Performance Snow Tires: What to Know
A cold front is in the forecast, with no telling when it’ll end. Do you need to stow away your sports car? Whether it’s your daily driver or weekend warrior, high performance snow tires can make a world of difference no matter what drive-type your vehicle is.
While the first snow of the year means garaging the convertible or coupe for many people, high performance winter/snow tires are designed specifically to be able to handle the power of performance vehicles in freezing temperatures where summer and performance tires are not only compromised, but can actually be unsafe to drive on.
For those of us who daily drive cars like the Mustang, Camaro or Challenger, these tires can minimize the winter woes and worries on your commute while maximizing grip and braking performance. They’re ideal for those who don’t have a second vehicle to drive when it’s ugly out.
And for those of you with AWD performance vehicles, especially premium luxury import sedans or rally-inspired rides like the Subaru WRX, you can keep your foot on the accelerator with more confidence than ever when you put dedicated performance snow/winter tires on your ride.
Advantages of performance snow/winter tires
The first distinct advantage these specialized tires offer is that they effectively negate the need to purchase a separate set of winter wheels (unless you want to keep the finish of your OE or aftermarket wheels free of corrosives such as road salt). Winter tire changeovers are a snap at our locations, many of which offer winter and summer tire storage.*
While the upfront cost of performance snow tires might stop a lot of people in their tracks, the benefit of having grip, acceleration and braking power all designed specifically to support the kind of performance that sports car drivers demand -- no matter the season -- overwhelmingly supports investing in performance winter/snow tires.
Some of the more implicit benefits of equipping your sports car with a set of performance snow tires include:
- Extending the life of both your winter tires and any high performance summer or all-season tires you’d normally be driving when the seasons change.
- Potential increases in vehicle resale value, especially when bundled with steel winter wheels that will protect the finish on your stock or aftermarket wheels.
- The peace of mind that you have the right tire on the road, no matter what the weather throws in front of you.
But how do performance snow/winter tires stack up with high and ultra-high performance all-season tires?
It should be no surprise that all-season tires of any variety are going to perform (and ride) better in warm and dry environments – but where these two tire types really distinguish themselves is when there’s snow on the ground.
While many high and ultra-high performance all-season tires come with mud + snow denotations on their sidewall, they’re generally only capable in light snow flurries and temperatures above or around freezing.
High-performance winter tires are specifically designed for daily operation in snow, ice, slush and freezing rain – something that high performance all-season tires simply are not.
Because the rubber compounds and tread designs of high performance winter/snow tires are designed to be more flexible in cold temperatures, you’ll still have more grip when you run dedicated winter tires than you would on even the best all-season tires. Additional tire sipes engineered specifically to maximize grip in icy situations give performance snow tires even more of an edge when rain turns to snow.
Testing and consumer testimony consistently show that even the worst dedicated performance winter tires are better than the best all-season tires in winter conditions.
The best way to look at it is: if you’re caught in a surprise storm or live in a part of the country that has unpredictable weather, high performance all-season tires should be able to get you where you need to go if used with caution.
But if nasty winter weather is a part of your commute for all or even part of the late fall, winter and early spring seasons, high performance snow tires are your ticket to getting you and your pride and joy back home safely on a daily basis.
Where to buy performance snow/winter tires
Visit one of our locations or order online to find the perfect performance snow tires for your machine, and find other topics on snow tires and winter driving here:
- Tires with the Mountain Snowflake Symbol
- Studded Winter Tires vs. Tire Chains
- Tires Below 45 Degrees
- Winter Tire FAQs
- All-Season vs. Summer vs. Winter Tires
- Winter Wheels
- Winter Driving Tips
- Wet Weather Driving Tips
- Tire Air Pressure and Temperature Change
Stop by your local America's Tire and we'll get you taken care of!