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For the average driver, tires are more of a secondary thought — really, we don’t pay much attention to them unless there is a problem or it’s time for replacements. Owners of performance-oriented cars, however, know just how big of a difference tires can make for their driving experience, but also safety. When it comes to safety, an average day isn’t very intimidating, but rainy spring showers can mean standing water on the roads and wet pavement, which can be tricky for some sports cars to navigate on safely without the right set of tires.

Grading performance tires in the rain

Many tires undergo a series of tests and trials to determine their quality, but those tests must also put some focus on the specific type of tire and what it is designed to do. While there isn’t necessarily a specific category for rainy day tires, performance tires can still be tested in wet road conditions to see how they hold up. Besides overall handling on wet pavement, the team at Consumer Reports rates performance tires on two other key points of driving in wet weather conditions: hydroplane resistance and wet braking.

“Being able to react confidently to an unexpected situation is vital to car safety…and being able to rapidly reduce speed can mean the difference between a spilled coffee and a hospital visit”

Gene Petersen, Consumer Reports’ tire program manager
A Michelin tire being mounted onto a wheel hub
A mechanic fits a Michelin tire to an automobile wheel hub | Nathan Laine/Bloomberg, Getty Images

All-season options

If you’re ready to switch out of your winter tires — which, we know, can be exciting — then all-season options are your best bet. For standard cars, Consumer Reports ranks the General Altimax RT43(T) tires well for wet-weather conditions, and if you can’t find the right size of those for your truck, you wouldn’t be downgrading to swap over to the Continental TerrainContact H/T options. Of course, we can’t forget the Michelin options on the list, either, with the CrossClimate SUV tires taking a win for all-season SUV tires and the CrossClimate+ marking the spot for performance tires.

A stack of racing Pirelli tires
Pirelli tires | Michael Regan – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited, Getty Images

UHP – ultra-high-performance tires

There are plenty of performance-focused trucks and SUVs on the market today, especially with companies like Lamborghini and Aston Martin throwing their competition into the ring for SUV options. Regardless of what type of performance car you drive, you may be interested in UHP tires: ultra-high performance tires. Keep it simple with the all-season Goodyear Eagle Exhilarates, or focus on summertime with the General G-Max RS tires.

An aerial view of racing tires lines up in rows
Tires in the Paddock | David Ramos – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited, Getty Images

How to Know if Your Tires’ TPMS Going Bad

If you’re still seeing a bit of frost on the ground late in the spring or live in a climate where temperatures make the weather vary between cold and wet, there are still some great options for wet-weather winter and snow tires. Keeping it standard, Consumer Reports recommends Falken HS449 EuroWinters, but you can also opt for something a bit more performance-oriented with the Vredestein Wintrac Pros, too.