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Best Tires for Rain

Too much of the time, tires just don’t get a lot of thought…but they’re your sole connection between your car and the road. At no time is that connection more important than when wet weather hits. You can argue that most tires are essentially the same…polyester fabric, steel belts, compound of rubber, silica and carbon black…but there’s much more to it than that. Things like tread pattern, tread design and grooves all make a huge difference in wet-weather driving, and can improve your car’s traction and margin of safety. The enemy, of course, is hydroplaning – a film of water between your tread and pavement that can actually break contact with the road and send your car out of control.

An excellent choice for control and traction on wet pavement is the Michelin Pilot Sport A-S +, with aggressive directional tread pattern, two deep grooves at the tire’s center and blocky shoulders. The Pilot Sport A-S + features Michelin’s sipe design for wet performance, while delivering an amazingly smooth ride and grip in any conditions.

The Pirelli Scorpion STR features continuous shoulder ribs and independent tread blocks with wide grooves, helping direct water away from the contact patch. The Scorpion STR is a true high-performance tire that’s designed for wet-weather traction and year-round performance.

If you’re looking for a max performance summer tire, the Kumho Ecsta MX XRP blends wet traction and run-flat technology in a Y-speed-rated tire. The Ecsta features an advanced silica rubber formulation and a directional tread pattern with large blocks for cornering traction. Four wide grooves at the circumference and multiple lateral grooves help fight hydroplaning. Internally, rubber run-flat inserts are molded into the sidewall for rigidity in case of a complete loss of air pressure.

Also designed as a high performance summer tire, the Bridgestone Potenza RE050 is OEM on select Benz sedans and other European imports. The Potenza RE050 uses a high-grip, flexible tread compound developed for summer conditions, with a continuous center rib, chunky tread blocks and stable shoulder elements for crisp handling. The circumferential tread grooves move water away from the tire’s tread patch in wet weather.

An excellent choice for an affordable summer tire is the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110…incorporating Hankook’s High Tg Polymer and Specific Resin (HPSR) tread compound, with a directional tread pattern and Multiple Tread Pattern (MTR) profile with Y-shaped lateral grooves. The continuous center rib and independent intermediate tread blocks mean consistent handling, road feel and braking even in wet road conditions.