There are basically three different types of winter tires
#1.) Performance Winter
This is the type of tire to have when you want enhanced dry road handling from your winter tires and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it.
these H- or V-speed rated tires which are designed to suit winter driving needs of sporty imported and domestic cars. They are available in many of the low profile sizes.
#2.) Studless Ice and Snow
The tires in this category offer the latest in tread compound technology and offer the most ice and snow traction. With these tires you want to can maximize snow and ice traction from your winter tires. Yes, you can get remarkable traction on packed snow and ice without the inconvenience of using studded tires. Here's a link to our studless vs. studded winter tire test.
Just remember, these tires do feel a little squirmy when not in the snow and ice
#3.) Studdable Winter
This is the old school type of winter tire which uses an aggressive tread design for snow traction and metal studs for added grip on ice. These tires feature traditional snow tire tread compounds.
In their day the studded tire offered the best snow and ice traction ... but, that day was in the 80's
Use of studded tires is often prohibited or restricted. Check with local authorities to confirm legality.
Many people think that since they have a car with all of the new, cool electronic gadgets and systems they don't need winter tires but, the recent advancements in electronic driver aids, such as ABS and traction control don't provide more traction. They only help prevent drivers from over braking or overpowering the available traction of their tires.
The only thing the driver can do to increase traction to actually get more grip and control... is install better tires.
All of the major tire manufacturers make products for one or more of these winter tire categories. Some of the more popular ones are the Michelin X-Ice XI2, Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 and the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D.
In the end winter tires offer not only great traction in the snow and ice but, they also offer added security and safety for you, your family and the rest of us who share the roads.
My name is Luke Pavlick and I am a Car Guy