Studded Vs. Studless Winter Tires

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Motorists should consider a number of factors when deciding between studded and studless winter tires. Each type has advantages that can affect a decision on which tire to buy.

Studded Tires

  • Studded tires have a series of metal studs built into the tread of the tire. The metal studs are designed to grip into ice as well as dig through snow and slush to the more stable surface underneath; on these surfaces studded tires have an advantage over other styles.

Studless Tires

  • Studless tires are rough tread winter tires that do not use studs. Studless tires use a softer rubber than traditional tires which helps to grip the slick winter road surface. Studless tires also have an open tread design to dig through snow and slush. Studless tires offer better overall performance on a variety of road surfaces.

Other Considerations

  • Car owners should be aware that studded tires are not allowed in all areas. Local laws, and the laws of other areas where motorists commonly travel, should be consulted. In areas where studded tires are allowed, there are generally guidelines for times of the year that the tires can be on the car. Changing tires often may be a consideration.

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