While most of the new developments in winter / snow tire technology are in the Studless Ice & Snow performance category, studdable snow tires remain a solid option for winter driving. Studdable winter tires tend to have a little longer treadlife than their studless counterparts, and are often some of the best-priced options in a given size. The combination of long wear and low cost make them an excellent choice for drivers needing a value-oriented winter solution.
The two most common tires in this category are the General AltiMAX Arctic and Firestone Winterforce. These tires come in a variety of sizes and are even offered in some LT versions that are rated for 3/4- and 1-ton vehicles. Both are very capable in the snow, and have received excellent reviews from our customers.
General AltiMAX Arctic
Take a look at what customers are saying about their experience with the General AltiMAX Arctic:
"I used the General AltiMAX Arctic tires on my 2008 Honda Fit Sport for three winters in upstate New York, two of which had significant snowfall. These tires exceeded my expectations and provided excellent traction and control. With these snow tires, I was able to drive in heavy snow and on some very icy roads with no difficulty. I highly recommend these tires for the Honda Fit." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Honda Fit Sport
"Excellent winter tire for the money. Transformed my rear-wheel drive Volvo into a snow machine. I have much more confidence driving in the winter than with my all-season tires. We see a wide variation of winter weather in Kentucky so it's nice to feel prepared for anything." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1991 Volvo 940 SE
Also, check out what drivers are saying about the capabilities of the Firestone Winterforce in winter conditions:
"Unbelievable difference from all-season tires. I live in a Pittsburgh neighborhood where we need to climb a substantial hill to get home. If it snows any considerable amount, my neighbors are parking their cars and walking. I climb right up the hills and have no problem getting home. Very impressed! Nice job, Firestone!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2009 Honda Accord Sedan EX 4cyl
"These Winterforce tires have worked superbly on our 2002 Volvo S40. We live in Maine so there is plenty of snow and ice and they work great in all of it. Excellent tire at a very good price." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2002 Volvo S40
Studdable tires are sold without studs by default. Customers who want additional ice traction can opt to add studding for $15 per tire. Some areas do not allow the use of studs, or restrict their use to certain times of year, so make sure to check your local regulations before ordering tires with studs installed. For more information on studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."