Why You Need Winter Tires and Which Ones to Get

December 15th, 2021 by

A close up shows the treads of winter tires covered in snow.

Don’t assume that the label “all-season tires” automatically means that your tire set can handle anything the weather has to throw your way. While all-season tires get the job done as a whole, they’re not designed to tackle rough winter weather. These types of tires may be fine if you work from home and don’t get out much. However, when the black ice, snow, and ice storm season hits, it’s time to start looking for winter tire dealers.

While it may seem like a ploy to get you to spend extra money, it’s actually very important that you purchase winter tires unless you live in an area that sees no ice or snow and stays above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ve got all the details on why winter tires are important, what types of winter tires are best for each vehicle bodystyle, and much more.

Why Winter Tires?

Not all tires are made to handle cold temperatures. For example, your all-season tires are made from rubber with a unique tread that is designed to tackle multiple road conditions. While all-season tires can “handle” all conditions, that doesn’t mean they can master winter weather. The keyword here is “handle.” You want a set of tires that can tackle the winter weather better than any other tire on the market.

Since all-season tires offer a diverse tread that’s not designed for winter-specific driving, the tread can stiffen during temperatures below 45 degrees. As a result, your road grip starts failing, causing slippage even when there’s no ice on the ground. Pair cold temperatures with ice and black ice, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

When you choose winter tires, you’ll be able to maintain much stronger road grip. This is due to their unique flexibility. Thanks to this flexibility and grip, you’ll also notice better and more accurate braking during winter when you have winter tires.

Even when the temperature is above freezing but below that 45-degree mark, winter tires can help fight hazardous weather conditions. When water runs across the road, your vehicle is prone to hydroplaning, especially in the case of a flash flood, for example. Winter tires are proven to reduce your chances of hydroplaning, maintaining stronger road grip than competing tire options.

Finally, winter tires are exceptional in the snow. Their tread is designed specifically to repel snow, meaning that the snow is not as likely to clog up the tread. Adding on winter tires will make your 4WD experience even better, but most importantly, it’s almost essential for 2WD vehicles. Winter tires can help fill the gap when you must tackle the snow without 4WD or AWD.

Winter tires are shown on a vehicle after visiting winter tire dealers.

Which Winter Tires Are Best for a Commuter Car?

When you own a commuter car (like the Chevy Malibu, for example), you want to make sure you’re keeping your family safe during winter travels. The best way to do that is by adding on winter tires, but which brands offer the best winter tire options for a commuter car or small SUV? We’ve got you covered. Consider asking about the following tires:

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 ? offers great snow performance and also maintains excellent performance on dry pavement. The WS90 offers the best overall terrain balance for cars.
  • Goodyear WinterCommand Tires ? this “studdable” tire allows you to outfit it with steel studs for enhanced traction. Studdable tires are best for slick, icy driving conditions rather than fluffy/snowy conditions.
  • Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 ? similar to the WS90, this is a great overall winter tire. The difference is that the LM-32 is designed for luxury vehicles and is biased a bit more towards dry pavement performance.

While winter tires are important no matter what vehicle you drive, we believe it’s even more important to get winter tires if you own a two-wheel drive vehicle.

Which Winter Tires Are Best for Trucks?

Trucks come with their own set of specs (and rules). Since a truck is a tow-heavy model, it’s going to need its own specific winter tire category. While there are many winter tire options for trucks, we highly recommend going with the following option as it’s the most well-rounded winter truck tire on the market:

  • Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac ? the DuraTrac is a great winter tire option for trucks and off-roaders alike. They can tackle mud, which is good news for towing and hauling, especially on the farm. It’s a strong, 10-ply tire which makes it ideal for towing and off-roading, and the tire’s standard pressure helps the truck support heavy loads. However, note that not every size is severe snow service rated.

You’re far more likely to pop a tire when you’re towing and hauling. Overloading can cause blowouts, and while you may be staying under your max tow capacity, that heavy load can still increase your chances of having a tire blowout. These 10-ply tires will help ensure that this doesn’t happen, all while helping you maintain proper road grip during winter weather conditions.

A set of winter tires are shown on snow-covered ground.

Which Winter Tires Are Best for an Off-Roader?

You may be used to mud tires if you head off-road often. While mud tires can handle the snow better than an all-terrain tire and are approved for light snow usage, they’re still not keen on those subzero temperatures. Those deep ridges do provide better traction, but you’re still teetering uncertain territory. When it comes to off-roading vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler, for example, we recommend the following tire options:

  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 ? a tire designed to prevent water or melted snow from getting in. Includes 3D zig-zag sipes that are unique to this specific tire and allow for better snow traction.
  • Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires ? winter tires that also do well in the mud, making them ideal for winter off-roading.
  • Firestone WinterForce 2 ? a studdable tire that offers optimal snow and ice performance. The most affordable of these three recommended tires.

These reputable brands offer the best winter tire options for off-roading SUVs.

Buy Your Winter Tires Today!

The short answer to your question is that, yes, winter tires are important. While all-terrain tires claim to handle “all types of terrain,” that statement isn’t entirely true. When the harsh weather hits, your all-terrains can let you down. This is why it’s important to invest in winter tires no matter what type of vehicle you drive. While we may have a warm day here and there, our winters are cold and icy more often than not. As a result, winter tires are worth the extra investment.

We devote an entire department to tire services and tire sales. We’d be more than happy to help you switch out your tires for the winter season. Whether you want to purchase tires here and put them on yourself or let us do the work, we’ve got your back. Just remember when you invest in winter tires that they will likely last you for multiple winters in a row. Once spring rolls around, you can set these new tires back in a cool, dry place for safekeeping, and we’ll put them back on for you during the next winter season.

When it’s time to make the switch and get a fresh set of tires, we look forward to helping you out.