* NOTE: Update with solution at end of post! *
I am aggravated beyond belief that my ONLY pair of non-boot, non-sandal, trouser-and-skirt appropriate brown shoes has started to rebel. They squeak! Or at least, one of them does.
The culprits are pictured here:
It’s a puzzling and inconsistent phenomenon. They didn’t always do this. When it first started, it was only the right shoe, and it only seemed to happen with certain socks. Since then, though, I’ve heard it on both sides. With many different socks, or none at all. However – and here’s the kicker – it doesn’t happen all the time. WTF?
I’m not talking about a subtle, quiet, noticed-only-by-me squeak. No. At work, I have caught people looking up from their work, or from their private conversations, because my approach is so very audible. It’s hard to describe the sound: it’s more like a creak, maybe. Somewhere between the sound of a creaky rocking chair and a wet sneaker on a tile floor.
I am seriously annoyed.
What causes a shoe to squeak? These were not cheap shoes, but granted, I’ve had them a few years. One of the heels is starting to show a little bit of wear. They’ve also always been just a touch too big, which I suspect may be the culprit. (I’ve long considered getting additional holes punched in to the top strap, so that I can fasten them more tightly. But I’m starting to think this would be a waste of good money).
Maybe the shoes are getting too stretched out. Sometimes – but not always – they seem to get noisy only after I’ve worn them awhile. Maybe something is coming loose.
Or maybe this is just a form of social protest. My abuse of shoes has been well-documented (on my feet all day, up and down stairs, walking with great force, outside in the elements, etc.). My shoes are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Ungrateful bastards!
So here’s what I’m wondering: Should the squeaky shoe get the boot? It seems absurd to discard a perfectly good pair of shoes for this reason. But I’ve stopped wearing them because it annoys me so. There’s nothing worse than dressing carefully for the day, trying your best to appear confident and in control, only to feel absurdly conspicuous every time you have to walk somewhere. (“Scrich! Scrich! Scrich!”)
Do you have any inappropriately noisy shoes? Can you share any insights into the causes of squeaky shoes? Have you ever discarded a pair of shoes for noise-related reasons?
My mother always told me that the wrong pair of shoes could ruin an outfit. As Mother’s Day approaches, let me say: You were right, Mom.
A few months after I wrote this post, the owner of a shoe repair shop gave me the solution to this problem. To stop this squeak, all I have to do is lift up the insole and sprinkle some baby powder into the area right below where the ball of my foot will be. The powder seems to absorb either the impact or the noise. The effect lasts for several wearings, and when the squeak comes back, I simply re-powder. Genius!