In short: To stop Vibram soles from squeaking, sprinkle some baby powder or talcum powder under the insole to absorb moisture. Moisture from sweat and humidity can get trapped where shoes rub against each other, leaving you with annoyingly squeaky Vibram shoes.
The squeaking noises from Vibram shoes can be caused by the bottoms of the shoes (soles), the insoles that are inside of the shoes, or the outer parts of the shoes.
Wearing squeaky Vibram shoes, whether it’s the FiveFingers or Furoshiki, can be embarrassing and annoying. Fortunately, you can usually fix the problem yourself right at home.
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Squeaking Vibram shoes are annoying and embarrassing. Regardless of where the squeaking is coming from, here are two simple tips you can do to stop Vibram soles from squeaking:
1. Sprinkle baby powder or talcum powder
Moisture can get trapped where shoes rub against each other, leaving you with squeaky shoes. Sprinkle baby powder underneath the insoles in your Vibram shoes to absorb the moisture.
Pull out the insoles, sprinkle baby powder inside the shoes, then put the insoles back in. If your pair doesn’t have removable soles, add the powder around the insole instead.
If you don’t have baby powder, you can use talcum powder or cornstarch instead. However, you can use this opportunity to sprinkle some odor-fighting foot powder instead of baby powder.
In addition to moisture, friction and rubbing can cause squeaking, especially if the insoles are moving around when you’re walking. This could also be why your Vibram shoes are squeaking.
Whatever the case, the powder will help absorb the moisture inside your Vibram shoes and reduce the friction between the insoles and shoes so they don’t squeak as much.
2. Air dry away from direct sunlight
Vibram FiveFingers and Furoshiki shoes are made for the great outdoors, so they are bound to get wet at some point. The moisture left behind may be the culprit of the squeaking.
The easiest way to remove the moisture is to dry them out. Vibram recommends air-drying or line-drying only, away from direct sunlight if possible. Do not place Vibram’s shoes in the dryer.
Some Vibram shoes, like the KSO Trek, Performa, and MOC, are made of leather. Be sure to keep them away from direct sunlight or heat sources while drying as the leather can shrink.
Why do Vibram’s shoes squeak?
Now you know how to stop Vibram soles from squeaking, but why did it happen in the first place? Find out why Vibram shoes squeak so you can prevent it from happening in the future.
1. Rubber soles
Vibram soles are special. They are made of a unique compound that blends foam and rubber. The result is an outsole with the springiness of foam, and the durability and traction of rubber.
However, rubber shoe soles are known to squeak on most surfaces. This is caused by the friction between the shoe and the surface, which is particularly evident as you lift your foot up.
2. Trapped air and moisture
As you go about your day, both of your feet will sweat. The air and moisture trapped under the insoles of your Vibram shoes can squeak whenever you take a step.
The annoying squeaking noise is the sound of air being ejected from a small pocket, which is only made worse by moisture. It usually happens with removable insoles around the arch area.
Almost all components of a shoe can absorb water to some degree. Water will make soles squeak more on hard floors. It can also make the sound of rubbing components more obvious.
3. Brand-new shoes
Are your Vibram shoes new? Leather Vibram shoes, like the KSO Trek, Performa, and MOC, usually squeak when they’re new because of the insoles rubbing against the shoe’s inside.
The squeaking noise made by Vibram shoes typically occurs around the five-toe joints. It’s caused by friction between the leather surfaces, as most have smooth leather interiors.
Often, they will not squeak as time goes by because the material has stretched. As long as you give them enough time to break in, the squeaking noise should disappear naturally.
4. Wear and tear
Unfortunately, old Vibram shoes can squeak too. The squeaking noise can occur as soles come loose or as leather parts rub together inside, rubbing against each other.
While it’s not common in Vibram shoes, take the time to check the components. Are there any loose parts? If so, take them to the repair shop or simply buy a new pair.
Now you know how to stop Vibram soles from squeaking. By applying the simple tips we’ve shared in this article, you can now wear your Vibram FiveFingers or Furoshiki with confidence.