Why do Nike Air VaporMax squeak and how can I fix it?

Love your trainers but hate squeaking with every step you take? Us too. Here are the fail-safe ways to make every step silent.

Nike’s most innovative, advanced shoe yet, the VaporMax silhouette first debuted in 2016, with the eponymous technology offering the most revolutionary form of cushioning ever. Composed of over 39,000 components, the sole mold is a complex design that took approximately 15 re-designs to perfect. The FlyKnit upper and FlyWire lacing system offers wonderful flexibility and allowing the shoe to act as a second skin. Nike have since released many variations of this silhouette, with some of the most recent being the VaporMax EVO and the the VaporMax 2021.

Why Do Nike VaporMax Squeak?

Although this trainer is a revolutionary piece of art, its design means that the sole can squeak as you walk, and this is a common complaint amongst wearers. The main for this annoying sound is the bubble technology that is synonymous with this style. Although giving the divine sensation of ‘walking on air’, the bubble sole means that the friction caused between the sole and terrain will often cause a sound with each impact. Also, moisture can get trapped within the sole, which also causes this squeak.

Luckily, there are a few DIY fixes that you can administer in order to reduce the squeak. These solutions have been tried and tested by many, so rest assured, you will see some impact if you implement some of the steps below!

Tips to reduce or eliminate squeaking in Nike VaporMax:

Solution 1: Conditioning Oil

A good remedy to use on squeaky soles is to apply a conditioning oil to the soles, in order to provide decent lubrication that prevents friction. Make sure to use a conditioning oil that is designed for your specific shoe type, for example, don’t use a leather conditioning oil on your VaporMax trainers. The oil will eventually fade over time, so it might be the case that you have to reapply it as and when your shoes start to squeak again. Conditioning Oil can be bought online. For example HERE.

Solution 2: WD40 or similar lubricant

WD40 can be an effective way to prevent squeaky trainers as it acts as a barrier that stops water and other moisture from getting into the shoe and causing it to make sound. It also acts as a lubricant, offering a better surface that stops nasty friction making embarrassing noises. Be sure to use it sparingly and never use it on suede, keep it solely on the rubber sole. Application with a cotton ball is recommended to keep it relatively clean. Shop HERE

Solution 3: Sprinkle baby powder under the insole Recommended Method

Baby powder is a great way to dry up any moisture and prevent nasty friction. Sprinkling a little bit of baby or talcum powder under the insole will go an effective job of absorbing any excess moisture. Make sure to sprinkle a fair amount on, but not so much that will make you want to rinse it off again – this will defeat the object! Shop Baby Powder HERE

Solution 4: Avoid walking in the rain

Although sometimes the weather can be very unpredictable and something we have no control over, if you can help it, it would be best not to wear your VaporMax trainers in wet weather.

As mentioned previously, when moisture seeps into the insole, it can cause squeaks as the rubber and water rub together. This will be particularly enhanced if your shoes get drenched in water from the rain. Best to check the weather forecast before stepping out the door in VaporMax.

Solution 5: Time

This may be an aggerating choice as no-one wants to have to spend time waiting for their shoes to behave, however, trainers do tend to be at their squeakiest when they’re brand new, as the sole has never been in contact with other surfaces before. As you break your trainers in and the sole gets used to taking your weight, they may be less inclined to speak. Patience is key here.

Solution 6: Return / Nike customer support

If you really can’t stand the squeaking sound and none of the above remedies seem to do any good, it might be a good idea to contact Nike customer support for help. In many cases Nike have been happy to replace burst bubbles or problems with Air Units, so heading to them with your issue is definitely recommended. Contact them HERE

Otherwise, you could return the trainer and opt for a less noisy silhouette, such as the ones listed below.

Final Thoughts

In summary, it is common for Nike VaporMax to squeak when you walk and apart from giving all the above solutions a good go, it might be the case that you just have to learn to love the little sound they make. Alternatively, you could try investing in a similar pair of Nike Air Max, so you can enjoy the style, without the sound.

Below are five popular Nir Max silhouettes that you could try:

Air Max 90

Shop Air Max 90 HERE

Air Max 270

Shop Air Max 270’s HERE

Air Max 95

Shop Air Max 95’s HERE

Air Max 97

Shop Air Max 97’s HERE

Air Max 2090

Shop Air Max 2090 HERE

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that the Nike VaporMax is a highly desirable, unique and ground-breaking trainer. With state-of-the-art technology and a sleek design, they truly are a testament to the brand’s craftsmanship. But, with that revolutionary Air technology can come a downfall – the squeak.

As annoying as it may seem, having squeaky trainers isn’t as much of an issue as many believe it to be, and there are some remedies that can be used to fix this issue. But, if the VaporMax just isn’t for you, there is still a great array of Nike Air Max trainers to choose from; the options are endless!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does Nike VaporMax squeak?

Yes, the sole on this silhouette can cause a squeak when you walk. As explained above, this is due to the bubble technology providing more friction than usual upon impact with the ground. Although this can be quite an annoyance for some, there are some remedies you can try to reduce the sound, but it may be a case of having to learn to live with the sound, if you love the silhouette that much.

Why do my Nikes squeak when I walk?

Many trainers squeak the first few times you wear them, as you are in the process of breaking them in. The rubber sole can cause some friction with the ground at the start, but this usually wears off after the first few days. Depending on the technology used in the sole to provide cushioning, this can cause a more dramatic squeak, especially in trainers such as the VaporMax that have a lot of air inside the bubbles.

Can you run in VaporMax?

Put simply, yes you can run in the VaporMax. They are unlike any other running shoe as they don’t have that layer of foam, but rather have a bubble-like technology in the sole. This provides the ultimate comfort never before seen in a shoe, so in theory, they would be very suitable for running. Due to the ‘walking on air sensation’ these shoes are best for running on concrete or on urban terrain, as you’ll enjoy the full cushioning effect on flatter surfaces.

Do VaporMax fit true to size?

Yes, going true to size is recommended with this silhouette. The FlyKnit upper, paired with the FlyWire lacing system, allows this trainer to truly fit like a glove around your feet. They are flexible and supple, giving you that desired breathability. However, if you have feet a little more on the wide side, it is best to go half a size up, so as to ensure you aren’t crushing your feet and therefore cause any discomfort.

Are VaporMax supposed to squeak?

VaporMax weren’t designed specifically to squeak, so in theory, no. However, because of the technology used, these shoes are much more likely to be a bit noisier than other trainers. It’s all down to personal preference – if you absolutely cannot stand the squeak, you implement steps to minimise the sound.

What happens if you pop the Air Max bubble?

If you pop the bubble in your trainers, you’ll lose the air that is stored in the chambers. Consequently, you won’t enjoy that full cushioning sensation that the silhouette typically offers. We have a full article on the site specifically answering this question, which you can read here.