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How to Stop Your Superfeet Insoles from Squeaking

How to Stop Superfeet Insoles from Squeaking

The second most annoying sound in this world is the sound of insoles squeaking when you walk. If you’re a hiker or backpacker, listening to this sound while you hike, mile after mile, will drive you mad…not to mention your partners.

But there are a handful of techniques that you can use to make the squeaking sound stop. It’s caused by friction between the insole and the inside of your shoe. It’s also not limited to Superfeet insoles but occurs with many replacement insoles that weren’t originally sold with the shoe.


My favorite technique for eliminating the squeaking or rubbing sound is to take a small candle and rub it all over the bottom of the insole. The wax acts as a lubricant that will instantly stop the squeaking or rubbing sound. It’s also waterproof and quite durable over time, which is handy if you get your hiking shoes wet in puddles or water crossings.

Duct Tape

Another option is to cover your insoles with duct tape, shiny side facing out, so that your insoles slide more easily inside your shoes. If you use trail runners and many other types of shoes, there is usually exposed sewing under the factory insole, which is the source of the friction and resulting squeaking. Duct tape is fairly water resistant, but it breaks down after frequent wet/dry cycles and leaves a residue if you try to remove it.

Rub the candle wax into the firm heel part of the insole to stop it from squeaking.
Rub the candle wax into the firm (heel) portion of the insole to stop it from squeaking.

Talcum Powder

Some people advocate sprinkling a lot of talcum powder between the insole and the shoe to lubricate them and stop the squeaking. While that might work with dress shoes where you can avoid getting them soaked, it’s a non-starter with hiking shoes because talcum powder will turn into mud. Still, if you have small children and baby powder sitting around, you might be desperate enough to try it.

Other Methods

I’ve seen mention of other methods to stop squeaky insoles including spraying the insole with Silicone or WD-40, smearing anti-chafing cream on it, or inserting a drier sheet between the inside of the shoe and the insole. You’re welcome to try those but think about their durability over the long term if you ford streams, tromp through mud, or come into contact with fine sand.

That’s why I like using wax to stop insole squeaking the best. It’s easy to find, it works fast, and it stays on no matter what crap gets inside your hiking shoes or trail runners.


  1. Candle wax is a good idea. I’ve also used Vaseline, but you do have to reapply it a couple of times until abrasion wears the surfaces down.

  2. I wish the post mentioned what is the ‘first’ most annoying sound in this world!

  3. I have been using Superfeet Insoles since 2003. I have never had an issue with the squeaking before.

  4. Bill in Roswell GA

    If trail noise is an issue there are Bluetooth jammers available commercially. 95% of my hiking is in GA/NC/TN. Ive not heard of such issues, but I do understand. Rehiked the Presie range prior Covid. The volume of hikers blew my mind. Amazingly, I never heard anyone’s music blaring. More a hut issue than a trail issue in my experience.

    • The last time I climbed Wildcat A, in January no less, there was a couple I passed as I was descending in crampons and they were climbing out of the avalanche zone, that was blasting music out of a bluetooth speaker. No one for miles and these idiots had to play music.

      • Idiots is the operative word.

      • Philip your curmudgeon is showing :-). JK. I like music, and I usually bring a speaker with me when I camp. If there are others camping I won’t use it, or if they seem like they would welcome some tunes I’ll ask what kind of music they’re into and then decide if I’ll offer to play some. Very rarely (usually in winter when the trails are much less congested, or if I’m in Oakes Gulf) do I turn it on while hiking. Sometimes when I’m dragging a bit music can give me a lift. I’m quick to mute if I see others on the trail, so it wasn’t me you saw on Wildcat. Not sure a small BT speaker could trigger an avalanche but I wouldn’t tempt fate. I do see the concern though, as these days it seems a lot of people like to be intentionally and annoyingly loud (looking at you Harley guy with no muffler, crotch rocket guy winding it to 11 and Lou’s Custom truck guy) and I’d hate for that to become a problem on the trails. Ha! I just convinced myself to not do that anymore.

  5. I put a thin cheap insole between the shoe and superfeet insole. It gives a little more cushion and stops the squeak, or in my case the popping suction sound.

    • The candle wax worked perfectly! Thank you!! I was thinking my hiking days were over after a 10 mile out & back with a constant squeak on the right footfall. I was seriously considering self-admitting for a psych eval!!

  6. Put a dryer sheet under the insole. Works great.

    • Dryer sheets could do double duty! I used to put them in my son’s soccer shoes for odor control.

    • Every dryer sheet I’ve come across has a powerful scent. If in bear country, I wouldn’t want to have to hang my shoes with my food at night. Might be something to consider before trying that solution.

  7. I’ve worn custom orthotics much like Superfeet for decades. Breaking in a new pair always involves squeaking. I sprinkle some baking soda (not baking powder) on both sides and put them back in the shoes. Within a couple days the squeaking is gone – permanently. And I always cross streams with shoes on. YMMV.

  8. Thanks for this. I’ve tried powders, changing the material under the orthotics, adding a layer (like a dryer sheet), different socks, ect. Nothing has worked very well and I’ve just resigned myself to the annoying sound. Hiking it’s was easier to ignore but when swapping over to my work shoes it was really irritating.

    Never thought to try wax – I don’t want something with a scent and I have some paraffin wax blocks that I use for taping my feet to soften the sticky edges so I grabbed one of those and smoothed it over the bottom and side of one of my orthotics and put it back in my shoe. I compared the “waxed” orthotic to the other orthotic for a while and was impressed to find that it no longer made noise. I applied the same light layer over the other orthotic and it’s all good to go! I don’t know if this might make it more prone to slipping inside of the shoe depending on the type shoe and not sure how long the sound control will last but the paraffin wax block is easy to keep around and takes about a minute to apply. Since it’s clear there’s no transfer to socks or the inside of my shoes.

  9. It’s amazing how quickly that wax trick worked. I was so annoyed by the sound of my own insoles. Thanks!

  10. I personally like sounding like Squidward as I walk down the trail. It helps me channel my inner child.

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