Somewhere around 17 percent of accidents happen during the winter, which presents unique hazards. To keep up with the challenging conditions, savvy drivers swap out their all-weather tires for winter tires that provide added traction to keep everyone safer while on the road.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to choose studdable tires, which feature metal studs to provide added traction on ice. Otherwise, look for studless options with tread designed to grip the road surfaces you drive on most frequently.
Best Overall: Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
They may be pricier than some other options out there, but Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 snow tires are extremely popular. The lateral and circumferential grooves help keep slush, snow, and moisture away from the spot where the rubber meets the road. The hydrophilic coating, extra biting edges, and excellent braking makes these the best overall for coupes, compacts, sedans, minivans, and some SUVs.
Best Value: Dunlop Winter Maxx WM01
Proof that performance doesn't have to cost a mint, Dunlop Winter Maxx tires are the company's first foray into winter tires, but they offer the high-performance you'd expect from pricier options. Aggressive treading makes these tires ideal for diving over ice, slush, and snow. The design is also intended to provide good performance in dry but cold conditions.
Best Studdable: Firestone Winterforce 2
If you live in an area that allows studs, consider Firestone Winterforce 2 snow tires. Even if you can't add studs, the full-depth tread, unique compound, and tread design help provide performance you can rely on for your crossover, SUV, or pickup truck for many winters to come.
Best for Quiet Driving: Cooper Discoverer True North
For a quiet ride and improved handling in icy conditions, consider Cooper Discoverer True North tires, which have a high silica content and an impressive ability to dig into ice. They also offer traction on wet and slushy roads, making them a good option for a variety of wintry weather conditions.
Best for Snow and Ice: Continental WinterContact SI
These tires are on the expensive side, but they do come with a 60-day trial and three different warranties. The multi-angled, zigzagging sipes and grooved ridges on Continental WinterContact SI tires work together with a special compound that keeps them flexible in low temperatures for excellent winter handling. The grip and traction remain strong even in snow, slush, and ice.
Best Even Tread Wear: Michelin X-Ice
Michelin's MaxTouch Construction, with contact patch shaping, helps maximize tread life and enhance even wear on Michelin X-Ice tires. They're available in a range of sizes to suit a variety of vehicles. These tires deliver long-lasting winter handling with a design intended to enhance grip and reduce fuel consumption.
Best Versatility: Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice
Consumers love the range of sizes that Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice tires come in, making it a suitable option for many different vehicles. The construction features two types of sipes for extra biting edges and optimal stability and grip in slippery and snowy conditions to keep you from getting stuck on the road.
Best Eco-friendly: Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c
Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c tires are a solid eco-friendly option made with BluEarth branding and high-silica rubber construction. The multi-layered carbon design helps move water away from the surface of the treads. Silica helps enhance contact with the road, even in wet or slick conditions. The tires feature special three-dimensional sipes for improved traction and a wide center rib plus sizable control blocks to provide stability.
Best 3D Siping: Sumitomo Ice Edge
Certified for performance in severe snow, the special engineering of Sumitomo Ice Edge tires is what stands out from the crowd. Three-dimensional siping technology, including a serrated pattern, helps these tires deliver optimal bite and grip on wintry roads. They also feature center tread blacks with triangular shaping to maximize the treads' footprint for optimal handling on a variety of road surfaces.
Best for Occasional Winter Weather: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
If you only have to deal with winter's messy conditions occasionally, but want optimal performance in dry conditions, Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 tires could be the snow tires for you. With an excellent grip on dry pavement that rivals summer tires, along with better handling in winter weather, this is a superb option for those who need a little extra traction just in case.