Tires As Shoes: Part One -- What Size Do I Have?

Tire Rack likes to compare selecting tires to buying shoes. 

Just like going to a shoe store you need to know what size you have, what purpose you have in mind (i.e. cross-trainer, running shoe, oxford, or fuzzy bunny slipper), and what budget boundaries you have.

Many customers I speak with tend to like this illustration as it eases their selection process. There are three steps I like to break it down into: What size do I have? What is the purpose of the tire? What am I willing/ able to pay?

Before you to go too far into your tire search, check your size first. Our website has the most popular sizes listed for your vehicle in the Upgrade Garage, but it is always good to double check. The tire size can be found on the inflation placard either on the door jamb or gas cover depending on your vehicle. Do not fully rely on the tire size currently on your vehicle, as a different size may have been installed at some point.  Placard

Another good thing to be mindful of is the load index of your vehicle.  If you have a 3/4-ton pickup such as a Ford F250, you will also require a tire with a higher load index, or if you have a vehicle such as a Chevrolet Corvette, your car may have come with light load tires and going to a tire with a higher load index would make the vehicle ride firm.

Next Post: Part Two -- What is the Tire's Purpose?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by rob

I have a 2003 Chev Suburban 2500
original tires- LT245/75/16
I have a new set of rims 18" x 10
what is the correct size/hgt tire to use?
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by Gavin

The best size for this application would be a 285/65R18 with at least a "D" load range.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by Guy

I'm buying a Chevy Silverado Crew Cab now called a Double Cab. My travel trailer weights 6800lbs I have a weight distribution hitch. Is the P265/65R18 Michelin LTX M/S2 the proper tire for my set up ?
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by Gavin

It should be, Guy, but I would need more information from you. I am assuming that this is a 1/2 ton truck? Which year and model Silverado do you have? The LTX MS2 in this size will carry 2469lbs at 44psi. As long as the weight over the rear axle does not exceed 4938lbs you will be fine.

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