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The Best Mud Tires For Your Next Trek Into the Wild

Let us guide you through some of the best dirt-kickin’, mud-slingin’, rootin’-tootin’, adventure donuts that money can buy.

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BYJeric Jaleco/ LAST UPDATED ON April 21, 2022

If you enjoy off-roading, you need a good set of tires. The best mud terrain tires have big, chunky tread patterns that allow you to plow through deep mud or snow, and even scramble over some rocks. Our buying guide will help you select the best mudding tires for your truck, Jeep, or SUV.


“Mud tires” just sounds epic to say, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want a set of angry, crush-anything-in-your-path tires to tear up the trails in the nearby backwoods? One of the most versatile species of tires, mud terrain tires, or simply “mud tires,” are a hyper-aggressive breed suited to catering to all your post-apocalyptic overland fantasies. There’s plenty to choose from, so it’s important to make the right decision for you. Fortunately, we can help with that.


Enter The Drive’s buyer’s guide to the best mud tires for your next journey down the roads less traveled. It can be hard to jump on that perfect pick simply browsing the parking lot at your local Bass Pro Shops, but we have you covered. Our blend of personal knowledge, customer feedback, and professional assessments have allowed us to curate this tool to walk you through a crowded and colorful market. So take a peek and happy shopping!

Best Overall

BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3

Summary
A superstar choice beloved by nearly all who’ve put it through its paces. The Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is a resilient and capable warrior while knowing some table manners.
Pros
  • Wonderfully rounded hero
  • Good steering feel and response
  • Admirable on-road refinement
  • Tough-as-nails construction
Cons
  • Ho-hum snow traction
  • Slightly lags behind rivals on wet roads
Best Value

General Grabber X3

Summary
Trading blows with some of the best, the Grabber X3 distinguishes itself with enhanced snow traction and well-rounded performance on all surfaces at a great price.
Pros
  • Strong pricepoint
  • Strong overall off-road performance
  • Class-leading wet traction
  • Decent winter traction
Cons
  • One of the noisier choices
  • Tendency to vibrate with difficulties balancing
  • Somewhat loose steering feel
Honorable Mention

Toyo Open Country M/T

Summary
Another all-around hero, the Open Country M/T sports an aggressive tread with strong performance on and off the pavement. Just tread carefully as seriously deep mud can have it stumped at times.
Pros
  • Reportedly easy to balance
  • Great highway manners
  • Well-rounded off-road performance
  • Reportedly long tread life
Cons
  • More prone to cracking in harsh weather
  • Not the best traction in deep mud
The Best Mud Tires For Your Next Trek Into the Wild

Our Methodology

The Drive will always strive to deliver informative, honest takes but we understand it’s not always feasible to source every tire to test in every condition. That’s why we work hard to pair thorough research with our real-life experiences to deliver concise takes. Beyond that, expert opinions and consumer reviews alike from tire geek encyclopedias such as Tire Rack and Discount Tire continuously expand our knowledge with objective test results and real-world ownership stories. Only tires with extensive reported use across a plethora of conditions will be taken into consideration as we strongly prefer those with a trusted history to one day grace your adventure vehicle. For more details on how we compose our buyer’s guides and product reviews, you can check out this link.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Mud Tire Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Manufacturer: BFGoodrich
  • Recommended Vehicles: light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, full-size SUVs, Jeeps
  • Speed Rating: R

Pros

  • Wonderfully rounded hero
  • Good steering feel and response
  • Admirable on-road refinement
  • Tough-as-nails construction

Cons

  • Ho-hum snow traction
  • Slightly lags behind rivals on wet roads

Arguably the best all-arounder on this list, the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 has consistently proven itself to be a real champion placing top marks on many dream sheets. It’s frequently cited for having a relatively quiet, stable, and comfortable street experience. In the hands of owners, they’ve performed exceedingly well in nearly every environment including sand, mud, and rocks on weekend jaunts and overland excursions. Dense sidewalls greatly resist tearing, a massive plus for consumers who enjoy deflating them down to tank treads and have reported no issues. The Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture works to prevent external hazards from also harming the tire, and the treads are riddled with stone ejectors and “mud-phobic” bars to expel foreign material from the tread blocks. If there are any faults to be had, it could be that wet traction is reportedly good but not great. Cornering grip and hydroplaning resistance trail a few rivals by a smidge. Snow traction is reportedly only OK. These will work in deep, loose snow or a light layer, but many consumer reviews explicitly warn potential buyers to steer clear of ice and hard-packed snow; accounts have ranged from “a little sketchy” to “barely passable.”

Specs

  • Manufacturer: General Tire
  • Recommended Vehicles: light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, full-size SUVs, Jeeps
  • Speed Rating: R

Pros

  • Strong pricepoint
  • Strong overall off-road performance
  • Class-leading wet traction
  • Decent winter traction

Cons

  • One of the noisier choices
  • Tendency to vibrate with difficulties balancing
  • Somewhat loose steering feel

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Toyo Tires
  • Recommended Vehicles: light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, full-size SUVs, Jeeps
  • Speed Rating: R

Pros

  • Reportedly easy to balance
  • Great highway manners
  • Well-rounded off-road performance
  • Reportedly long tread life

Cons

  • More prone to cracking in harsh weather
  • Not the best traction in deep mud
  • Extremely limited sizes

A popular choice for a reason, Toyo’s Open Country M/T stands atop the company’s range as the most aggressive and capable tire in its Open Country lineup without sacrificing too much on the street. Consumers regularly report on its ease of alignment and commendable highway manners. Decent comfort and noticeable yet unobtrusive noise are recurring comments. A big plus for those who frequent trips to the moon and back, tread life is long with many consumers reportedly achieving 50,000 to 70,000 miles. An F-150 owner had even managed to achieve 90,000 (although we always advise monitoring your specific set’s wear and changing accordingly). The tire gods give and the tire gods taketh away, however, and the Open Country’s construction isn’t quite up to snuff with others on this list. A small number have noted a tendency to crack when exposed to harsh weather or direct sun thus contradicting Toyo’s claims of stout build quality with their polyester construction. Ironically, while off-road performance is excellent in everything from sand to snow, the treads reportedly clog up with mud too easily making deep mud bogging a chore.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Firestone
  • Recommended Vehicles: light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, full-size SUVs, Jeeps
  • Speed Rating: R

Pros

  • Stellar value
  • Class-leading winter traction
  • Reportedly long tread life
  • Good steering feel and response

Cons

  • Somewhat firm ride
  • More noticeable road noise
  • Not as refined or grippy on pavement

Standing out amongst the premium brands is Firestone’s Destination M/T2. While not the most refined option on this list, it does come priced a smidge below the General Grabber X3 while delivering long tread life and admirable steering feel and response. Off-road performance is stout like its rivals with reportedly no issues traversing mud, dirt, and even clay in one owner’s experience. What especially shines with the Firestone is its dominant winter test results in the hands of Tire Rack staff with best-in-class acceleration, braking, and handling. One Jeep Cherokee owner described their winter experience as if the snow wasn’t even there. You get what you pay for with such an affordable tire, however, and the Firestone does have some standout drawbacks. It’s noisier than some premium brands’ mud tires and exhibits a slightly firmer ride quality on the pavement. In Tire Rack’s road tests, they noted the overall experience wasn’t as refined and cornering grip trailed the other test subjects.
Best Mud Tire For Smaller Trucks/SUVs
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar
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Specs

  • Manufacturer: Goodyear
  • Recommended Vehicles: mid-size trucks, light-duty trucks, SUVs, Jeeps
  • Speed Rating: R

Pros

  • Broad size range for smaller wheels
  • Stellar off-road abilities especially in mud
  • Strong construction
  • Distinctive looks

Cons

  • Stiff ride
  • Noisier than others

One of the older designs on this list, the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar has continuously satisfied off-road enthusiasts with great performance and a lovably fearsome appearance. The use of kevlar, the same material found in body armor, improves resistance to tearing and puncturing by 35 percent, according to Goodyear. Professionals and consumers alike share in admiration for its performance on many terrains including rocks, sand, and especially mud with owners citing unwavering traction at all times and testers reporting no issues crawling out of deep ruts. Sizing is what sets this tire apart on this list and can range from a girthy 37-inch tire for 20-inch wheels all the way down to an LT235/85/R16. It seems just about perfect if you can withstand a stiff, noisy ride. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern and rock-solid sidewall construction. They’ll make you a hero on the trail, but they won’t fare that well on the highway cruise home. Owners wouldn't call them deal breakers, but just know there are more refined options out there.
Best Mud Tire For Rally-Style Passenger Cars
Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail
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Specs

  • Manufacturer: Falken
  • Recommended Vehicles: compact crossovers, mid-size crossovers, SUVs
  • Speed Rating: R

Pros

  • Best road manners here
  • Commendable off-road traction even for this list
  • Among the lowest-priced options
  • Winter-rated (3PMSF)

Cons

  • Not a true mud bogger
  • Sized mainly for cars, crossovers, and small SUVs

Ain’t this a wildcard category, huh? Marketed at SUVs but incredibly popular with crossovers and wannabe rally cars, Falken’s Wildpeak A/T Trail exudes big off-road vibes in a smaller package. No, you probably won’t conquer Hell’s Gate without a seriously impressive rig, but it’ll surely inspire confidence nearly anywhere you take it. Tire Rack testers lauded the on-road refinement with stellar noise levels and steering precision. It even posted strong objective results when pushed at their track — because that’s totally what you do with lifted Miatas and Safari Porsches. Owners were equally cheering the quiet operation and eager traction on most surfaces including rocks and mud. Most shortcomings are a bit obvious, at least among this crowd. Don’t even bother searching for a set for your Giga Chad-sized truck as these tires don’t cater to them. Exercise caution in the snow as well. While it’s thankfully winter-rated with the three-peak mountain snowflake badge, snow traction is merely adequate for its field. It’ll certainly outgun most traditional mud tires, but don’t expect a true set of winter rubber out of these.

Our Verdict on Mud Tires

And that wraps up our list of apocalypse-ready rubber. The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 scores Best Overall for bulletproof construction, refined road manners, and generally strong off-road abilities. The General Grabber X3 slips in at Best Value for putting up a stiff fight against premium brands plus a little added extra at a relative bargain. Toyo’s Open Country M/T is an Honorable Mention worth considering for its long life, road manners, and proven capabilities. 

What to Consider When Buying Mud Tires

Like any tire focused on specific disciplines, there are plenty of variables that affect how well it carries out the tasks on its to-do list. Nearly all mud tires share a common goal and often fall under a single classification, but some may be friendlier highway cruisers while others can be especially talented in mud or snow. Tread patterns can alter the perceived road noise while bulletproof sidewalls could knock a few fillings out. There are many tidbits to a mud tire that contribute to the overall experience, so here are a few things worth looking into.

Mud Tire Key Features

Tread Pattern

Compared to road tires or all-terrain tires, mud tires will often have the most aggressive and “jagged” designs with large, angular tread blocks spaced relatively far apart. Tread patterns will be formed to properly grab at mud, sand, and rock faces. The void in between will typically be wide and filled with stone and mud ejectors to aid in evacuating foreign material which may otherwise get stuck in the tread. 

The end result is the most focused, highest-performing tire when escorted far from civilization, but be prepared for a symphony of road noise. Mud tires are almost never quiet, and your tread will determine if road noise is a tolerable hum or a raucous howl. Some premium brands do admirable jobs of countering road noise without sacrificing performance, so do your research if you’re interested in a specific model.

Sidewall 

Compared to less focused rubber, mud tires will feature some of the strongest sidewall construction in the industry. They need the Superman-levels of invincibility to accommodate drivers who air down on harsh trails or those who frequently rub rubber with some nasty-looking boulders. 3-ply construction is common, but some models, while less common, may feature more.

An increasingly common trend on off-road tires in general, unique materials such as kevlar may be employed to improve a sidewall’s resistance to damage. The upper region near the shoulder will also sport unique “lugs” extending down from the tread blocks. Referred to as sidewall protection lugs or deflection ribs, these not only assist in traction on loose surfaces but also in repelling external objects that may cause damage.

Sizing

It should be noted that mud tires come sized in two styles of measurements. There is the method most typically associated with passenger car tires which measure the width in millimeters, sidewall in aspect ratio, and wheel diameter in inches (i.e. LT255/65/R17). Then there is the method more commonly used for beefy off-road rubber which measures everything in inches. The total diameter of the tire will be measured in inches as is width and wheel diameter (i.e. 35x10R17LT). The letter before the wheel diameter denotes speed rating, and “LT” stands for “light truck.” 

The alternate method of tire measurement came about to help enthusiasts ensure their measurements were just right for their application. Having simple measurements means that a buyer can take those numbers and ensure that the tire will fit inside the wheel well in both height and width.

Mud Tire Pricing 

Mud tires will often ring the counter at higher price tags due to the technologies employed and the vast amount of material poured into each tire. Models at the lower end of the price spectrum in their smallest sizes will hover around $900 to $1,100 for a set of four or roughly $225 to $275 per tire. At the premium end with beefier fitments, expect to see prices range between $1,300 to over $1,700 for a set. The General Grabber X3, our Best Value pick can be sourced for anywhere between $1,100 to $1,500 when looking at various sizes of 33-inch and 35-inch tires.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Can mud tires be driven in the snow?

A: It depends, but you generally shouldn’t. In fact, mud tires can often be worse in the snow than all-terrains as their thick tread blocks can easily clog with snow. Their tough rubber compounds are susceptible to hardening, and they often lack the siping to evacuate moisture and grab at the snow.

Q: Are mud tires noisy in everyday use?

A: It depends, but you generally shouldn’t. In fact, mud tires can often be worse in the snow than all-terrains as their thick tread blocks can easily clog with snow. Their tough rubber compounds are susceptible to hardening, and they often lack the siping to evacuate moisture and grab at the snow.

Q: How long can mud tires last?

A: Due to their aggressive tread patterns and presumably abusive lifestyles, expect most mud tires to safely last between 30,000 to 50,000 miles, depending on use case and vehicle. More resilient models can go upwards of 50,000 to 70,000 miles, but always monitor your own tires’ wear and change accordingly.

Q: Can I tow or haul with mud tires?

A: Yes, you absolutely can. How much you can is a matter of load range. Which tires are the best? We can’t necessarily say as load range and max air pressure can vary down to the size of tire selected, and figures can fluctuate by hundreds of pounds and tens of PSI within a single range.

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