Why Do My Nike Shoes Squeak? (Here’s How to Fix)

Nike shoes, such as Air Force Ones, Air Max, VaporMax, and Huaraches, with air cushions are known to squeak.

But why do Nike shoes squeak?

Air or moisture trapped between parts like the soles and insoles can make Nike shoes with air cushions squeak. Apply baby powder inside the shoes, under the insoles, to stop the squeaking.

You can also use WD-40, designed to remove moisture. In this post, we will explain to you step-by-step how to stop Nike shoes from squeaking.

Why Do Nike Shoes Squeak?

Here are three reasons why Nike shoes squeak:

  1. Nike air units, which are made of air bubbles, act like suction cups and produce squeaks.
  2. Air, moisture, or both get trapped between the soles and insoles.
  3. The rubber outsoles rub against a slick surface, like a gym floor.

Nike shoes with Nike Air technology squeak more than other sneakers due to their air cushions.

Nike Air technology, as described by Nike, uses pressurized air in a durable, flexible bag. This design offers more spring without losing structure.

When a foot lands on Nike’s Air Unit, the fibers compress to absorb impact. They then spring back fast, giving a strong push off the ground.

Due to this, the air bubbles under the shoes act as suction cups, causing a squeak with each step.

Nike Air Max 720 with super thick Air Units, which may squeak:

Nike Vapormax with multiple Air Units, which may squeak:

If the squeaking comes from the Nike air bubbles, it’s a natural sound, and there’s little you can do. Your best option is to wait until the air bubbles wear out, reducing the squeaking.

If the squeak comes from inside the shoes, air and moisture are likely causes. In this case, you can solve the squeaking problem.

How to Stop Nike Shoes From Squeaking

Here are the steps on how to stop Nike shoes from squeaking:

1. Locate the source of the squeaking

Your first step in stopping the squeaking is to locate the source.

As you walk slowly, listen carefully to pinpoint the squeaking’s source.

If you can’t find the squeaking’s source, press on various shoe parts. You can stand up on your toes or even rock the shoes back and forth.

Most often, the squeaking comes from beneath the shoe insoles. Squeaking can also happen due to friction from the tongue, but it is unlikely.

Nike shoes, such as the Air Force One without major Air Units, often squeak. This happens when air and moisture get trapped between the soles and insoles.

These shoes can also squeak when new and not yet broken in.

Nike shoes, such as the Air Max with Air Units, naturally produce loud squeaks. If the squeak comes from the outsoles or air bubbles, there’s little you can do. However, as the shoes wear down, the squeaking should lessen.

Once you have located the source of the squeaking, we are ready to move on to…

2. Unlace your Nikes and remove the insoles 

To address the squeaking, unlace your Nike shoes for better access to the insoles and set the laces aside.

Once the laces are removed, pull the insoles gently from both Nike shoes. An insole, also known as a sock liner, is the soft foam layer where your foot rests inside the shoe.

In most cases, the insoles can be easily removed as they aren’t glued.

If the insoles are glued, begin with one shoe. Open its tongue and slide your fingers between the shoe and insole sides. Apply gentle pressure to peel and remove the insole, then repeat for the other shoe.

Don’t worry if some glue remains on the insoles or soles; it’s normal and won’t harm your Nikes.

3. Apply baby powder underneath the insoles and on the outsoles

Once the insoles have been removed, sprinkle baby powder on the inside of the shoes.

After shaking baby powder into the shoe, hold it at a 45-degree angle with the toe pointing down. Shake the shoe gently to distribute the powder.

While talcum powder or cornstarch can be used, we prefer Johnson’s Baby Powder. It’s smooth, delicate, and has a pleasant scent.

If you know the squeak’s exact source, apply more baby powder there and gently massage it in. Be sure to cover the squeaking source with a good amount of baby powder.

You can also sprinkle baby powder on the outsoles. Sometimes, the squeak comes from the Nike shoes’ rubber outsoles. After applying the baby powder, let the shoes sit.

For best results, leave the baby powder in the Nike shoes overnight. The next day, turn the sneakers over a trash can and gently shake and tap to remove excess powder.

4. Spray WD-40 underneath the insoles

Alternatively, you can use WD-40 instead of baby powder.

For this method, you’ll need WD-40, available on Amazon. WD-40 removes moisture and sticky residue. Apply it generously inside your Nike shoes.

However, do not spray the sock liners (the insoles) with WD-40. Remove the insoles and spray the area underneath them.

After spraying both shoes, shake them to spread the liquid evenly. Apply WD-40 thoroughly and let your Nike shoes dry for at least two days before wearing them.

Once WD-40 loosens the sticky parts, the squeaky sound in your Nike sneakers should be gone. A month or two later, you might need another WD-40 spray.

However, the first application should reduce 95% of the squeaking.

Final Words

And there you have it, the complete guide on how to stop Nike shoes from squeaking.

Nike shoes with Air Cushions are popular for adding height. However, their tall air bubbles can cause squeaking. This noise often arises when air or moisture gets trapped, especially between the soles and insoles.

But now you understand the reasons for the squeaks and how to address them.

Our tips should work on most Nike shoes, including Air Force 1, Air Max, VaporMax, Air Monarch, Reax, and Huarache. Say goodbye to squeaking!

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