Difference between Brake shoe and Brake pad

Brake shoe and brake pad are positioned differently in their braking system. Brake shoes are at the heart of a drum brake system. And are the approach to slowing cars and trucks down. Drum brakes have been in use since the creation of automobiles. And can still be found on the rear axles of some trucks and small cars due to their simple design and incredible durability. What are brake shoes? Brake shoes are the friction elements of a drum brake system. They’re made out of steel that’s curved in shape and coated with friction material on one side. And unlike brake shoe and brake pad can be “re-manufactured” or recycled for future use. Brake pads can be found in disc brake systems. Which is the most commonly used braking design used in vehicles today.

Every car, truck and SUV uses them on the front axles. And some vehicles even use them on the rear axles, too.  That’s because disc brakes provide better braking performance than drum brakes by staying cooler under extreme use.

brake shoe and brake pads

Brake pads are the friction elements of a disc brake system. They’re made from a flat piece of steel with a thick friction media applied to one side. And unlike brake shoes and brake pads come in a wide variety of friction materials. That are tailored to different driving styles. Differences Between Brake Shoes and Brake Pad.


The main difference between the two different types of brake shoe and pad is their position in the vehicle. The brake shoes are designed to fit inside your drum-style brakes. While brake shoes are placed on top of disk brakes. And serve to pressurize these discs when you apply the brakes.

Brake Shoe and Brake Pad Friction

The best reason for using a brake shoe is that it is made from a material which provides friction to the drum. The pad also has some friction. But not nearly as much as in the shoe. This means that, when you need a powerful break. The shoe has the best traction and force. While the pad is likely to be slower to stop. The brake pad uses pressure to force the disk into the car. So you would experience less friction with the pad than the shoe. However, as the pad is also being placed under immense strain. You can expect to see wear and tear on these, as much as on the car itself.


The brake shoe is designed to handle a lot of friction. And the material is hard wearing. You can also easily spot when the shoe is becoming worn. As you will get a weaker stop. With more contact needed on the pedal. This makes it more reliable than the pad. Which does not have such a clear warning. While replacing the pad is simpler, and can be managed alone. The shoe generally needs to be replaced less often.

 Front or Back

Despite the many advantages of brake shoes. When you are using drum brakes. You will need to have a rear or four wheel drive. These kinds of brakes cannot be used at the front of the car. So if you have front wheel drive cars. Where the brakes need to be applied to the front of the car. Then you will need to have brake pads, rather than shoes. In addition, you cannot use the two together, so if you have a drum brake vehicle. Then you cannot use brake pads on them. And nor can you use disc brakes with brake shoes. Therefore, part of deciding between these two kinds of brakes is knowledge of what your car is capable of, and what kind of drive it has.

brake shoe and brake pads

6 Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Brake shoe and Brake pad

Safety with respect to cars might be related to many aspects. And thanks to the improvement of technology. We have better and safer cars. But one of the most important aspects of them all is the brakes. The brake shoe and brake pad are the ones that act as the first form of support. To provide the driver with more control of the vehicle in order to avoid the collision. And bring the car to a stop safely. Remember: “You can only go as fast as you can brake”. There are basically 2 types of brakes. Which are Drum brakes and Disc brakes.

While a typical brake shoe in drum brakes look like this. Today we describe a few ways in which you can save money by increasing the life of your brakes. (Will be referred to as brake pads from here).

Do Not Over Speed Overspeeding

You ever seen the warning: Speed thrills but kills? That applies to the brake pads as well. More speed causes more friction. And more friction causes more heat and more heat ultimately causes more wear on the brakes. This basically means drive sensibly and do not drive at higher speeds than required. Unnecessary high-speed driving is bad for the brakes and you too. According to a study. Coming to a full stop from 105 kmph rather than 85 kmph forces the brakes to dissipate 33% more energy.

Avoid Accelerating While Braking

Unless you are driving in a cross-country rally or participating in the World Rally Championship. You don’t need to brake with your left foot. Under normal circumstances, braking with your left foot. While your accelerating with your right foot does not affect the speed of the car. Which causes unnecessary friction on the brake shoe and brake pad and wears them down drastically. Even when compared to normal braking. This causes extensive damage leading to quicker wear down of the brake shoe and brake pad.

Use Engine Braking 

This is a very good concept to be used by every driver. Not only to increase the life of the brake shoe and brake pad. But also to have more control of the vehicle using engine braking. The method is very simple  All you have to do is release the clutch and the accelerator pedals. You need to keep in mind that the deceleration depends on the speed. Inclination of the surface and the gear you are in. If in case the speed is still not reducing. Then you can slot into a gear lower and that does the trick. Make sure you have a safe distance between the objects in front since the deceleration will be slower. If you use only engine braking. This reduces the impact on the brake shoe and brake pad by a lot.

Allow Sufficient Stopping Distance

Allowing enough stopping distance in front of your car is highly important. When you do not provide enough stopping distance between the object/vehicle in front. Then you will have to apply more pressure on the brakes. And be more aware since the time to react is lesser. Which causes more stress on the brake shoe and brake pad and yourself. On the contrary, if you allow more distance ahead. You can apply less or minimum pressure on the brake shoe and brake pad. Which do not cause any harm and bring the car to a halt.

Avoid Overloading Your Vehicle

No, we are not asking you to drop your friend or relative behind just because they are heavier than you but keep this in mind. The heavier your vehicle is, the more momentum it will attain while driving. And the greater the force your brake shoe and brake pad have to apply to stop it. You will likely notice the strain a heavy load puts on your brakes yourself. Seeing that you have to press harder to stop within the same distance. It is not just the external load that adds weight but aftermarket stereo systems, body panels, wheels. And other customizations can make your car heavier as well.

Inspect the Brake shoe and brake pad Regularly

 Like every other part of the car, regular maintenance plays a vital role. You might notice signs that your brakes are wearing down. Such as hearing squealing or taking more time to stop your vehicle. It is important that you change brakes before they wear down to the rotors. Causing grinding that can lead to even more serious and expensive damage. So, if you listen to squealing sounds or feel that the pressure on the brake lever has reduced or seen a warning symbol on your speedometer. Kindly get the brake shoe and brake pad checked to ensure your safety by having better braking performance.

Also, make sure you buy quality products even if it costs a little more because the only thing more important than your life. Is the life of your loved ones travelling with you.

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