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.

Wax

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.

17 comments

  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.

  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.

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

  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.

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