Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires, Which is Better?

Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires, Which is Better?

Winter or snow tires are made specifically for cold climates; they operate badly in hot climates. All-season tires are a compromise that work well in all circumstances but fall short in some types of weather. All-season tires are standard equipment on almost all cars manufactured in the US. Snow and dry conditions are both catered for by all-season tires. Compared to summer tires, they have medium-sized tread blocks with more edges. To increase traction, the tread has a few snipes that are as thin as hair. They will become harder in colder conditions, losing some of their traction and hold. Snow or winter tires have a tread pattern optimized to grab onto snow and employ rubber compounds specifically created for enhanced grip in chilly conditions. They work well in regions that frequently encounter blizzards and winter storms. Snipes cut across the treads, adding extra edges for increased traction. As a result, the tread is less stable.


Snow tires, obviously, are better in snowy conditions. On snow, snow tires accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 19.1 seconds, while all-season tires take 22.9 seconds. Snow tires stopped from 60 mph in 382 feet while all-season tires required 421 feet when stopping in the snow. Snow tires accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in wet conditions in 12.7 seconds compared to 15.4 seconds for all-season tires. The all-season tires stopped at 215 feet while the snow tires took 181 feet to stop at 60 mph in wet circumstances. Snow tires accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in dry conditions in 8.9 seconds compared to 8.7 seconds for all-season tires. The all-season tires stop in 131 feet from 60 mph, compared to 155 feet for snow tires.


A car with winter tires is 38% less likely to be in an accident in snowy circumstances than a vehicle with all-season tires.


Winter tires' soft rubber compound causes it to deteriorate more quickly than all-season tires.


All-season tires range in price from $60 to 125 per tire, plus tax and installation. Every three years, they need to be changed. Winter tires are priced between $65 and $120 per tire, including any taxes. They all need to be replaced every six years if utilized properly. The expense of replacing tires is likewise about $75 each time.

Our Take

Winter tires perform significantly better than the conventional "snow" tires you may recall (if you're old enough), thanks to a few developments in tire technology. They perform better on cold, dry pavement, in snow, ice, slush, and muck. All new rubber compounds have been developed. Silica-containing rubber compounds are currently used by the majority of manufacturers, and some manufacturers polish up the formula even further with traction bits and hollow "cells" that squeegee and suction water off the road. In order to give better acceleration and shorter stopping distances, tread designs are also much more aggressive. In order to squeegee more water off the road, winter tires contain more sipes (cuts in the tread) than all-season tires. Saw-tooth sipes have a larger surface area and are more effective at cutting through snow and slush than straight sipes. As the tire rolls, the "micro pump" holes in the tread work as plungers, sucking in water from the road and expelling it.