Why Are My Vegan Doc Martens Squeaky?

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

If you’ve ever been embarrassed by the obscene noises and creaking your vegan Docs make every time you move, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, there is a solution. In this post, we’ll look at the reasons why your Doc Martens are so squeaky, and how to stop Vegan Doc Martens from squeaking.

Key Takeaways

  • Wear the right size vegan Docs to avoid friction
  • New Docs often squeak in the first few weeksbreak them in
  • Try a lubricant or powder inside the boots and around the laces
  • Roughen or lubricate the soles
  • Maintenance is key

Why Are My Vegan Doc Martens Squeaky?

Before you can address the squeaking you need to identify where the noise is coming from and the likely causes. As you move around, is the squeaking sound coming from the bottom, the inside, or the outside of the boot?

Depending on where the noises are coming from, the cause of the squeaking is likely to be one or more of the following:

1.    Friction

Friction is when two surfaces move against each other. In the case of vegan docs, it’s likely to be caused by:

  • the movement of your foot inside the boot,
  • the rubber sole of the boot against the ground
  • the tongue of the docs and eyelets rubbing against each other

2.    The Vegan Docs are New

If you’ve just bought your Docs, it’s likely that the squeaking is due to the boots being new. In this case, if you break in your vegan Doc Martens, the squeaking should stop after a short period of time. That said, you can speed up the process which we’ll discuss later in the post.

3.    Wear and Tear

If your vegan Docs are old, it may be that the squeaking is due to wear and tear. Over time, the materials of the boot can start to break down and this can cause squeaking.

4.    Badly Fitting Docs

If your vegan shoes are too big or too small, this can also cause squeaking. If they’re too big, your foot will move around inside the boot and this can cause friction. If they’re too small, this can put pressure on parts of your foot and again cause friction.

5.    Defects in the Vegan Docs

Uncommon, but there could be a problem with the materials or construction of your docs that is causing the squeaking. It could be that the sole is too stiff and isn’t flexible enough, or there could be a hole somewhere that’s letting in air and causing the noise.

How to Stop Vegan Doc Martens From Squeaking?

Once you’ve identified the likely cause of the squeaking, you can take steps to try and stop it. Here are some of the things you can do:

How To Stop Squeaking From Inside Doc Martens?

If your Docs are squeaking from inside it’s likely to be caused by friction between the fiberboard insole and the felted midsole of the boot. However, if your Docs are brand new and squeak from inside- the sole was not glued down correctly during the production process. (1,2) Return them and get them replaced.

If your Docs are older and have been worn in – there are a few ways you can address this issue. In all 3 of the following options, you will need to remove the insole of the Docs and replace after following the instructions.

Talcum powder

Sprinkle a good amount of talcum powder on the inside of the boot, focusing on the area where the insole meets the midsole. Place the insole back in and wear as normal. The talcum powder will help to reduce friction and stop the squeaking. You can also use cornstarch, baking powder and coconut oil.

Paper Towels

If you are still hearing squeaking, fold a paper towel and place in the boot, on top of the talcum powder (if you’re using it), and under the insole. Replace the insole and wear as normal. The paper towels will help to absorb any moisture and reduce friction. Note – the paper towel will need to be replaced regularly.

Fabric Softener Sheets

You can also use a fabric softener sheet instead of a paper towel. Place a fabric softener sheet in the boot under the insole. Replace the insole and wear as normal. The sheets will help to reduce friction and stop the squeaking. As with the paper towels, you will need to replace them regularly.

How To Stop Squeaking From From The Outer Sole?

If the noise is coming from the bottom of the vegan Docs then it will be coming from either:

-the bottom rubber sole of the shoe or,

-the join between the rubber sole and the upper.

Note that before attempting to address the sole of the shoes you’ll need to clean and completely dry them for these methods to work.

Squeaking Caused by Rubber Sole

On hardwood, smooth concrete, or tiles, the sole of a vegan Dr Martens boot may squeak – particularly if they are new. However, if your boots squeak when walking on soft surfaces such as grass, it’s not the sole of your Docs that needs addressing and you still need to locate the source of the noise.

If the Docs are new, once you break them in and walk around a bit to roughen the smooth surface of the soles – the noise will eventually disappear.

If you need a faster solution to stop the soles of new vegan Doc Martens from squeaking, then you can scrape the soles to change the texture of the bottom of the shoe.

You can roughen the soles by softly rubbing the bottom of the outsole with fine sandpaper. Don’t use grit coarser than 120-220. In effect, this will roughen the outsole’s surface in a similar manner to natural wear over time.

Squeaking Caused by Join at Sole

If the noise appears to be coming from the join between the rubber of the sole and the upper of the Doc, you can spray a silicone lubricant between the joins. This will help to reduce friction and prevent the shoes from squeaking as much.

How To Stop Squeaking Around The Laces And Tongue

Squeaking around the tongue and laces of your vegan Doc Martens is caused by friction between the layers of leather. This problem is common with faux, vegan, and patent leather.

To stop the squeaking, sprinkle some talcum powder onto the tongue and underside of your boots (the part holding the eyelets for the laces). Remove any remaining powder from the outside of your Docs’ with an old toothbrush, then use it to clean off any that may be sitting on the laces.

instead of powder, you could use Petroleum jelly (vaseline) or oil but they are messy and likely to stain your socks. You will need to remove the laces and work oil or vaseline into a soft cloth rubbing it onto the tongue and the interior of the upper where the eyelets for the laces are.

Maintain Vegan Doctor Martens

To maintain and prevent your vegan Docs from premature squeaking as they age, you should regularly condition and clean them. This will help to keep the leather supple and stop it from drying out and cracking which can cause friction and ultimately lead to squeaking.

  1. Avoid wearing your Docs in wet or muddy conditions. This will help to prevent the materials from breaking down prematurely.
  2. Clean them regularly with a damp cloth. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that could potentially damage the shoes.
  3. Store them in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent the materials from breaking down or becoming damaged by moisture.
  4. Use them for their intended purposes. Avoid continually walking on rough or abrasive surfaces. This will help to prevent the soles from becoming worn down prematurely.
  5. Do not use them as work boots. If you need work boots, buy work boots!


So, now you know the science behind why your Vegan Doc Martens are squeaky (and how to stop them from doing so). But there are a few more things to keep in mind if you want your shoes to last as long as possible. Make sure you care for your vegan leather Docs regularly; this will help protect them against water and dirt build-up. If your Docs get wet, make sure you allow them to dry naturally away from any heat sources – applying direct heat when they are wet can cause the leather to crack. And finally, always store your Doctor Martens away from damp and direct sunlight when they’re not being worn – this will help keep them in good condition for years to come!


Understanding how your Vegan Docs will perform in extreme weather is imporant. Read my next article for an in depth explanation!


What Is Vegan Leather? (Should You Make The Switch?)

How To Break In A Faux Leather Jacket

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Vegan Docs Easier to Break-in?

According to Dr. Martens, vegan Docs are typically easier to break in than regular Docs. However, if you read the reviews of vegan docs on the Dr. Martens website; in line with my own experience, the heel of the docs are much harder and pinch more than the leather docs. They do eventually break-in but take longer.

Will Vegan Dr. Martens Stretch?

If you follow the advice given in the previous article on how to break in vegan docs, your vegan Dr. Martens will definitely stretch! The key is to be patient – it can take a few days for them to fully stretch out.

Do Vegan Docs Run Big or Small?

There seems to be general consensus within the reviews on the Dr. Martens website that vegan Doc Martens do indeed run slightly small. So, if you’re between sizes, it’s best to size up rather than down.


  1. https://www.timberland.com/
  2. https://www.wikihow.com/
  3. https://www.drmartens.com/
  4. https://help.drmartens.com.au/