Are They Winter Tires or Snow Tires?

This is a common discussion in our marketing department. We know that most of the public refer to dedicated winter tires as snow tires.  But, we also know that the purpose of these types of tires is to offer improved traction in both snow and cold.  Under 32 degrees Farenheit, tires designed for summer performance become very hard and have little traction because they are designed for warm-weather use.  So, in the end, we settled for Winter/Snow Tires for the category of tires that are dedicated for winter-time use and are also snow traction tires.

Here is a great resource if you are deciding whether or not you need Winter Tires: the Winter Tech section.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009 by Calvin Kendall

Sorry, but Snow Tires and Winter Tires are not the same things as they have different purposes. I drive an integral drive (AWD featuring three mechanical differentials. No viscous coupling used to effect a make-shift differential effect between the front and the rear axles!) vehicle in rural Manitoba, Canada, and I have needs different from an urban or highway driver in, say, South Dakota, or, upstate New York. I don't need some winter tire that's ultra stable and ultra quiet at ultra high speed or that's exceptionally good in the rain at ultra high speed or that's exceptionally good in slush at ultra high speed. I need high traction in very deep, drifted, and very cold snow, and decent traction on very cold snow packed and icy roads. I need a true snow tire, studded, not a compromise or compromised winter tire snow tire wanna be. I long for the old studable Firestone Town and Country aggressive deep lug high sea to land ratio SNOW Tire tread pattern, or the old studable BF Goodrich Radial T/A deep lug high sea to land ratio SNOW Tire tread pattern, to be combined with modern, pliable in the cold, tire rubber technology. On a rear wheel drive vehicle I have run, and currently run, four of Goodyear's old Ultra Grip design Snow Tires, studded. On the integral drive vehicle I currently run studded Kelly Springfield Wintermark Steel Radial HT (Hi-Void Tread) Steel-Belted Snow Radial SNOW Tires. The old Goodyear Ultra Grip design tires (Which includes the Kelly Springfield Wintermark tires.) are SNOW Tires, but not winter tires, for they are not incredibly stable at ultra high speed or exceptionally good in the rain at ultra high speed. I do not see that The Tire Rack still sells any true SNOW tires. Lots of winter tires, but no snow tires. Sorry, but Bridgestone Blizzacks just are not good in drifted really deep snow...
Monday, November 21, 2011 by paul

the winter mark hi-void are not avalable in my area no more (northeast pa) i am not sure why i have purchased them for the last 6 years and love them awesome in the snow and mud it is a shame they have discontiued this tire witch i think was a huge mistake they were a good tire at a good price
Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Randy

I got some winter tires from Tirerack last year with wheels. These tires are disappointing in snow performance. I'm an old guy and remember actual snow tires. I have had and used snow tires on a pickup and a muscle car that was my only transportation in the 70's. Both had real snow tires and I was able to drive thru rock panel deep snow without a problem. This is not the case with winter tires. They are better than the all season but definately not nearly as good as real snow tires in anything like 3" or more snow.
Thursday, September 6, 2012 by Tom

Yes i agree with calvin the old town and country snow tires had massive side cleats and a very wide zig-zag pattern of 2 rows in the middle of the tire and would go thru 8 + inches of snow no problem but they seemed to have been phased out when radial tires came into market since they were for the most part bias-ply tires but even being bias ply they still out preformed these new radial snow tire wantabes. I would gladly exchange my radials in winter time for bias if i could find these tires again some where

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