Best Tires for Driving in the Snow – 5 Best Snow Tires

When snow starts falling, replace those all-weather tires with something more specific: snow tires. Read our guide to the best tires for snow.

As the snow starts falling, it’s time to switch those all-season tires for an option. This becomes crucial, especially if you live in an area where the roads aren’t cleared regularly and are consistently covered in snow and ice. Our detailed list of recommended snow tires will ensure you’re prepared for winter, keeping you safe on the roads throughout the season.

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Many people ponder whether they truly need snow tires. The answer is twofold. If you reside in a place like Colorado or Utah with snowfall and icy roads, yes, investing in quality snow tires is advisable. However, if you live somewhere like Texas or Georgia where it rarely snows (or once a year), you might be able to manage without snow tires. In regions, having rain tires is more crucial.

Other Types Of Tires Reviewed:  Buy What is Best For Your Needs

All-Terrain Tires

High Performance Tires

All-Season Tires

Rain Tires

Off-Road Tires

Learn more about snow tires, and then we have our Top 5 Snow Tire Picks listed below!

5. Michelin X-Ice Xi3


People in areas where snow is occasional or light will find a great deal with the X-Ice Xi3s. You won’t want these tires if you are hitting a hard winter in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but those in maybe Northern Virginia/DC with light snow and heavy ice will love these long-lasting tires. For the cost, you really can’t complain. You may hear many naysayers against these tires, but not everyone can afford Hakkas or Pilots. Throw these X-Ice Xi3s winter tires on your car for those cold months. You’ll feel a little bit more in control than having those stockall-terrain tires on your vehicle.


  • Long-Lasting: The tread won’t wear down after one season.
  • Efficient: These tires help your car be as efficient as possible when it comes to fuel consumption.
  • Kilometers/miles warranty: 60,000 kilometers/37,200 miles.
  • Standard limited warranty: These tires are guaranteed to last for at least 6 years.


  • Not for mild winters:  These tires are designed for severe snow and ice conditions. If you live somewhere with only mild snow and ice, these are not the best winter tires for you.
  • Longevity: These tires do not last as long as all-season tires. However, that is true for all snow tires, not just these X-Ice Xi3s.

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4. Pirelli Cinturato Winter

Pirelli Winter Tires
Pirelli’s Cinturato Winter tires are Pirelli’s studless winter tires. Designed for family sedans and compact coupes, they perform well in snow and slush thanks to an arrow-shaped tread that helps push out water and slush to help prevent hydroplaning. These snow tires are designed for high mileage, so they are perfect if you plan on facing a long, snowy winter.


  • Traction: Provide excellent snow traction
  • Studless: These tires not cause excess wear and tear on dry roads
  • Smooth Ride: Unlike some studded tires, these tires provide a smooth, quiet ride.


  • Ice traction: Do not perform as well on ice as other winter tires on the market

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3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8

Nokian makes some of the best snow tires out there.  And its Nokia Hakkapeliitta 8 tires are a prime example of excellence. These tires are studded, and there is no better tire for grip on ice and snow or for cutting through slush. The design of the tread uses a zig-zag pattern, which will also cut through wet and soggy roads quite well. The rubber compound of the Hakkas is supposed to be highly revolutionary to provide better grip at lower temperatures. This tire is an incredible performer, even in the worst conditions. The problem? You’ll be paying top dollar for these tires when most people will only need something a bit less intense. Of course, for northern Wisconsin winters or snowy mountain driving, you might feel safer with a set of Hakkas on your car.


  • Top-notch quality: Nokian makes some of the best winter tires on the market.
  • Dry road quality: These tires perform well on dry roads, not just snow- and ice-covered roads.
  • Slushplaning technology: The tread helps displace rain and slush to prevent you from hydroplaning.


  • Price: We never told you quality comes cheap. While Nokian does make some of the best winter tires around, they do come at a cost and are much more expensive than competitors.
  • Studs can destroy roads. These tires are studded, and studs can wreak havoc on dry roads. Studs are also illegal in some states in non-winter months, so make sure you’re up to date on your town’s codes before investing in these tires.

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2. General Altimax Arctic 12

best snow tires: altimax arctic

There are plenty of good things about General Altimax Arctic 12 studded tires. First off, they are fairly reasonably priced. In fact, they might be one of the highest-quality and lowest-priced snow tires you can buy. While amazing on ice and snow, the Altimax also does fairly well on wet, slushy, and rainy roads. However, like most snow-specific tires, the AltimaxArtics do not hold up to the same high performance on dry pavement. Because the tires are studded, they may cause damage to dry pavement (including your driveway).


  • Good handling: These tires handle well on both dry and wet roads.
  • Strong traction: These tires provide excellent traction, both on ice and snow
  • Price: The tires are reasonably priced. They won’t be the cheapest, but they’re not the most expensive, either.


  • Studded: Studs can cause damage to dry pavement.
  • Noise: Studs are noisy! Driving will be easier with studded tires than with non-studded winter tires.

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1. Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80

Best winter tires - Bridgestone


With four main grooves to channel snow, Bridgestone’s Blizzak WS-80 tires perform exceptionally well on slush and ice. These tires excel when conditions are snowy, but if you happen to cross some cleared pavement, the Blizzaks will underperform. For drivers who begin to see ice and snow on the road in November and see no end to it until March or April, the Blizzaks are a necessity. The grip on these babies will astound you when you make the switch. However, be warned that the Blizzaks tend to wear down fairly fast. This is especially true when you hit more pavement that is dry than snow-covered roads. Still, the Blizzak’s have a great price on them for what you get.


  • Price: more affordable than competing snow tires.


  • Longevity: These tires tend to wear down faster than competitors, especially when driven on dry pavement.
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Snow Tires vs. . Winter Tires: What’s the Difference?

cars driving on snow covered road

Simply put, it’s really about the wording. Tire manufacturers use both “winter tires” and “snow tires.”. They mean the same thing. Some people lean towards “winter tires” because “snow tires” could imply they’re only good for the weather. The truth is, these tires work well in snow, ice and cold conditions overall.

Why Do I Need Snow Tires?

SUV driving down snowy road with snow tires

Snow tires are essential for grip in comparison to all-season tires, ensuring your vehicle stays stable on the road and avoids slipping in weather conditions. According to John Rastetter, an executive at a well-known tire retailer called Tire Rack, it’s advisable for drivers to start considering purchasing new snow tires as early as September. Rastetter emphasizes the importance of having tires for the season to prepare your car for snowstorms or icy roads.

Additionally, Rastetter points out that brand new all-season tires perform similarly to snow tires that’re halfway worn out. However, worn snow tires may not be a suitable option for driving on icy or snowy roads.

How Do Snow Tires Differentiate From Other Tires?

Snow tires differ from all-season or rain tires due to their specialized tread. Studded winter tires, such as those in the photo above, feature metal studs embedded in the tread, allowing them to dig into ice and provide superior traction. Thanks to these enhanced treads, studded tires are a go-to choice for navigating snowy and icy conditions.

winter tires without studs

Winter driving requires specialized tires to ensure safe navigation on snowy and icy roads. Snow tires, unlike all-season or rain tires, have a deeper tread to provide better road grip. The rubber remains soft and flexible even in freezing temperatures, ensuring optimal performance.

Studless snow or winter tires, such as the ones shown in the image, are specifically designed for cold, icy, and snowy conditions. While driving in harsh weather conditions can be challenging, affordable options tailored to match your specific driving needs are available.

Tire selection is crucial when it comes to safe driving in winter weather. What’s your preferred type of snow tire? Share with us the kind you use and why it’s your favorite!

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