Brake shoes, also known as brake pads, are the rubberized pieces of material that line up inside the rotors of a brake system. They help to reduce friction and cooling effects that can destroy the heating and cooling elements of brakes. They are therefore very important components of a braking system, allowing a smoother flow of cooling air into the brakes. This ensures a safe and reliable functioning of your braking system.
Brake shoes are usually carried by the brake pedal as well, and they do the same work as brake pads. The difference lies in their application. Brake shoes only apply the brake friction material on the outer edge of the drum that the driver uses to apply the brake. They are a thin curved piece of rubber, with a small friction material fixed on one edge.
When the driver applies the brake by pressing the pedal, a wheel cylinder attached to the inner drum brake system pushes the brake shoes outward, against the inner surface of the drum. They act as friction barriers against the inward force of the friction-causing wheels. The shoes, being a thin flexible strip of rubber, absorb the energy caused by these Wheels, and when it is absorbed, the force of the wheel against the brakes is reduced. This reduces wear to the brakes and extends the life of your brakes. In effect, the braking system stays properly aligned.
Lined Brake Shoes: Lined Brake Shoes are made with an inner layer of indented rubber to create a channel-like shape inside the shoe, which channels the friction away from the wheel and away from the brake pad. A similar principle is used to create pads for your brakes. However, unlike the pads that you can fit yourself, Lined Brake Shoes is fitted to the inside of your car boot. This means you do not have to remove your boots to fit them - they are simply a standard part of your car safety kit.
Cushioned Brake Shoes: This type of Brake Shoes has a padded sole that provides increased friction material between the brake pad and the wheel. Because the sole has a cushioning effect, you feel much more comfortable whilst driving and also do not notice any adverse reaction from the road surfaces. There is no inner padding on the sole of this style of brake shoes. They are available in both straight and curvy fit.
Flexible Brake Shoes: This style is very similar to the lined brake shoes but incorporates an extra sponge-like rubber inner liner within the sole. The inner material of these shoes is made out of high quality polyurethane, similar to that found in many high end sports shoes, making them highly comfortable to wear. As they are made out of polyurethane, there is no inner padding, so they are prone to 'slippage' where one side of the shoe comes into contact with the wheel whilst you are braking. To solve this problem, the curled brake shoes have a slightly slanted inner side which avoids this contact.