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Up to 66% Off Tire Clearance

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Up to 66% Off Tire Clearance
Clearance pricing on select in-stock tires only. Prices will show as marked down with a strike through price. Discount eligible tires will be identified on product detail and search result pages. All other tires, fleet and special order tires are excluded from this offer.

Tread Types

Tread Types

What are the differences in tire tread
design and what do they mean?

Tires are designed with different types of tread, each of which is meant for different road conditions and driving styles. There are four different types of tire tread: directional, symmetrical, asymmetrical, and directional/asymmetrical.

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Directional (unidirectional)

Directional tire tread features a large V-shaped pattern with large spaces or grooves between the tread blocks. The grooves improve hydroplaning resistance at high speeds by siphoning water more efficiently through the tread making these tires ideal for performance and ultra-high performance applications. Tires with directional tread are designed to roll in one direction and have an arrow on the sidewall of the tire that shows which way the tires should roll. They are meant to be rotated front-to-back (and vice versa) but not side-to-side because of the directional design. Vehicles equipped with different size tires on the front and rear (staggered), prohibit the ability to rotate directional tires unless they are remounted.


Symmetrical tire tread has the same pattern – continuous grooves and/or independent lugs – across the whole tire. This type of tire is the most common and found on most non-high-performance passenger cars because it is typically quiet and long-lasting. Also, they can be rotated in many different ways, which helps to prolong the life of the tires and makes them more versatile.


Asymmetrical tire tread, most commonly found on sports cars, is a bit of hybrid in that it combines a variety of tread patterns for maximum grip on both wet and dry roads. Usually the inside and middle parts of the tire will be designed for wet and/or winter traction, while the outside of the tire will have large tread blocks for maximum cornering capability on dry surfaces. To ensure that the tires are positioned correctly on the car (to maximize handling capabilities), the sidewalls are marked “outside only” and “inside only.” Many different rotation patterns can be used for tires with asymmetrical tread patterns.


Directional/asymmetrical tire tread is the best of both worlds – it features the V-shaped pattern of the directional tread for discharging water away from the tire and the dry weather traction of the asymmetrical tread. You should follow the same rules as directional tires when it comes to rotation patterns. Vehicles equipped with different size tires on the front and rear (staggered), prohibit the ability to rotate directional/asymmetrical tires unless they are remounted.