What’s the Difference Between Winter/Snow and All-Season Tires?

November 20th, 2019 by

a pile of tires with their tread lined with snow sitting out near sheets of white snow and an evergreen tree forest

Winter and Snow Tires vs All-Season Tires

Which types of tires are best for the cold and frigid weather of winter? Do you want winter and snow tires on your vehicle or all-season tires that can stay on throughout the year? Which creates a more reliable ride? It’s winter tires and snow tires vs all-season tires today at Carl Black Hiram!

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Winter/Snow Tires – Overview

Winter tires, also known as snow tires, are tires designed exclusively for driving during cold weather and on snow, sleet, and ice. The compounds used to make winter tires remain flexible in low temperatures while the tires’ specific tread patterns help for better grip. That’s why, even without consistent snow, winter tires are a good option for areas that stay at 40° or below during the winter season.

However, because they made with the sole purpose of winter and cold weather driving, winter tires and snow tires are not very adept during spring, summer, and fall driving. If used during these seasons, they will perform poorly and wear down very quickly.

An ace in winter, but sub-par during other seasons.

a winter tire on a snow-packed car driving on a road blanketed with snow
a closeup shot of a brand-new, fresh and clean tire with its tread pattern


All-Season Tires – Overview

If you don’t want to or don’t plan to change your tires in-between seasons, then all-season tires might be your pick.

All-season tires don’t perform as well during winter as winter tires, and don’t perform as well during summer as summer tires, but perform reasonably well for year-round driving. Rather than specializing in one field, all-season tires are built to be durable and offer moderate traction during all driving conditions.

A jack in all trades but a master of none.


Winter Tires vs All-Season Tires – Conclusion

Winter and Snow tires are engineered specifically for winter conditions and therefore perform better during cold weather than all-season tires.

However, all-season tires are still able to handle some winter driving conditions and are designed to be in use year-round.

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