Tire maintenance & safety

What you need to know about tire types

Last updated 10/17/2022 - Originally published 9/28/2020
Written by SimpleTire

If you’re purchasing tires for the first time, the process of choosing different tire types might be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of things to take into consideration like tire sizing, type of driving, and the make and model of your car. Think about it; when it comes to athletic shoes, some people value weight over durability, or tread over looks. So what do you value? Traction? Gas mileage? Longevity? Quiet ride? Let’s take a look at some tire types and see if you’re riding on tires that match your car’s capabilities.

Touring Tires

  • Longer Tread Life

For small sport utility vehicles, crossovers, and sedans, touring tires have enhanced compounds to provide longer mileage that helps you haul the family on that coveted summer vacation.

  • Quieter Ride

Touring tires give you the quiet and comfortable ride quality you want with the enhanced performance you need, while also being cost-effective.

  • All-Season Traction

Designed for optimum balance with the look and capability of a performance tire, touring tires provide traction in wet and dry road conditions to keep you safer.

Performance Tires

  • Technology

Performance tires maximize the racing tire technology to enhance the traction and grip of your sports vehicle with stiff sidewalls and large tread blocks, resulting in supreme high-performance handling.

  • Low Profile

A shorter sidewall provides a wider contact patch on the road. This ratio makes for tighter cornering when the rubber meets the road for better traction.

  • Speed Rating

Speed ratings inform you of the maximum speed capability of your tires. This aspect is crucial to your vehicle’s ability to handle cornering with the utmost precision.

Off-Road Tires

  • All-Terrain Traction

Getting a grip. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? All-terrain tires help your off-road vehicle get a grip on everything with the most advanced technology for driving on sand, mud, gravel, or large rocks and boulders.

  • Durability

When driving off road, encountering rough road and hazards is normal and all-terrain tires provide the toughest sidewalls to resist damage that may otherwise leave you stranded.

  • Mountain Snowflake Symbol

Many models feature a literal stamp of approval. Awarded by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, this symbol indicates superior performance capabilities in extreme winter driving conditions.

All-Season Tires

The main benefit of an all-season tire comes down to the tread pattern. The grooves maintain contact with the road when things like rain, mud, and snow start to get in the way.

So you have all-season tires but are you really ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you? There are two situations where your all-season tires just won’t be up to the challenges they’ll face on the road:

  • When they are worn down

When the tire tread wears down 50%, you might not feel like you need new tires. But that also means the tires are only providing 50% of the grip they used to.

  • Freezing Temps & Ice

In cold weather, the rubber compounds in all-season tires harden, making it difficult for the tire to conform to the road surface and truly grip it.

Summer Tires

The soft rubber compounds in summer tires help them adhere to the road for maximum performance in warm weather. What does this mean for you? Enhanced stopping power, crisp handling, and responsive steering that makes you feel more in control.

  • Summer Tires in Rain

On wet roads, the same sticky rubber that maximizes dry grip works just the same on damp pavement, keeping more of the tire’s rubber in contact with the road. But don’t use summer tires in the winter; it’s a very bad idea!

Winter Tires

Winter tires are uniquely designed to deliver high performance, safety, and control in harsh weather. They allow your vehicle to have the ultimate control with the following benefits of winter tire technology:

  • Specialized Rubber Compound

Winter tires stay flexible in temps below 45º, helping them grip the road.

  • Winter-Specific Tread

Aggressive tread designs with deep grooves channel snow for greater stability.

  • Sipes

Thousands of small slits create biting edges to help maintain traction.

  • Proven Performance

The literal stamp of approval from the Rubber Manufacturers Association signifies the highest traction standards in winter weather conditions.

Now that you know about the different tire types and the vehicles they work best with, make sure to visit our other blog to see if it's time for new tires.

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