Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I am so bummed that my new ankle boots sound like crunching cellophane when I walk. They are leather.
— Mary D.
Dear Mary: If it’s any comfort, the squeak is probably not as noticeable to others as it is to you. But here’s some tips on how to tackle it. You don’t tell me where you think the squeak is coming from, and maybe you can’t tell. But, with the help of a friend willing to put their ear to the ground as you walk and rock back and forth in your shoe, try and isolate where the squeak is coming from. Here’s the usual suspects and how to treat them:
Insole: Remove the insole, sprinkle some cornstarch or baby powder underneath it and replace. If that doesn’t work, try a very thin layer of coconut oil under the insole. Still squeaky? Put a dryer sheet or paper towel beneath the insole. If the insoles aren’t removable, do your best to spread the powder at the edges of the insole.
Sole of the boot/shoe: Rub the sole gently with very fine sandpaper or rub it with a dryer sheet. If the sole is loose (probably not the case with your new boots) squirt some glue — my favorite is E6000 — into the gap between sole and shoe then use a clamp or heavy object(s) to weigh your footwear down until the glue dries. Give it at least 12 hours.
Outside of the shoe: Rub the exterior with leather conditioner, then remove the excess with a paper towel or clean rag. Suede requires a special conditioner — don’t use the leather one!
If all of this doesn’t work, shoe repair shops are expert in solving this common problem.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: A few years back you recommended these crisp Amazon house brand Pinzon sheets which I bought and loved. Now it is time to replace them, and in addition to the 100% cotton they are advertised with different thread counts. Please help me choose the right ones.
— Corinne C.