Winter / Snow Tire Performance Categories—A Quick Review

This is the time of year when many of you turn to Tire Rack for a new set of winter / snow tires. We know it hasn't snowed yet, but we applaud your enthusiasm for getting ready. It never hurts to be ahead of the game, especially when it comes to your vehicle's safety (and therefore your safety). As you shop our selection of winter / snow tires, keep in mind the following performance categories.

High Speed-Rated Winter Tires (Performance Winter / Snow): These tires offer dry and wet road traction and handling, and maintain performance driving characteristics in inclement weather. However, as a result, they do trade off some deep snow and ice traction.

High-Tech Winter Traction (Studless Ice and Snow): Studded winter tires aren't legal on all streets, but these tires simulate their ability to enhance traction in snow and on ice.


Traditional Winter Traction (Studdable Winter / Snow): If metal studs are allowed on your streets, you'll want these tires. When studded, you'll get even more traction in the ice and snow—but they might be a little noisier than you're used to. Without studs, they're still a great winter tire option.

Once you decide where you fit—our Winter / Snow Tire Decision Guide can help—we'll help you find some tires that fit your vehicle. Click here to shop by vehicle, and to see a complete list of winter / snow tires and their corresponding performance categories.

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