How Do I Make My Dr. Martens Less Squeaky?

Dr. Martens, without a doubt, offers fantastic everyday footwear. However, no matter how well designed and durable your Docs is, there is still something annoying about it— its squeaking sound! How, then, do you make Docs less squeaky?

To lessen or stop Docs from squeaking, you should first identify what is causing it. Once you have already figured it out, you can choose the best technique to get rid of it, which may include using petroleum jelly or baby powder, slipping dryer sheets on the footbed, softening the insoles, or putting your Docs in the dryer. 

Aside from these techniques, there’s a whole lot more you have to learn to rid your Docs of that awful sound. I’ll gladly share them with you in this article, so stick with me until the end!

Why do my Dr. Martens squeak so much?

Dr. Martens Men's Cabrillo Chukka Boot, Black Wyoming, 9 M US

Dr. Martens Men’s Cabrillo Shoes

Identifying why your Doc Martens squeak so much is the first step to getting rid of this annoying sound. There are a couple of reasons why your Docs squeak, and I have detailed them all below.

  • Perspiration: Processed leather used in Doc Martens are more acidic. That is why, when it comes in contact with your sweat, the leather fibers react, oftentimes leading to a squeaking sound.
  • Moisture build-up: Whether the moisture build-up in your Docs is caused by accidentally soaking it in water or being drenched in the rain, the outcome will be an awful sneaking sound. Most Docs are either waterproof or good for snow, so expect leaks every now and then.
  • Excess adhesive: When there is an excess in the adhesive used for your Docs during the manufacturing, it may also result in squeaking. However, there is very little chance that this will happen because Doc Martens is very thorough in the creation of their footwear.
  • Abrasion: Another cause of squeaking that roots from manufacturing is abrasion. The squeak is especially loud when the abrasion is between the soles and the surface of the shoes.
  • Loosen heels: It is also possible that there is a gap between the shoe surface and the heels, causing the heels to get loose and create a squeaking sound.
  • Docs that are yet to break in: A newly purchased Docs would really squeak a lot because the leather is not yet stretched. After breaking in, the sound would not be that loud.
  • Contact between the outsole and insole: As our feet rub the insole when walking, it rubs the insole and causes that squeaking sound as well.

How to stop Dr. Martens from squeaking?

Dr. Martens, Women's Maple Zip Steel Toe Light Industry Boots, Teak, 9 M US

Dr. Martens Maple Zip Women’s Steel Toe Work Boots

Now that you have already identified the cause of why your Docs is squeaking, you should start working on lessening or stopping it completely. I divided this section into two parts— fixing the insole and fixing the other parts of your Docs.

Fixing squeaking soles

Baby powder

This technique is very effective if the insoles of your Docs are causing the squeaking sound. Remove the insoles, put some baby powder inside your boots or shoes, and then put the insoles back.

The idea is that the baby powder lessens the excessive friction between the insoles and the shoes, or it dries moisture if ever there is.

If your Docs’ insoles are not removable, consider putting baby powder around the interior or the insole’s seams.

Some other alternatives to baby powder are cornstarch and talcum powder. Be sure to put just the right amount.

Soften the insoles

A new pair of Doc Martens will squeak significantly more than a worn pair. To stop the squeaking, you should speed up breaking in your Docs. We have a guide about breaking in that you can check out.

If you are much more impatient, remove the insoles of your Docs, and sand the bottom so it will soften. Make sure you use sandpaper with 120 to 220 grit to avoid damaging your Docs.

Petroleum jelly or Coconut oil

The contact between the insole and the outsole of your Docs can cause awful squeaking. To get rid of the sound, remove the insole and put a smear of petroleum jelly in it.

If you do not have petroleum jelly, you can also use coconut oil. Put some in a cotton ball and apply it just as you would with petroleum jelly.

Paper towels or dryer sheets

Another way to lessen the friction between the insole and the outsole is by using a paper towel. Fold it in the length of your Docs and put it between the insole and the outsole. Just make sure that you replace it after a few uses, so it doesn’t cause a foul smell. A great alternative is using dryer sheets!

Fixing other squeaking parts of your Docs

Dr. Martens 1461 Virginia Leather Shoes Black Chalk Pink Virginia UK 7 (US Women's 9) M

Dr. Martens 1461 Virginia Leather Shoes

Fix the heels

Inspect the heel of your Docs if there is a gap between it and the surface of the shoe. If there is, bind them using shoe glue. You can also ask an expert to do this if you are not that confident.

Dryer sheet

For instance, when your Docs squeak as it gets in contact with tile floors or hardwood, the bottom may be too slick. Rub the bottom of your DMs with a dryer sheet to lessen the sound. Do this twice.

Put the Docs in the dryer

This isn’t the most suggested method, but I’m putting it out here because it may work for you. If your Docs has too much-trapped moisture, toss it in the dryer along with a sponge or a washcloth that has fabric conditioner in it. 

Note, though, that you should not leave your Docs in the dryer for more than 10 minutes as it can do more damage than good.

Leather conditioner

There are some cases when applying leather conditioner can remove the squeaky sound. This is especially true for animal-based leather. If your Docs is made of suede or other materials, make sure you research the right type of conditioner.

Making Dr. Martens less squeaky, final thoughts…

Dr. Martens Tarik Gunmetal Extra Tough 50/50/Ajax UK 8 (US Men's 9, US Women's 10) Medium

Dr. Martens Tarik Boots

It is normal for Doc Martens to create a squeaking sound, just like other footwear made of leather. If you are really uncomfortable with the sound it creates, there are a few things you can do.

Let us recap the solution to Docs’ squeaking soles that I shared above:

Fixing squeaking soles

  • Baby powder
  • Soften the insoles
  • Petroleum jelly or coconut oil
  • Paper towels or dryer sheets

Fixing other squeaking parts of your Docs

  • Fix the heels
  • Dryer sheet
  • Put Docs in the dryer
  • Leather conditioner

If, after doing all these techniques, the squeaking sound is not lessened, bring your Docs to a cobbler or the nearest Doc Martens store near you.

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