ATC Blog

Snow Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires: Which Has the Advantage?

Snow Tires vs. Terrain TiresDuring the winter, the Philadelphia, Warminster, and Exton areas experience snow, freezing temperatures, and less-than-ideal road conditions. To safely handle these seasonal hazards, you should equip your vehicle with the proper tires. But which tires are better: all-terrain or snow?

Both types are designed for improved functionality compared with standard tires, but they’re significantly different from each other. Read on to determine which tire type is the better choice for residents driving around Philadelphia, Exton, and Warminster.

All-Terrain Tires

All-terrain tires are designed to be used year-round and provide traction in rough conditions. They’re also designed to be versatile so drivers can be confident when driving on back roads but still experience smooth rides on highways and city streets.

All-terrain tires are also engineered to be strong and dependable when you take your vehicle on uneven roads. They’re more resistant to punctures and cuts than standard tires.

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Snow Tires

Snow tires have squared-off shoulders instead of rounded ones, which allows these tires to really dig into the snow. Deep grooves work to stabilize grip and traction on slippery surfaces. The engineering of these tires also prevents lateral hydroplaning and sliding through the snow.

The rubber compounds in snow tires are designed to remain soft and not tense up in freezing temperatures. This allows your vehicle to grip the road in rough winter conditions.

Snow Tires vs. Terrain TiresAdvantage?

If your everyday drives take you on snowy, icy roads that usually aren’t well plowed, you should equip your vehicle with snow tires. The advantages to snow tires are unbeatable when you need grip, traction, and control in hazardous, snowy road conditions.

But there are some disadvantages to snow tires. Once the weather warms up in the spring, you’ll have to swap your snow tires for a different set since snow tires aren’t ideal in warmer weather. This means you’ll have to deal with the inconvenience of storing the snow tires and reinstalling them on your vehicle for the next winter season. Snow tires also don’t last as long as other tires, so you’ll most likely need to replace them every two years or so.

If you live in the Philadelphia, Exton, or Warminster area and the roads around you are generally dry and sufficiently plowed in the wintertime, all-terrain tires will give you the traction and grip you need. You also won’t have to swap them out when the warmer weather arrives because they’re designed to handle both cold and warm temperatures.

So when it comes down to it, whether to use snow tires or all-terrain tires depends on where you live and the amount of snow you’re likely to get in the winter. For some drivers, snow tires are the best option, but for others, all-terrain tires are more convenient.

No matter which tire type you choose, make sure your car is optimized for winter and can handle any rough road conditions.

If you’re looking for more automotive comparisons, you can download our free e-book: Impreza vs. WRX: Subaru Death Match.

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3 thoughts on “Snow Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires: Which Has the Advantage?

  1. Andy Harrison

    If you live in a climate where it is snowy most of the year, then you are better off getting snow tires. Now for me, I would probably see about getting all-terrain ones since I don’t live in a place where it snows that much. Plus with the all-terrain tires, I’ll be able to use them year-round without any problems.

  2. Alise Harper

    I am looking into getting new tires this fall/winter. My job requires me to drive up a canyon that has the possibility of piling with snow. I like how you mentioned the difference between all-terrain tires and snow tires. I think for the drive for my job it would be safer if I got snow tires. Thanks for the information!

  3. Garrett Pfarr

    I’m really fortunate to live in an area that can really maintain their roads. But it’s amazing how you still need to invest in snow tires just for those 3-4 days in winter.

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