For most of the country, winter's just around the corner. (And for some of you, it's already arrived.) If you generally experience mild winters, you may be able to get by with a set of all-season tires, but if you'll be doing a regular amount of driving on snow-covered roads, experts say you're better off storing the all-seasons for the winter months in favor of a proper set of snow tires. Winter tires employ tread patterns and specialized rubber compounds designed to maximize your car's grip on snow and ice, making winter driving safer. We researched expert and consumer reviews from a wide variety of websites and publications, including Scandinavian ones, to determine which snow tires are best.
The mid-priced Michelin X-Ice Xi2 impresses in nearly every expert test, clinging tenaciously to the harshest ice and snow. On a budget? The General Altimax Arctic is less expensive than the top-rated Michelin and can be studded for maximum ice grip. Even without studs, however, the General Altimax Arctic performs nearly as well as the studless Michelin. If you need to deal with particularly harsh winter weather, and you're allowed to use studded tires (studs are not permitted in all areas, so you'll need to check what the rules are for where you live), the Nokian Hakkapeliiitta 5 gets the nod as the best of its type.
Read more about these best-reviewed snow tires, as well as the top winter performance and truck/SUV tires in our newly-updated report on snow tires.