Brake Pads Vs Brake Shoes

Jul. 31, 21

Brake Pads Vs Brake Shoes

We often take brakes for granted—especially when they work as we expect to ensure the safety of us and other road users around us. Therefore, it makes sense to know more about them. First of all: What is the difference between brake pads and brake shoes?

First of all, are the brake pads and brake shoes the same? The short answer is no. Although their functions are similar, they operate in different types of braking systems and have different advantages (and disadvantages).

What are brake pads?

In a disc brake system, the brake pad is a flat steel sheet with a thick layer of the friction material on one side. This type of friction material is different, depending on the type and size of the vehicle and the type of brake caliper.

The driver operates the disc brake system by pressing his foot on the brake pedal. This will push the master cylinder, which is basically a piston surrounded by brake fluid. The fluid moves down the brake wire, which forces the caliper to squeeze a pair of brake pads against the brake disc. This in turn reduces the speed of the wheels. The energy released by stopping the movement of the car will be converted into waste heat, which must be dispersed. Since disc brakes have a relatively fast cooling time, this type of brake provides better-stopping performance than drum brakes. Due to use, the friction material layer will become thinner over time, and eventually, the brake pads need to be replaced.

What are brake shoes?

The brake shoe is carried by the brake lining inside the brake drum system. They are bent pieces of metal with a friction material fixed on one side.

When the driver applies the brakes, the wheel cylinders in the drum brake system force the brake shoes outward and hit the inside of the drum. This creates friction between the inner lining and the drum, which causes the car to break. The kinetic energy is dissipated in the form of heat. Brake shoes are usually used on the rear axle, especially since the front brakes of most modern cars are more severe, so the temperature that the rear brake needs to deal with is not so high. Drum brake systems are more effective as parking brakes than disc brakes and have lower manufacturing costs.

What is the difference between brake pads and brake shoes?

The main differences between brake pads and brake shoes are:


Brake pads and brake shoes have different positions in the brake system. The brake pads are placed in the calipers around the brake disc, and the brake shoes are placed in the brake drum.

brake shoe


Brake shoes usually last much longer than brake pads. Usually, they are placed on the rear axle, and the proportion of braking work undertaken is much lower.

Do I need brake pads or brake shoes?

Although you can't mix and match on the same wheel—for example, using drum brake pads or disc brake shoes—you can use both brake pads and shoes on the same car. In fact, many cars use a combination of the two, usually smaller vehicles, with a disc brake system on the front axle and a drum brake system on the rear axle.

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