This paper deals with the measurement of subsurface damage of composite materials after braking situations. Several carbon–carbon composites materials have been studied and tested under industrial braking conditions. Two damage measurement methods were used to estimate the braking effects on the mechanical behaviour of these materials. In particular, a meso-hardness test has been adapted to the heterogeneity of carbon–carbon composite and to their macro-porosity. Depending on the type of material, the results show that meso-hardness is a good indicator of local behaviour at a small depth under the surface. For one C–C composite, reinforced with long random fibers, we measure the evolution of damage as a function of the distance of the braking surface. Another original compression-bending test was also used, which confirms this damaged subsurface effect before wear occurs.