winter tires vs all season

Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires

If you’re looking for the best snow tires, you might not find what you’re looking for. “Snow tires” is a term that’s a bit misleading. As one of RightTurn’s resident tire experts, and your inside source to all things tires, “winter tires” is a much more accurate description. You don’t need to drive on snow to experience the benefits of winter tires. All-season tires stiffen at temperatures below 45 degrees. That means you get less grip and more slip. Winter tires have a special rubber composition that allows for more flexibility, so your tires can improve handling and stop more efficiently, even on dry roads.

When it comes to winter driving, many drivers believe that their all-season tires do the trick. But there is a very real difference between driving on winter tires vs. all-season tires. Winter tires can have as much as 50% more grip in snow than all-season tires. If you occasionally get stuck in the snow, even with all-wheel or four-wheel drive, then perhaps it’s time to give winter tires a shot.

Will Winter Tires Only Work in the Snow?

The rubber compounds in winter tires keep them flexible in temperatures that reach below 45°F (7°C). All-season tires harden in these low temperatures, making it more difficult considering handling, turning, and stopping.

Are Brakes Alone Good Enough to Stop?

Tires greatly affect your vehicle’s stopping distance no matter the weather, but even more so when roads are slick. Tires without specifically designed winter tread patterns can simply slide when the brakes are applied. Winter tires have deep grooves and small slits called sipes that cut through snow and ice, keeping more of your tire in contact with the road.

Can I Drive on All-Season Tires During Winter?

Sure. All-season tires are great for mild weather changes, but anyone who experiences cooler winters can get better performance with winter tires. In addition to having flexible compounds and specialized tread designs, winter tires help make your all-season tire last longer: while the winter ones are on, the all-season ones aren’t wearing down.

Are Winter Tires More Expensive?

The best part about winter tires (after the insane increase in safety and control) is that you only use them when you need them. The cost of winter tires is usually comparable to any other kind of tire. Plus, switching tires makes both your winter and summer tires last longer than they normally would.

Isn’t Four-Wheel Drive Good Enough?

Ever see SUVs on the side of the road when the weather’s bad? They probably don’t have winter tires. In the winter, four-wheel drive can help you get going but won’t help when you’re trying to stop. Four-wheel drive helps you control the tires, but that doesn’t mean much if the tires themselves aren’t flexible enough or don’t have the right tread design to push snow and ice out of their way.

If you’re not sure where to go or how to buy winter tires, check out RightTurn’s tire buying guide and make sure you’re ready to take on the road. If you want the best winter tires for your vehicle, visit for a personalized recommendation. What can be better than that?