We’ve all been there, we’ve all heard it. You might think that the familiar clicking sound is typical only for women’s shoes, but that is not the case
Men’s shoes can also click. Men’s shoes can also sound (closely) like women’s high heels. In fact, heels, which are primarily responsible for making this sound were originally made for… men.
Yes, us men. Well, not literally. The heels helped the soldiers in ancient times (15th century) to plant their feet securely in the horse stirrups – which helped them in battle.
I personally love the clicking of my dress shoes – it gives a sense of authority and confidence like nothing else. But if you’d rather prefer your shoes to be quiet and not announce your arrival, I get that too. If you’re in the second camp, this article will be especially useful for you
The easiest way to stop your dress shoes from clicking would be to change the way the shoes interact with the floor / ground. The main reason for the clicking is the hard soles and heels of the shoes – if you add a sound-absorbing material (like rubber) to the bottom of your soles, then the clicking sound is greatly reduced or might even stop.
Based on your usage, this may either be a permanent / temporary solution for you. In either case, it is important to understand the reason behind this sound, and the steps that you can take to avoid or fix it
What Makes Men’s Dress Shoes Click?
As mentioned earlier, the sound a pair of dress shoes makes depends on the way it interacts with the floor. This is seen primarily in shoes that have soles made of leather – for it is sturdier than other materials. In addition to that, there are two other factors that can amplify this sound
1) Leather Soles
The clicking sound is actually a mark of a pair of good quality shoes. This is because the clicking is caused when the leather sole hits the ground while you’re walking. And I think it is already clear that most high-end dress shoes will have leather soles
Actually, it’s not even the sole, rather the heel part that makes the dress shoes click. The leather used in the sole and the heel region is especially hard and tough to ensure that these shoes are durable.
In addition, these leather heels are further held in place by nails (they may be visible or covered). These nails, when touching the ground while walking, also lead to the click-clack sound
As far as I know, you will usually have this problem (if that’s what you like to call it :D) only with leather soles
2) You Have A Hard Walk
Everyone has a different walk, so accurately describing the exact type of walk that adds to the clicking noise is not possible.
However, if you hit your feet very hard on the ground, or take tall steps – then the heels are having a greater impact which is adding to the whole clacking noise.
If you’ve noticed this about yourself, try taking – erm, soft steps the next time. This means not to stomp your heels hard while walking – as if you’re walking wearing sneakers / flat-soled shoes.
It might solve your problem. And if it doesn’t, there are always the hacks that we’re going to talk about later
From the previous point it is clear that greater the impact of the leather heel with the ground, louder the shoes click.
On the same lines, if your shoes are oversized they will contribute to the clicking sound as well. This is because oversized shoes will not be secure around your feet and tend to slip off when you walk, most likely touching the ground before your feet do.
The wrong fit can lead to a lot of problems anyway, so you should always be making sure your dress shoes fit you just right. If you need help, there’s already a post where I talk about the fit of dress shoes. Check it out here
5 Hacks For Noisy / Clicky Dress Shoes
Finally, the highlight of this post. It’s time to get rid of that clicky noise from your shoes. The following methods will help
Hack #1: Wear Rubber Soled Shoes
This one’s obvious. Since leather soles are causing the clicking noise, if you don’t like it, don’t wear leather-soles shoes. Problem solved!
Rubber soles will work wonders for sound-proofing, have great grip, and are also waterproof. If you wear dress shoes in wet conditions then these are the perfect option for you.
However, rubber has some trade-offs as well, and often the process of choosing the best-suited soles has more sides to it than just the clicking noise.
So if you want to only have leather-soled shoes, but still hate the sound of clicking – then the other hacks might offer a solution
Hack #2: Use Rubber Heel Taps
If rubber soled shoes are not an option, what about rubber sole add-ons?
Many cobblers will have pieces of thin rubber heel parts with them that they can easily attach to the bottom of your leather soles. These might not provide the complete benefits of a full rubber sole, but definitely will help with the clicking and provide some grip as well
NOTE: Some shoe brands already attach some rubber on their soles to add a bit of traction to the shoes. These may help with the noise but if they are not, you can still go with this option of Rubber Heel Taps
Alternatively, if you have no cobbler around or you don’t want to reach out to them, then such rubber heel taps might be available online as well. They are usually self-adhesive so you can attach them to the shoes yourself. I think they might work well enough.
Be wary of the thickness of these add-ons though. If they are too thick they will add an unnecessary height to the shoe and also be easily seen when you’re walking. Ideally, you want something that’s thin but gets the job done
Rubber Heel / Sole pads like these are sold for women’s high heels as well, so if you can’t find the ones I mentioned above look for these.
As they are made for women’s shoes they should be thin enough for our needs. Although they are mainly attached towards the front of the shoes (below the forefoot) for women, you can cut out a part and stick it on the heels of your shoes
Hack #3: Furniture Felt Pads
You must’ve seen those furniture pads, the ones that are placed below the legs of tables (any other part that comes in contact) so as to protect the nice tiling / flooring.
The principle is the same as the rubber taps: you take two of these felt pads, cut them out in the shape of the heel, and stick them on. Done!
Felt might not last you as long as rubber does though, so you might have to be careful of that. The only time I’d suggest you go for this option is if you wear your shoes indoors only i.e at home or the office. For everything else, rubber taps would be more preferable
NOTE: Furniture Pads also come in rubber, so if you can’t find any of the options listed earlier, try to find these
Hack #4: Wine Corks (or any Cork)
Yes, I know, Wine Corks are not big enough to attach to your heels. But you instantly understood the material I’m referring to, didn’t you
Like Felt, Cork will offer sound dampening too, thus helping to stop your dress shoes from clicking.
There are cork pads available too, mainly as coasters. You can cut them in shape and glue them onto the heels.
As with rubber heel pads, you might want to verify the thickness (~2-3 mm would do) of these. The ones that are sold as coasters should be fine
Note that cork will not help you in humid / wet conditions, so don’t think of wearing your cork attached dress shoes in the rain (not that you should wear those nice formal shoes in the rain anyway)
[SURPRISE] Hack #5: Duct Tape?
I was shocked when I found this hack while researching the post. Duct tape sounds like a rather unlikely solution for clicky shoes – but I tried it out and well, it sorta works. I wasn’t completely pleased with the outcome though
You need to make sure you cover up the heel fully though. If those nail parts are visible the clicking might still leak through.
Needless to say these will be the least durable of all the hacks, and the first ones to come off. But if you’re in a hurry and can’t do with any clicking, then it can work in your favour
That covers all the tips I had to stop men’s dress shoes from clicking.
Everyone deserves to be happy with the shoes they’re wearing, and if these methods help you with that, then more power to you!
The stick-on heel pads (#2, #3, #4) will be easy to install by yourself, but do note that removing them once they’re worn out can be tricky and leave sticky residues behind. So be completely sure when you decide to go for them
If you have any other hacks that you’d to share, please let me know in the comments