You that feeling when you put on a pair of shoes, and with every step, your feet release a loud and embarrassing squeak. Squeaky shoes can be a sign that your shoe is defective, but more often than not, your shoe is just fine, albeit a little noisy. Luckily, it’s an easy fix to keep the noise to a minimum. Before you chuck your cheap Puma shoes in the trash, try one of these tricks to silence your squeaky shoes.

What’s With the Noise 

The main culprit in the battle of squeaky shoes is moisture. When your foot sweats, that moisture can get trapped in your shoe, typically under or on the insole. Your movement can cause that squeaky sound as the insole moves ever so slightly in your sneaker. It can happen in any kind of shoe, from expensive dress shoes to the best sneakers for men. Squeaks can also come from seams or your outer sole against the floor.

Toss Them (in the Dryer)

This tip isn’t for just any shoe, but rather one you should save for a shoe you can wash, like a sneaker. Put your tennis shoes in the dryer for about ten minutes or so and throw in a damp sponge with a tad of fabric softener on it. This quick dry shouldn’t shrink your shoes, but it should take away some of the squeakiness.

Sprinkle It Just a Little Bit

Another tried-and-true method for killing the squeak is to simply shake some baby powder or corn starch in the bottom of your shoe. If you can remove the insole, add the powder underneath it, but if it is glued down, you can sprinkle the powder along the edges of the insole to absorb the excess moisture. That should keep the inside of your sneaker dry.

A Fresh Step

If you prefer not to use powder or corn starch, especially if you are concerned about it building up inside your shoe, you can opt for a dryer sheet instead. One of those fabric softener sheets you toss in with your clean clothes can fit nicely under your insole to reduce moisture and squeakiness. Plus, your shoe can smell less like, well, feet.

Rough It Up

Sometimes the noise with every step is caused by a smooth shoe sole on the surface of a smooth floor, such as tile or hardwoods. If that’s the case, you should scuff the bottom of the sole. You can use sandpaper on the bottom to soften it or walk on brick on concrete to gain silent traction when you walk.

The Squeaky Shoe Gets the Grease

When all else fails, you can apply a lubricant such as WD-40 or petroleum jelly. This would be better for your discount sneakers online than, say, a designer leather shoe. Put a dab wherever you think the squeak may be coming from – on the tongue under the laces, along the outside seams, or under the insole. Use caution with certain materials, especially suede, because it could ruin the finish.

As you can see, fixing your squeaky shoes is not rocket science. Try one of these tips, and before you know it, you’ll be able to sneak up on someone without your shoes giving you away.

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