The effect of surface texture and roughness on shear and pressure forces in tribological applications in the lubrication regime is analyzed by means of lattice-Boltzmann simulations that take the geometry of real surface elements into account. Topographic data on representative surface structures are obtained with high spatial resolution with the application of an optical interference technique. The three-dimensional velocity field past these surfaces is computed for laminar flow of Newtonian fluids in the continuum regime. Subsequently, pressure and shear flow factors are obtained by evaluating the velocity field in accordance with the extended Reynolds equation of Patir and Cheng (1978, ASME J. Tribol., 100, pp. 12–17). The approach allows an efficient determination of the hydrodynamic characteristics of microstructured surfaces in lubrication. Especially, the influence of anisotropy of surface texture on the hydrodynamic load capacity and friction is determined. The numerical method used in the present work is verified for a simplified model configuration, the flow past a channel with sinusoidal walls. The results obtained indicate that full numerical simulations should be used to accurately and efficiently compute the characteristic properties of film flows past rough surfaces and may therefore contribute to a better understanding and prediction of tribological problems.