noises and since saddle soap is developed to treat leather saddles, it works perfectly well here too.
In this case, remove the laces from your boots. Using a microfiber cloth, start applying the saddle soap on the area of the tongue and the sides using circular strokes. Before using the saddle soap, remember to check if it requires water to activate. I would work the cloth around at least 4 to 5 times before moving on to the other pair.
6. Applying coconut oil
This is a really good way to stop squeaking in your boots. The only problem is that coconut oil is not exactly commonly found in the household. But if you have it, I think this will be one of the best methods to use.
If you tried the powder method and did not see any effect, repeat the same steps again but this time, use a few drops of coconut oil instead. They are excellent at reducing friction and thus resolve the noise.
7. Applying conditioning oil
Sometimes you can just tell that a particular material is squeaky. The same can be said of boots too. If your boots are generally squeaking, you might want to give them some treatment to improve their wearability.
By applying conditioning oil, also known as boot oil or leather conditioner, you can soften the leather and make it a more pleasant experience when wearing it. And because the leather is now softer, there will be less likelihood of it squeaking due to friction and stiffness.
Again, you would want to remove the laces from your boots and give them a good cleanup. Make sure that the majority of dirt and grime is fully removed from the shoes, and give them some time to dry up.
Once the boots are ready, you can use a clean microfiber cloth to start applying conditioning oil all over the boots. Follow the instructions on the amount to use.
7. Newspaper and air dry
This method is probably the oldest trick in the boot, something that my Grandma used to show me when I was little.
The idea behind this trick is to remove all moisture from your boots. To do so, I highly recommend that you remove the insoles of your boots and set them aside. If they are wet too, be sure to dry them out completely using either a hairdryer or setting it on the heater.
Next, crumple and stuff a bunch of old newspapers into your boot. Position them close to the heels of the boots and leave them to dry. Place them in a warm place, but avoid direct sunlight as real leather does not go well with it.
You should leave them to dry for at least a day, depending on how wet your boots are.
8. Applying wax and tape
Again using the logic of reducing friction, this step requires you to apply a light layer of wax on top of the rubber soles of your boots. This is to reduce the interaction of the soles with the leather portion of your boots, which causes the squeaking noise to appear.
Stop Timberland boots from squeaking
So the above methods will generally work pretty well for most boots.
I wanted to add this small little section because I realize that many people are wearing Timberlands, which do have a bit of a tendency to have squeaky noises.
I think that is really more down to the type of rubber soles they use more than anything else.
You can apply any of the methods discussed above, but I do have a few more tips to add:
Tip 1: Giving your boots time to run in
When you acquire a new pair of leather boots, it is not surprising that they are generally stiffer and more rigid. This can potentially cause some issues relating to comfort and noise, but they do get better with time.
You need to give them some time to run in and become seasoned and get stretched out.
But as I said earlier, if you find obvious defects with the boots return them immediately.
Tip 2: Keep your boots dry
Water or moisture from sweat can cause damage to your leather boots more than you can imagine. They also end up making your boots smell really bad.
Try to wear moisture-wicking socks if you have a problem with overly sweaty feet, and always look for a pair of boots that have good ventilation.
When you get back home, be sure to place them in an airy spot to air dry and if necessary, stick a few balls of crumpled newspaper in there.
Tip 3: Inspect for defects
After wearing your boots for a long time, they will definitely have some wear and tear. Small holes can come about, causing water to seep in and wet the sole area.
Once in a while, grab a pair of torchlights and check your boots closely for holes and loose stitching. These are common problems faced by leather boots owners.
If you discover these issues, maybe it is time for a new pair or a visit to the cobbler.
Stop Faux Leather Boots From Squeaking
Although it would seem that real leather is more luxurious than faux leather, many people do consider fake leather too. There are some advantages indeed. For one, they do not make use of real animal hide. This is very relevant to animal lovers and activists.
You also get a wider choice of colors, and faux leather products can be shaped in many different ways that real leather cannot. In a lot of cases, the fake ones can look as good as real leather!
The thing in common though is that faux leather is susceptible to squeaky noises too. Just as real leather can have friction with other objects, so can faux leather.
The best way that I know of stopping faux leather boots from squeaking is to use mink oil. Mink oil is great for treating leather and makes them water-resistant.
It also protects the leather and gives it a nice luster.
Not only that, it improves the longevity of leather products too,
Grab a lint-free cloth and use a nickel-sized amount of mink oil for this job. Before starting, be sure that your boots are dirt free and dry. Start rubbing and spreading the mink oil across the entire boot, and let them sit for at least 12-18 hours to fully absorb the oil.
This should do the trick, but if you are after more refinement, you can get a foam shoeshine polish and sponge to buff your boots. This will remove any residue and stickiness. Just remember to use one that is the same color as your boots!
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I hope this article has given you lots of options to figure out how to stop your leather boots from squeaking.
You can try each one out one by one, or combine them together to get the best effect. The great thing is that each of them costs nothing or is next to nothing, and many of the tools can be reused.
However, bear in mind that sometimes we cannot fix the problem ourselves, so if all your efforts fail, you should get them checked by a professional cobbler.
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