Tires are one of the most important safety features on your car. Those four pieces of rubber are the only thing connecting you to the road, making sure you can speed up, slow down, and go around corners. It would make sense then that you’d want the best connection possible between you and the road, and when things get cold and icy, snow tires are unequivocally the best option. Sure, you might be able to get by with all-season tires but why risk it?
The reason snow tires are so effective when it is cold out is due to their soft rubber compound and blocky tread with extra siping, or grooves, cut into the surface. The soft rubber is specially designed to provide maximum grip when temperatures dip below 40F, even on ice. The additional siping helps the tread blocks conform to every nook and cranny on the road surface while also creating more passageways for water, slush, and snow to be evacuated from the tread.
By comparison, all-season tires are designed to work in a wide range of conditions, but instead of excelling in any particular conditions, they tend to be compromised in colder, slippery conditions. Where snow tires find grip in icy conditions, the harder rubber compound of all-seasons can make them feel more like hockey pucks under your car, sliding across the ice instead of digging into it. Even when there isn’t snow and ice on the ground, snow tires still offer improved traction in cold weather over traditional all-season tires. However, once temperatures increase above 50F, snow tires will begin to wear more quickly as the rubber is more susceptible to heat.
Watch the video below to learn more about the benefits of snow tires.