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Getting a new pair of sandals is one of the true markers of summer. But how many times have your sandals caused that irritating suction noise?
It’s probably left you wondering how to stop sandals from making suction noise. Well here’s a quick answer:
The best way to stop your sandals from making suction noise is to lubricate the insoles. The noise is often caused by air escaping and is easily fixed with something like baby powder or petroleum jelly.
Also read: How To Stop Shoes From Making Noise
In this article, I’ll look at why sandals make a suction noise, along with the easiest ways to fix the issue. Hopefully, this’ll prevent any more embarrassing moments walking around in summer!
Why Do Sandals Make Noise?
Sandals are built differently from closed-in shoes. But both types often follow the same process for sole unit construction. Generally speaking, soles are made from 2 or 3 parts:
- The insole
- The midsole
- The outsole
Bear in mind, not all shoes have a midsole. If they do, this is where most of the technology is located regarding things like cushioning or air circulation.
A shoe’s insole might have a bit of cushioning built-in, but they’re often just a protective cover between your foot and the sole unit. Its job is usually to absorb sweat and improve comfort and durability.
Almost all sandals will follow this process. This even includes things like flip-flops or sliders, but their sole units are thinner and made from cheaper materials. But if you look at your sliders, you might notice several layers of foam still.
The suction noise caused by sandals is usually due to contact between your foot and the insole. But there are several direct reasons for this noise. These include:
1. The shoe’s age
New sandals can be noisy because of air escaping from between the layers of the sole unit. This is particularly common if they have foam cushioning, as this becomes compressed under your weight as you walk on them.
Over time, the foam will remain compressed rather than springing back into place. This is often why you’ll find the noise disappears as you continue to wear the shoes.
On the other hand, suction noises can arise as the sandals age. This could be caused by general wear and tear.
For example, if your sandals have a suede insole, which is fairly common on higher-quality models, the sweat from your foot effectively turns this into normal leather over time.
This means the surface is smoother and less able to absorb sweat. This can lead to more suction noises as your foot pulls up from the bottom of the sandal.
2. Sweaty feet
While it might not be the nicest topic in the world, it’s not something we can shy away from when talking about noisy shoes.
A lot of the time, suction noises in sandals are caused by sweaty feet. Unlike normal shoes, most people wear their sandals barefoot (the socks and sandals look is yet to take off in the world of fashion).
Among their many other uses, socks are great at absorbing sweat from your feet. Without them, then, the sweat has nowhere to go and so will sit between your foot and the insole until it evaporates.
Sure, your feet will likely sweat less because you’re wearing open shoes. But on the other hand, you usually wear sandals during hot weather, which will cause you to sweat more anyway.
It should come as no surprise that water improves suction. If you’ve ever tried to stick a suction cup up then you’ve probably started by giving it a quick lick.
Well, the same is true for the suction noise in your sandals. The extra moisture from sweat can basically cause suction between your foot and the sandal, and every time you lift your foot it’s basically like removing a suction cup.
3. Possible damage
The final general reason why your sandals are making a suction noise is because of damage. This affects both new and old shoes, as there could be a manufacturing defect you weren’t aware of when you bought them.
For example, if a sole unit isn’t bonded properly and it gets some moisture in it, you’ve got your suction noise.
Additionally, it could be a loose heel that sticks and unsticks as you walk. This could be a prime culprit for the suction noise, and something many people would overlook because it doesn’t seem like a logical source.
Be sure to check your sandals over for signs of damage or defects. If they’re new and you think they’re damaged, speak to the manufacturer before trying to fix it.
How To Make Sandals Quieter
There are a couple of options you can try for stopping the squeaking noise in your sandals. I generally wouldn’t recommend trying them all at once, as you might end up with a sticky mess covering your favorite sandals.
If you try one and it doesn’t work, clean the sandals off before you move on to the next.
1. Use some talcum powder
Talcum powder or baby powder is designed to absorb moisture. This makes it a great option for trying to stop the squeaking noise coming from your sandals.
Sprinkle a bit of baby powder on the insole of your sandals before you next wear them. Doing so should prevent a build-up of sweat, although you’ll probably end up with white feet after a while.
This option is most effective on PVC and rubber sandals, as these don’t absorb moisture like sandals with leather insoles.
But you can also try it on leather insoles too. Be sure to reapply the baby powder before each wear.
2. Use a waterproofing spray
It’s a good idea to use a waterproof spray on all of your shoes. It prevents damage to the leather, suede or canvas upper and helps to keep them fresher for longer.
However, it’s also a good idea to spray the insole of sandals with it too. This prevents sweat from absorbing into the insole, which can be a prime cause of that dreaded squeaking noise.
What’s more, it prevents them from marking as easily from wearing them barefoot. While this isn’t always a major concern for most sandal wearers, it’s nice to keep them looking fresh for as long as possible.
Use the spray once a month for regular wear, or less often for occasional wear. Spray it inside the sandals and leave to dry for 20 minutes or so before wearing. Hopefully, this will prevent squeaking noises caused by sweaty feet.
3. Use some petroleum jelly
Petroleum jelly has got to be one of the most versatile products on the planet. It’s a great lubricant for a number of applications, squeaking sandals included.
Squeaking noises can sometimes be caused by your foot rubbing against the inside of the sandal. If this is the case, spreading some jelly on the problem areas will stop this from happening.
Be sure not to use too much otherwise you’ll end up with slimy feet. You only need the smallest amount, less than a pea-sized amount, to spread on the inside of the sandal.
You’ll have to reapply it every so often, but not as regularly as baby powder. The jelly will soak into the sandal’s upper, particularly if it’s leather or some other natural material, which will help to keep it well lubricated.
4. Poke some holes in the insole
If your sandals are new, the squeaking noise is likely because of air escaping from the sole unit.
A great way to solve this is to prick some holes in the insole with a pin. This will hopefully help the air to escape more easily and will reduce the squeaking noise.
The main areas to focus on are the heel and the area under your toes and the ball of your foot. These are where the most pressure is applied, and so will likely be where the air is being pushed from.
5. Use some WD-40
Like petroleum jelly, WD-40 is a versatile lubricant. It can help to prevent suction noises in your sandals by stopping the components from rubbing against each other.
Just spray some onto a bit of cotton wool and rub around the problem areas. Don’t use it on leather or suede though, as it’ll stain the material. This option is best saved for PVC and other synthetic materials.
6. Break them in around the house
If your new sandals are making a suction noise, it’ll likely stop once they’re broken in. Wear them around the house with a pair of socks to reduce the amount of sweat coming into contact with the insole.
Some Final Thoughts
Hopefully, these suggestions have given you some options for how to stop sandals from making suction noise. Much of it depends on the age and material, but try a few to see if you can get it to stop.
If not, it might be worth ditching the sandals and getting a new pair. Sometimes a nice pair of sandals just isn’t worth the irritating suction noise.