SNOW TIRES: STUDDED VS. STUDLESSSnow, slush, and ice have an obvious effect on driving conditions. Driving in those elements reduces handling and traction, which can make anyone nervous. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to increase your control of a vehicle even in inclement winter weather. Topping the list is investing in a set of snow tires.
Also known as winter tires, snow tires come in two different types - studded and studless. The difference is studded snow tires have metal studs embedded in the tread that are designed to give your car added traction on ice and snow. Studless snow tires use different rubber compounds than regular tires, which helps with traction when the weather turns cold.
In the past, studded tires were by far the preferred option for winter driving. Advances in technology and rubber compounds, however, have swayed many drivers to the studless snow tire instead. If you are choosing between the two to meet your winter driving needs, here are some things to consider.
Studded Snow Tires
- Feature strong pieces of metal designed to dig into ice and increase traction.
- Produce a noisy ride.
- Can damage pavement, leading to some states outlawing them.
- Not for use during non-winter months.
Studless Snow Tires
- Use unique tread designs, rubber compounds, and sipes to increase traction during winter driving.
- Rubber maintains flexibility even in cold weather, allowing it to conform to road irregularities more easily.
- Deeper tread depth than regular tires, which allows for snow and slush dispersion.
- Sipes help tires bite into ice, aiding acceleration and stopping.
- Legal in all states.
- Not recommended for non-winter driving.