LAST UPDATED: July 27th, 2020
Have you seen the “winter is coming” memes online? No kidding, it’s time to brace yourself.
While the snow will hopefully not be as heavy as what we saw in Game of Thrones, it will undoubtedly be wise to get yourself a good set of winter tires.
Your truck is only as good as its tires. During vicious winter, not even your all-wheel-drive can plow through heavy snow if it lacks tires that provide proper traction, improved braking, and excellent stability.
Our work here is to make it easier for you to find the truck tires for snow. This guide will ensure you don’t get lost in the jungles of models and brands in the market.
Dive right in!
Best Truck Tires for Snow Reviews 2020
Gliding across frozen grounds is not as easy as just getting strapped and hitting the road simply because you have winter tires.
If you want more traction, better braking, and generally safer driving, check out these models.
Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Studable-Winter Radial Tire – 225/65R17 102S
Let’s dive in and review some facts about the Firestone Winterforce 2 UV. This is one of the most recent editions of studdable winter tires from the brand.
It is built for CUVs, SUVs, and pickups. Among the key reasons why the sales of this model are rocket high is because it delivers excellent traction and handling on deep snow, icy grounds as well as dry and wet terrain.
This is the best tire for snow and ice, and it even features the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol.
The directional tread pattern is made from an advanced cold-weather rubber tread compound that gets a powerful grip on the road even when the temperatures fall below zero.
Other features that help to improve the traction on ice and snow include the full-depth, high density siping technology, and open shoulder slots that have wide lateral grooves.
These features help to prevent hydroplaning and also improve the braking and acceleration abilities of your vehicle.
This is a studdable S-speed rating tire so you can use TSMI #11 silver-colored metallic winter studs if you need more traction during vicious winter.
It is also worth mentioning that this is one of the sturdiest winter tires in its class that features dual steel belts and a sturdy polyester casing for increased durability.
Toyo Observe GSi-5 Winter Performance Studless Tire 107H 2555019
Even though Toyo is currently not as popular as Firestone or even BFGoodrich, it is slowly growing into a household name thanks to its top-rated line of tires.
The Observe GSi-5 is optimized to perform exceptionally on deep snow and extremely icy conditions.
This tire has a design that favors heavy trucks because of its heavy-duty construction.
One of the best features of this model is the Multi-Wave Siping technology, also known as 3D Self-Locking Siping technology.
There are shallow sipes with square patterns that improve a multi-directional grip to allow the tire to break into the snow.
The tread remains flexible enough for the sipes to be activated without inducing a tread squirm on dry pavement.
There are also large, sawtooth tread edges along the blocks to ensure you get a good grip on the ground as you go deeper into the snow.
These tires feature a silica enhanced rubber compound that further improves the grip on ice for safer driving during vicious winters.
If you want to enhance your driving safety during the winter, this is a model we highly recommend. It is engineered to perform optimally, even in extremely low temperatures.
This model has the snowflake symbol because its advanced tread compound enhances braking, traction, and grip for excellent service during severe snow.
Unfortunately, you have to switch back to your old tires once the warm weather sets in.
These tires are not built for comfortable on-road use, and the noise on paved surfaces can be a little too much.
The overall feedback of the tire is even so positive, and this means folks are getting good value for their money.
Related Guide: Best Snow All Terrain Tires
Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Snow Radial Tire-265/70R16 112S
As we mentioned earlier, the Winterforce 2 UV is Firestone’s latest edition of studdable winter tires.
This line of tires is available in a selection of sizes, ranging from 15-18 inches. Again, this model is engineered to be a perfect fit for the majority of trucks, SUVs, and CUVs.
You can expect exceptional traction and handling when cruising over surfaces that are covered with snow, ice, or water.
These are reliable winter tires that have a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake emblem because they can ensure your safety when driving through areas with black ice or thick snow.
What makes this tire option super effective is its advanced cold-weather rubber tread compound.
It provides a sturdy grip on the ground and remains effective even in subzero environments. This tread compound ensures improved traction, handling, and braking.
It also helps in making your ride more stable, quiet, and comfortable, which is not common with most winter tires, especially those with aggressive treads.
Other superb features include the deep sipes around the tread blocks, open shoulder blocks, and extra-wide lateral grooves for increased traction on winter terrain.
You can expect these features to enhance braking, cornering, and the acceleration abilities of your vehicle.
This tire has two steel belts and a polyester casing for added strength. However, it is not the most durable model, mainly if frequently used on dry, warm roads.
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT Winter Radial Tire – 215/60R16 95T
Investing in any model from Goodyear’s Ultra Grip lineup is never a bad idea.
The Ultra Grip Ice WRT Radial Tire in specific is an excellent model with hard directional tread design for reliable traction and handling during rough winter conditions.
This is just the tire you need for your minivan, pickup truck, or crossover.
Its tread compound, as well as the pattern of the treads, provide reliable traction on ice and snow even in subzero conditions.
This tire also features sweeping grooves that get rid of water and slush from beneath the treads for maximum hydroplaning resistance and improved handling.
When gauging how a winter tire performs, one of the things we take into consideration is the braking and acceleration performance.
Well, this tire does an exceptional job, and this is why it ranks high amid other winter tires in the class.
There are 2-D sipes at the center that ensure effortless braking and smooth starting performance on ice and snow.
The 3-D TreadLock Technology blades, on the other hand, not only improve traction but also lock together along the outer shoulder for a sturdy grip when turning and cornering.
Just like most models from Goodyear, this one too has dual steel belts with nylon reinforcement for better durability and exceptional performance even at maximum speed.
Then again, the polyester cord body boosts ride comfort on paved roads and promotes uniform treadwear.
Related Guide: Tires for F150 20 Inch
Cooper Discoverer True North Studless-Winter Radial Tire – 235/60R17 102T
The Cooper Discoverer True North is engineered to deliver optimal handling, stability, and traction through all types of harsh winter conditions.
It is developed using a tread compound that keeps the rubber pliable and flexible even when the temperature drops below zero.
This model assures you of excellent performance and smooth rides at all times. There are numerous technologies infused in this tire to make it one of the truck tires in the snow.
First, it features a high silica compound content as well as wide tread blocks for excellent lateral grip and good dry surface traction.
Additionally, the high void ratio at the center of the treads and the inboard shoulder prevent hydroplaning.
They are also instrumental in ensuring above-average wet performance. This tire ticks all the right boxes, and you can even depend on its durability.
It comes with dual steel belts and a single-ply nylon reinforcement that aids in providing improved handling when driving at high speeds.
The Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol on this model verifies that it meets the required standards of snow traction.
It is conquering it all, whether it is ice, heavy snow, freezing rain, sleet or slush.
In addition to the excellent winter driving capabilities, this model also delivers outstanding touring tire responsiveness.
Why Should You Use Snow Tires?
Snow tires are outstanding feats of engineering. They are designed to control and pump out water, snow, slush, and salt from underneath and in between their treads.
These tires are made from a soft rubber composition that provides an excellent grip on the ground, even when the temperatures are depressingly low.
Let’s take a look at some of the compelling reasons to switch to winter tires once the temperatures begin to drop.
Have you tried using all-season or even summer tires during the winter? Well, the rubber on these tires tends to harden and lose its grip on the road when the temperatures hit 7°C.
This is a recipe for disaster, irrespective of whether you are driving on or off-road.
As we mentioned earlier, the rubber composition of winter tires is softer. It is uniquely formulated to maintain its flexibility even within subzero environments.
Even if the temperatures drop to -30 °C, your tires will still provide reliable traction, better braking, and excellent handling.
The whole idea of switching to winter tires is because they provide better traction on light and heavy snow.
They feature deeper and more aggressive treads that are designed to ensure a powerful bite on the snow or ice.
Furthermore, The tread’s engineering also allows self-cleaning. This prevents snow build-up on the tires and ensures their consistent performance.
Everything and anything makes us panic when driving during vicious winters. We can all agree that the weather impacts driving-visibility, so it’s always best to ensure you can come to a sudden stop when you stomp on your brake pedal.
Regular tires get stiff when the temperatures drop. In case you are driving on a slippery surface, these stiffened tires will slide when you hit the brakes. Although they are capable of stopping, they cannot respond appropriately to emergencies.
Winter tires are, on the other hand, soft, not to mention that they provide excellent traction in the snow. They have an impressive 30% better stopping distance than regular all-season or summer tires.
As your tires move, they produce some level of heat that melts the ice beneath them into water.
Depending on how wet the surface gets, your car can be at risk of sliding out of control if you lack the right tires. Winter tires are designed to be resistant to hydroplaning.
They have ingeniously designed grooves that effectively push the water to the side so that your vehicle remains firmly on the ground.
When compared to the majority of OEM tires, winter tires tend to be skinnier in size. They have a narrower width, and this increases the pounds per square inch of the pressure exerted. In short, these tires can easily cut through the snow instead of floating over it.
Things to Consider Before Buying Truck Tires for Snow
Let’s face it; there is no difference between having your regular tires and switching to a mediocre set of tires.
It remains imperative to ensure you have a quality set that can enhance your safety during vicious winters.
Here is a ‘winter and snow tire 101’ to help you find the best models.
Weight Distribution and Balancing
The ability of your tires to properly distribute weight plays a significant role in dictating their effectiveness during inclement weather conditions. Take it from us; you cannot afford to choose a tire model that has balancing issues.
When weight is evenly distributed, this helps in enhancing the overall stability of your ride because your truck will move as one solid unit.
The risk of losing control on black ice or heavy snow is higher anytime your vehicle is not steady on all fours.
Good winter tires will be flexible enough to bounce back even when driving across a patch of ice.
Soft treads provide more traction on slippery surfaces and maintain consistent performance even after you move to pavement roads.
Studded Vs. Non-Studded
Studded tires have metal studs along with various points in the treads. They provide additional traction, just what you need to dig into heavy snow or thick ice. On the downside, they can damage pavements.
Whether to use studded tires or not – will highly depend on the state of the road you use. In case you use concrete or even asphalt pavements, then it is better to settle for non-studded tires.
As a rule of thumb, you ought to check your tire’s air pressure before hitting the road during winter.
One of the greatest perks snow tires have over all-season tires is their ability to withstand temperature fluctuations better and maintain the air pressure for longer.
How long your snow tires can maintain the correct air pressure will highly depend on their rubber compound.
Every day is a good day to spend a little less on gas. If you want to enjoy more fuel efficiency, choose tires with lesser rolling resistance.
Models with flexible treads are your best bet. In other words, you stand to use lesser fuel if you switch from all-season and summer tires to a quality set of winter tires.
Understanding Winter Tire Design
The science behind the design of winter tires and how they work is quite easy. We will be explaining that shortly, but let’s first get well-acquainted with a few basic terms.
This is the larger part of the rubber that gives your tires a unique pattern and overall design.
The alignment and angling of the treads influence their ability to get a proper grip on the road and pump away water.
Tire sipes are the thin grooves that cut across the tire tread blocks and help in providing better gripping power on snow or wet surfaces.
Tires with sipes are more flexible for a more powerful grip on snow, and cold asphalt. Besides, siping helps in preventing hydroplaning.
The tire compound is the blend of ingredients in the rubber that is used. Any good winter tire will have higher silica content, and this will enable it to remain soft even at lower temperatures.
All-season and summer tires have lower silica content, and this affects their gripping power during winter.
So, winter tires are made from a unique compound that keeps them soft and flexible all through the winter.
These tires also feature sipes within the aggressive tread pattern design. All these features work together to provide improved grip and biting edges as well as better traction, handling, and braking.
Frequently Asked Questions
All-wheel-drive systems provide superior performance, better stability, and enhanced control on slippery terrain.
However, this does not mean they can defy the laws of physics. Without debate, it is a dangerous affair to use your all-wheel drive to go down a snowy hill if you lack the right tires.
Winter tires will also ensure you have improved braking. These tires will provide better traction, ensuring your overall safety, especially during vicious winter.
Some off-road tires have excellent winter capabilities. After all, they have aggressive tread blocks, sipes, and deep voids that help to provide superior traction in snow.
If you want to use your regular off-road tires, at least make sure that they have the “Three Peak Mountain” snow symbol.
Snow tires are uniquely engineered to provide excellent traction even when the temperature drops below zero.
All-season tires are, on the other hand, ideal for traversing through light snow.
When the temperature gets extreme, the rubber loses its flexibility, and this negatively impacts both traction and your car’s grip on the ground.
The ideal time to switch to winter tires is once the temperatures drop to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it is this cold, regular all-season tires lose their effectiveness. To be on the safe side, switch to winter tires well before the first snowfall.
After winter, you will need to uninstall your tires and store them until the next season.
You should give them a good scrub and then wrap them to prevent crucial oils from evaporating. After this, store them in a cool, dry place.
We can all agree that getting stuck in snow sucks. Fortunately, the right set of winter tires will help you glide safely and effortlessly even through black ice and heavy snow.
We spent countless hours testing a decent number of models to unveil the very truck tires for snow.
These are models designed to deliver maximum traction, improved braking, and excellent stability, even in the worst subzero environments.