Here’s Why Your On Running Shoes Are Squeaking (Explained)

In short: The little air pockets on the soles of On Cloud running shoes produce a squeaking noise every time they squish the ground. Take a Q-tip and lubricate every individual pocket with coconut oil. You can also sprinkle some baby powder under the insoles to reduce the noise.

If you’ve worn On running shoes in the past, you’ve probably noticed a loud squeaking noise, particularly from their signature line, the On Cloud running shoes.

The On Cloud running shoes are very comfortable and certainly a popular lifestyle shoe, but they’re notorious for squeaking. Here’s what you can do to solve the issue. 

Why your On running shoes are squeaking

Squeaky shoes can be a sign of trapped moisture, but with On Cloud running shoes, the little air pockets on the soles can produce a loud squeaking noise when they “squish” the ground.

1. The sole design is prone to squeaking

I’ve worn plenty of On Cloud running shoes in my day, and I can definitely say that the design of the shoes is prone to squeaking. Dare I say, it’s a major design flaw.

On Cloud running shoes have little open pockets on the bottom of the shoe that compress with each step to absorb impact and in their words, feel like a cloud.

Although these little pockets of air are perfect for soft landings and powerful take-offs, they’re susceptible to making squeaking noises every time the shoe lands.

My wife’s Cloudsurfers started squeaking badly after a week or two. It’s gotten so loud that we submitted a warranty claim which On fortunately approved.

We went into our local REI store so she could try on some different shoes, and as soon as we mentioned squeaking On shoes the sales guy immediately grabbed the Cloudsurfers.

He then showed us how the middle of the sole is so squishy that it squeaks. It goes to show that you should be ready to hear the squeaking noise when you buy a pair of On Cloud shoes.

I’m sure you really like the feel of the On Cloud running shoes, especially the Cloudsurfers, but the loud and incessant squeaking noise is too much for some people.

2. Moisture trapped underneath the insoles

If it’s not the soles, then the squeaking noise is caused by moisture or friction within parts of the shoe. Indeed, moisture can accumulate between the insoles and the footbed.

Every pair of running shoes is equipped with a pair of insoles. The insole (also called sockliner) is the first layer of soft foam that your foot rests on inside the running shoe.

Basically, the insole is where your actual foot stands.

The insoles in On Cloud running shoes are often made of foam which not only offer cushioning and make sure both of your feet are comfortable, but also wicks sweat and moisture.

Sometimes, however, we forget that our feet sweat a lot, especially when running. The sweat can easily get inside the On Cloud running shoes that you’re wearing for long mileage.

Water can also get inside your On Cloud shoes, simply because you’re running outdoors. You may have stepped on a puddle without realizing or it’s been raining outside.

Whenever I wear my On Cloud shoes, they squeak when it rains and it drives me nuts. I’m pretty sure I woke up everyone in my neighborhood on my early morning rainy runs.

How to stop On running shoes from squeaking

Don’t worry, it’s easy to prevent the squeaking noise of On running shoes from happening. Here are two things you can do to stop On Cloud running shoes from squeaking.

1. Lubricate each individual pocket with coconut oil

The On Cloud running shoes, especially the Cloudsurfers, are some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, they squeak a lot, no matter what kind of surface.

To stop the squeaking, take a Q-tip and lubricate every individual pocket with coconut oil. You don’t need much, but you’ll need to reapply once your shoes start squeaking again.

The coconut oil can help lubricate each individual pocket and create a coating that eliminates friction, so your On Cloud shoes are less likely to squeak when they move around.

If you love your On Cloud running shoes but can’t stand the squeaking, I recommend buying a gallon of coconut oil, so you can reapply as often as necessary.

2. Sprinkle baby powder underneath the insoles

Remove the insoles from your On Cloud running shoes, sprinkle some baby powder inside of your shoes (above the footbed), and then put the insoles back in.

Most On Cloud shoes have removable insoles, but if the insoles aren’t removable, sprinkle the baby powder along the seams of the insoles instead of underneath them.

The baby powder can absorb oils, moisture, and odor, and reduce friction between the insoles and other parts of the On Cloud running shoes so they don’t squeak as much.

Almost every pair I’ve owned squeaked after about six to eight months of solid use. The On Cloudmonster wears down and causes the insides to rub together, which causes the squeak.

It’s an inherent design flaw with the entire On product line, but as long as you apply enough baby powder and lubricate the elements, you’ll keep the squeaking at bay.

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