Why Do My Orthotics Squeak in My Shoes?

Have you seen the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David when he gets his orthotics? After putting his orthotics in his shoes, Larry walked around with constant squeaking. Every step: Squeak Squeak Squeak. If you’re like Larry and this happens to you, we’ve got just the thing!

This “squeaking” can happen with orthotics, or any type of over-the-counter arch supports or inserts. They can squeak because of the wrong size, improper installation or even friction from the device moving in your shoes. Orthotics are prescription medical devices that you wear inside your shoes to correct foot issues such as problems with how you walk, stand, or run.

Typically, arch supports are sold over the counter and Orthotics are made by Podiatrists by prescription. The main difference is that over the counter delivers instant gratification and cushioning, whereas custom-made orthotics are designed to actually help adjust your feet into a healthier and more helpful position that will help your overall physical health in the long run.

Orthotics help support the foot and reduce inflammation. A lot of people have one or two pair of orthotics in their everyday and athletic shoes and arch supports in all other shoes. People with flat or high arches can suffer from stress muscles in the feet and lead to a number of conditions, such as shin splints, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis and are perfect candidates for some type of device in their shoes. Orthotics and well-made arch supports can help prevent a person's feet from rolling excessively inward or outward and give overall stability to the foot. However, both can cause squeaking in your shoes.

Here are a few easy solutions you can try at home to stop the squeak:

  • Apply a generous amount of talcum powder under and over the device or rub a candle around the edges.
  • Apply duct tape to the underside of the distal end of the orthotic. The tape reduces the friction of orthotic against the insole, eliminating the squeak.
  • Put a dryer sheet under the orthotic (which also helps to deodorize your running shoe).

Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director,