The harsh winter conditions could take a toll on your car, whether old or new. One of the best ways to stave off accidents and stay safe while hitting the icy roads is to get a good set of winter tires. Specialized winter tires provide better traction in these inclement conditions if you live in a region with frigid temperatures, frequent snow, and storms. Likewise, the best winter tires on Tire Rack do the same, thanks to their advanced tread and rubberized designs. Where even all-season tires fail, winter Tire Rack’s winter tires have excellent reviews from patrons having driven on icy or slippery roads. Plus, these special tires can push the water away and grip the snow better, providing increased safety.
If that wasn’t enough, they also have the ability to navigate through fresh powder, along with handling rainy, cold, and icy conditions. To that end, here are the 6 best winter tires on Tire Rack, all with great reviews.
Table of contents
- Michelin X-Ice Snow/Winter Tire
- Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tire
- Continental Viking Contact 7
- Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra Tire
- General AltiMAX Arctic 12 Tire
- Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Tire
- How To Choose The Best Winter Tires on Tire Rack?
- Why are Blizzak tires so good?
- Are winter tires OK in the rain?
- When should snow tires be put on?
Michelin X-Ice Snow/Winter Tire
The Michelin X-Ice Snow/Winter Tire is one of the best winter tires on Tire Rack. This Michelin tire excels in both ice and snow and is great for the snowy northernmost bits of the U.S. Basically, it’s perfect for all areas that experience freezing temperatures and regular snowfall. Having said that, the tire also stands out for its 40,000-mile warranty. In cold weather conditions, its compound remains flexible and offers enough traction, ensuring you don’t get stuck anywhere in heavy snow. Aside from excellent daily traction and water resistance, the tire also offers a relatively short braking distance, which is a blessing for highway driving.
- Treadwear warranty service up to 40,000 miles.
- Shortest snow braking distance in its class.
- Good waterproofing.
- Good cornering on dry roads and traction on ice.
- Not very comfortable.
Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tire
One of the best Tire Rack tires with good reviews is the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tire. These tires excel in snow handling and traction. Moreover, they’ve outperformed even more expensive rubber in noise levels and wet braking. How great is that? Since these tires come in not-so-standard sizes, they’re marginally less expensive for people who don’t have average-sized cars. Besides all of the above, the tire offers quite a lot of flexible applicability. Thanks to the directional groove designs, the tires also adhere to the road surface, making for reliable companions. Finally, this model has high-density grooves and curing compounds, ensuring superior and short braking.
- Excellent ice performance.
- Great brake-ability.
- Directional groove designs for better traction.
- Not very good dry performance.
Continental Viking Contact 7
The Continental Viking Contact 7 is one of the best winter tires on Tire Rack. This brand’s Contact 7 outperformed in just about every performance test, sometimes even scoring over studded tires. While it’s expensive – costing more than 500 USD for a set of four-section tires, these are the best objective choice when it comes to an extreme winter option. They even ace the noise levels category and remain flexible enough even in freezing temperatures, thanks to the tire compound containing rapeseed oil. So, it moves on the snow safely as well. Add to that the features such as water-resistant open grooves, and the tire performs well on wet roads and offers excellent stability.
- Best snow handling.
- Class-leading traction.
- Excellent handling in ice.
- Poor dry braking performance.
Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra Tire
The Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra Tire outperforms other tires when it comes to dry grip and smoothness. But the most surprising thing about this tire is that it doesn’t make a lot of noise, unlike other winter tires with impressive treads. What’s more, the tire product offers an impressive grip, ensuring that you don’t have any issues while cornering or stopping suddenly or even when you need to accelerate quickly on the ice. Since it has a tread design similar to ice tires, along with special blocks, it can push away slush and fresh snow. Plus, it even has holes for mounting studs, thus improving traction on slippery surfaces. And while it isn’t studded, many more sizes can choose from.
- Increased contact area with the road surface.
- Impressive grip on wet roads.
- Safe acceleration on ice.
- Cozy and quiet.
- Some felt that the driving feeling wasn’t perfect.
General AltiMAX Arctic 12 Tire
The General AltiMAX Arctic 12 Tire is one of the best winter tires on Tire Rack for hydroplaning performance. What’s more, the tire has good wet handling, which some say is even better than all-weather tires. This is thanks to the wide side grooves that drain quickly to combat vitrification. But its best feature is its ability to operate in the winter, given its relatively affordable price of 125 USD. Whether it’s equipped with rivets or not, this tire can brake on the snow and grip the road like no other tire. Additionally, this tire has a pretty solid steering response and center feel even on the harshest terrains.
- Braking on snow is good, even without studs.
- Tires wear evenly and are durable.
- Drain water quickly.
- Affordable price.
- Noisy when driving at high speed.
Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Tire
The Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Tire is one of the absolute best winter tires on Tire Rack, with excellent reviews. This tire is perfect if you’re looking for winter tires for vans and light trucks. Even if you use it without extra studs, the tires have solid handling and have enough traction not to get stuck in heavy snow. It also accomplishes the task quite well on ice, providing enough traction to corner and accelerate safely. After winter, these tires can also be used on wet roads, especially highways. This is due to effective waterproofing, good traction, and a short braking distance. Finally, these tires are very durable as well.
- Safe cornering.
- Short braking distance.
- None, really.
How To Choose The Best Winter Tires on Tire Rack?
Road and driving conditions
Firstly, you need to consider your winter driving conditions. It’s important to consider the typical winter road conditions of where you’ll be driving. This also includes how much you commute across potentially troublesome spots such as sharp turns, steep inclines, etc. Usually, tire companies sell different tires for different situations, so you should know what conditions you’ll be facing. Additionally, you also need to consider the kind of roads you’ll be mostly driving on. Do you drive mainly on highways, city roads, or side roads? If you drive mainly in the city, check tires with a good price-quality ratio. But, if you drive a lot on the highway, then ensure that you invest in high-quality tires.
Types of tires
Next, you need to do your research on winter tires. In recent times, studded tires have been replaced by studless tires. While many states have banned their use, some still allow studded tires, but not with metal studs, but rather with rubber studs. While studded tires can “bite” into the snow, they tend to damage the roadways and don’t perform well in any other winter weather conditions. Studless winter tires, on the other hand, have sharper tire edges, a deeper tread design, and flexible rubber materials that move well through ice and snow.
Besides looking for a tire that matches your needs, you also need to confirm that the said tire is available in an appropriate sizing for your vehicle. That you can find out via your owner’s manual or on the sidewall of your existing tire. Knowing the size is one of the first things you need to know, besides the fact that your summer and winter tires should be the same size. If the tire code reads P225/60 R17, this is should you should read the tire code on your existing tire:
- 225 – This is the width of the tread, which is the tire part that touches the road, in mm.
- 60 – This is the percentage ratio between the tire’s top (sidewall height) and the tread’s width (section width).
- 17 – This indicates the tire’s inner diameter in inches.
Also, invest in an extra set of snow tires and rims. Finally, don’t mount/dismount tires on your current wheels.
You might also want to check out the best Tire Rack tires for road trips.
Why are Blizzak tires so good?
It’s the combination of its lateral and circumferential grooves, which are designed to direct snow, slush, and water away from the contact area. Plus, there are also 3D zigzag sipes that give the tire extra biting edges.
Are winter tires OK in the rain?
Yes, winter tires are usually developed to be softer on cold wet pavements, depending on the grip pattern, of course.
When should snow tires be put on?
While it depends on where you live, it’s usually best to have winter tires already put in when temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius.
Some images on this article are copyrighted by Tire Rack.