Are All-Season Tires Good Enough for Winter?

Tires come in all different types, from all-terrain tires to tires designed to handle icy conditions. And over the decades, tire technology has increased significantly, allowing for the creation of all-season tires that perform fairly well for your truck or SUV. Depending on where you live, all-season, or all-weather tires, can be used throughout the entire year. And that mitigates the need for winter tires.

What are all-season tires?

All-season tires are designed to handle all seasons, whether you drive an SUV or a pickup truck. From rain to clear weather, this type of tire should provide you with a smooth ride and decent handling. If you live in a place that gets the occasional winter storm, an all-season tire can likely handle it. 

Cars driving in winter weather potentially concerned with EV driving range.
Cars driving in snow | Julian Stratenschulte via Getty Images

But all-season tires are not designed for things like deep snow or heavy ice. Additionally, not all of these tires are meant to drive when the temperatures dip well below freezing. That job is better suited for winter or snow tires. 

Do you actually need winter tires for your truck or SUV?

The answer to that question really depends on where you live and what kind of winter driving you expect to do. If you get legitimate winter weather in your area, installing winter tires can be a good idea from November to March. 

The tread of a winter tire on a car has been clogged by snow on the road.
The tread of a winter tire on a car has been clogged by snow on the road. | Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB

Snow tires are great for prolonged winter conditions. And when the temperatures get too low, the rubber remains flexible. Another perk is the addition of sipes, which help the tire function properly in snow and ice. In some cases, a winter or snow tire might even have studs. 

Are all-weather tires the same as all-season tires?

There are some differences between all-weather and all-season tires. All-season tires will typically last longer on your truck or SUV. But all-weather tires are ideal for tackling harsher conditions. The reason for this is the types of materials that all-weather tires utilize. This can cause the tread to wear down faster. 

According to Driving, both of these types of tires have their pros and cons. So it does fall on what your unique needs are to determine which one is right for your SUV or pickup truck. 

Who makes the best truck and SUV tire?

A variety of manufacturers produce tires, and which one is best does often fall on personal preference. Because tires are so important for your safety, it is probably a good idea not to cheap out. Some reputable tire brands include Goodyear, Michelin, and Continental. 

2022 Subaru Crosstrek SUV in the snow
2022 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

There are many other brands out there that do create good tires. And most of these companies do offer things like rebates and the occasional discount. Those do have the potential to help make a set of all-weather tires more affordable, even if the brand is known to be more expensive. 

Most tire manufacturers do also make specialty tires for trucks and SUVs. These tires are made to handle larger vehicles and the type of driving you might be doing with them. Of course, the larger the tire, the more expensive that it will be. So keep that in mind when searching for tires for your specific model.

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