Why your leather shoes squeak

Look after your shoes carefully to prevent the squeak

Look after your shoes carefully to prevent the squeak
Image: Kate_Koreneva

You ride the elevator to the top floor management suite. You step into the corridor, exchange a polite “good morning” with the Senior VP and make your way towards the corner office.

Now turn the sound on: “Step, eek, step, eek.” With shoes that sound like tortured mice, is it any wonder you still work in the mail room? Here’s how to prevent the squeak, make a good first impression and boost your career!

Why do leather shoes squeak?

Goodyear welted construction

Goodyear welted construction
Image source: Samuel Windsor

It’s a fact of life that even the best quality leather shoes squeak from time to time. Traditional design looks sublime but take one look at the components that make up a classic shoe with a Goodyear welted shoe, and it’s self-evident that when you flex your foot there’s potential for parts to rub together, creating that annoying mouse-like squeak.

Not that you’d want it any other way because a leather sock, breathable cotton lining, a hide outsole, and Goodyear welting combine to create a shoe with unparalleled comfort and longevity.

But nobody wants to live with a squeak. So what can you do about it?

How to stop your shoes squeaking

It is possible to prevent the noise

It is possible to prevent the noise
Image: Damir Khabirov

  • A bit of lubrication works wonders – try sprinkling talcum powder inside your shoe. Remove the laces, pull out the insole and give the shoe a thorough coating, shaking the powder right down to the toe.
  • Slip out the insole and pack a paper towel or dryer sheet underneath, before replacing it.
  • Keep your shoes in a good state of repair by oiling them regularly, and having the soles replaced if they’re wearing thin or splitting.
  • Make sure you dry your shoes properly by resting them for 24 hours after wearing – never wear the same pair of shoes on consecutive days.

Is your shoe leather cracked?

Regular cleaning and oiling will keep the leather in good condition

Regular cleaning and oiling will keep the leather in good condition
Image: Shutterstock

Leather is tanned cowhide. It’s animal skin, and like all skin you must care for it properly to keep it in good condition. Letting a good pair of shoes fall into such a state of disrepair that the leather cracks and squeaks as you walk, is a criminal shame. Would you trust a man wearing cracked and filthy shoes? Buy yourself a quality leather conditioner and use it regularly.

Should your shoes get wet, dry them carefully by stuffing them with newspaper and leaving them in an airy spot away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators. Give them at least 48 hours before re-oiling to feed the leather.

Buy Italian leather

Invest in good quality leather
Image: Prestige Country Boot from Samuel Windsor

Cheap leather is a by-product of the meat industry – no wonder it cracks, splits and creaks. But Italian leather is high quality. Unlike cheaper leathers which are tanned using chromium salts, Italians use a vegetable tanning treatment using the tannins found in natural tree bark. It’s a far gentler process that protects the leather’s natural structure and is much kinder to the environment.

You’ll find Italian leather covering luxury sports car seats, superyachts, and – of course – Samuel Windsor leather shoes which, cared for correctly, are not the kind to squeak.

Do you have any tips to help prevent squeaky shoes? Leave us a comment below.

Posted in Men's Shoes.

Leave a Reply