Best grip on ice is still achieved with studded tires


When it comes to winter/ snow tires, you have two options. You can use studded or non-studded tires. You can though nowadays also use winter approved all-weather tires, which are hybrid tires of all-season tires and winter tires, that can be used all-year round. They are a very convenient tire for areas that don’t have the long and real winter conditions that some places do. If you do live in an area that has reoccurring real winters, then you use real winter tires for the duration of the period you have snow, ice and slush. 

The original winter tires were studded tires and they have always provided the best grip on ice and hard packed snow. When you have very hard packed snow, the surface becomes similar to ice. The metal studs that are protruding from the tread are able to dig into the ice and thus able to create good grip. If you live in coastal areas or close to large lakes, you might have very icy conditions, where these tires will be superior to the non-studded tires.

Due to constantly evolving tire technology, the non-studded tires have improved over the years. With added cryo crystals into the tread and sipes, they create excellent grip on ice, too. When you drive on snow, both studded and non-studded tires will rely on the tread design to create the grip, they therefore have same grip on snow. 

As the studded tires are not allowed to be used in all states and provinces, they might not be the choice for you, but if they are and you have a lot of icy roads where you live, they might be your best option. They are for sure the safest option on ice. If you do get studded tires, you will have to consider that there might be time restrictions and also travel restrictions as you might not be able to enter other states or provinces. You will therefore need to check this before heading across state lines.

With the smaller difference between the two types of tires, more people are nowadays considering non-studded tires as an option. A lot of these used to only consider the studded tires as real winter/snow tires. However, with the latest test results, there is no reason to doubt their success. If you do live in an area with a lot of icy roads, there might still be an advantage of using studded tires, but it is good that you nowadays have options to the studded tires. Both tire options do require that you change from all-season tires before the weather changes from fall to winter. If you miss to change in time, you should refrain from driving until the snow has melted.

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