Fixit: Squeaky shoes get the oil - or take them back to the store

  • Article by: KAREN YOUSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 13, 2008 - 3:40 PM

Q Why do my new shoes squeak? What can be done about it?

A Shoes squeak for a number of reasons. In most cases, it's because two materials are rubbing together. New shoes that squeak are defective. Return them to the store where you bought them. If the store won't take them back, consider mailing the shoes to the manufacturer along with a letter explaining the problem. (Send the shoes in an insured package and request that your postage be reimbursed.)

You might take your shoes to a shoe repair shop. Or you can try to locate the reason for the noise yourself and fix it. Once located:

• If the squeak seems to be coming from the tongue rubbing the laces, applying saddle soap or another leather conditioner to the tongue should do the trick. You may need to reapply occasionally.

• If the squeak comes from the heel, it may be loose or was not glued or nailed properly. Try using contact cement to secure it to the sole. Make sure you apply it to the heel and sole, and hold them together to dry. If this does not work, a professional can do the job for you.

• Talcum powder seems to be a cure-all for many squeaks. If the squeaking is coming from the inside of the shoe, lift the inner sole partly and dust with the powder. (This also has the bonus effect of absorbing sweat and smells.)

• If the shoe is just squeaky in general, lubricating it with conditioning oil should do the trick, focusing especially on areas that appear to be rubbing together. Again, you will need to reapply as the leather dries.

Includes information from essortment.com

Send your questions to Fixit in care of the Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488, or call 612-673-7032, or e-mail fixit@startribune.com. Past columns are available at www.startribune.com/fixit. Sorry, Fixit cannot supply individual replies. Fixit appears daily in Source except on Friday.

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