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Best Mud Tires: Keep Your Grip While Off-Roading in the Mud, Sand, and More

These top-rated mud tires can get through whatever nature throws at you

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BY Noelle Talmon , Will Byrd / LAST UPDATED ON August 14, 2021

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.

Best Overall
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T
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Summary
Summary

This tire features Z-pattern grooved treads for lateral stability and traction, while stone ejectors protect the treads, reject stones, and clear mud from the tire. The 3D, tapered groove tread provides biting edges for off-road adventures.

Pros
Pros
  • Great on rocks, trails, sand, and mud
  • Three-ply sidewall construction provides an extra layer of puncture resistance
Cons
Cons
  • Will get even noisier as the tread wears down
  • Users say they slip a bit on wet surfaces and can be prone to hydroplaning in certain conditions
Best Overall
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T
Best Value
BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
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Summary
Summary

These tires have deep, self-cleaning independent tread blocks and linear transverse flex zones for combating off-road obstacles. They have aggressive sidewall lugs, and cut- and chip-resistant sidewall compounds.

Pros
Pros
  • All-around tires capable of slinging mud and snow when you need it
  • Perform very well on rocks and gravel and are difficult to puncture
Cons
Cons
  • Can be very noisy on pavement
  • Sidewalls are a little thin
  • May lose traction on wet roads or packed snow
Best Value
BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
Honorable Mention
Falken Wildpeak AT3W
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Summary
Summary

The Falken Wildpeak AT3W is not an inexpensive tire, but it is rugged and built to tackle virtually any terrain. Falken uses a trick heat diffuser technology built into the sidewall. With lower temperatures, the inner structure of the tire gets additional protection against punctures.

Pros
Pros
  • 3D canyon-style sipe delivers additional reinforcement into the treads
  • Features enhanced shoulder blocks which can help reduce the likelihood of wheel or sidewall damage
Cons
Cons
  • May be too aggressive for everyday use; extreme design is not for highway driving on the highway
  • Relatively pricey compared to some of the competition 
Honorable Mention
Falken Wildpeak AT3W

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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.

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Benefits of Mud Tires

  • Off-roading. If you frequently drive over fields, on dirt roads, or through muddy and rocky terrain, you'll need the best mud tires for a successful adventure. Otherwise, you may get stuck and require a tow.
  • Durability. Aggressive mud terrain tires are designed with special tread patterns and compounds as well as reinforced sidewalls. Most mud tires are very strong and can easily navigate surfaces that would incapacitate or destroy other types of tires.
  • Safety. The best mud tires will give you the confidence to safely traverse rough, muddy roads and terrain without fear of damaging your vehicle or getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. They can also increase performance in snowy conditions. 

Types of Mud Tires

Heavy-Duty Mud Tires

Mud tires, also known as mud terrain tires, are built for off-road terrain. Standard truck and SUV tires have some off-road performance ability but are largely designed for use on the street. Off-road tires have an aggressive tread pattern with large tread blocks to grip surfaces that other tires can't. Their significant tread depth creates powerful “biting edges," and they often include embedded mud and stone ejectors. They’re designed for mud and rock crawling, and other tough conditions.

Mud Tires for the Street

While hardcore mud tires dig deep into mushy surfaces to get traction, and are specifically designed for rough surfaces, some brands have all-terrain performance capabilities. This allows them to be used both on and off of the road. If you plan on driving largely on the pavement, consider finding the best mud terrain tire for highway use.

Top Brands

BF Goodrich

Founded by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich in 1870, BF Goodrich is based in Akron, Ohio. It was the first American tire manufacturer to make radial tires. The company has 28 victories at the Baja California competitions and has won the Paris–Dakar Rally 13 times. A popular BFG product in the off-road community is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Radial Tire.

Cooper

Cooper Tires got its start in 1914 in Akron, Ohio. Cooper has a focus on manufacturing quality tires that will perform well and last for thousands of miles. One recommended product is the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Mud Radial Tire.

Falken

A relative newcomer to the market, Falken was founded in 1983 and is owned by the Japanese company Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Falken has a great motorsports history, mostly on pavement, but produces a great line of off-road tires. One popular product is the Falken Wildpeak AT3W.

Firestone

The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1900. Harvey Firestone was friends with Henry Ford, and the company became the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company automobiles. Firestone was sold to the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation in 1988. One popular product is the Firestone Destination M/T2.

Goodyear

Goodyear was founded in 1898 and is one of the world’s largest tire companies with one of the most recognized brand names. It’s based in, you guessed it, Akron, Ohio. One top product is the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Kevlar Radial.

Hankook Tire

The South Koren tire company has its U.S. headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. Established in 1941, Hankook Tire distributes high-performance and ultra-high performance passenger, light truck, SUV, medium truck, and bus tires. One recommended product is the Hankook Dynapro AT-m (RF10).

Milestar

Milestar manufactures passenger, high performance, ultra-high performance, light truck, and commercial medium radial truck tires. The company is based in California and is owned and marketed by Tireco, Inc. which was founded in 1972. One recommended product is the Milestar Patagonia M/T Mud-Terrain Radial Tire.

Nitto

Nitto was founded in 1949 and is based in Cypress, Calif. Its tire sizing, tread patterns, and tire compounds combine modern aesthetics with cutting-edge technology. One popular product is the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T.

Mud Tire Pricing

  • $125 or less: The best mud tire for the money is still going to cost you a few dollars. There are several brands that are available around this price point that can still effectively get your vehicle through mud, snow, and other terrain.
  • $125-$300 (and up): The best mudding tires typically cost a couple of hundred dollars apiece. If you want a tire with long tread wear that can withstand a variety of off-road conditions, expect to spend a little more.

Key Features

Tread Pattern

Mud tires have an aggressive tread design that provides superior grip with large, deep rifts or voids between the tread blocks. Tread thickness can range from six ply up to eight and 10 ply. Tires with deeper ply patterns are more likely to eject mud and stones, which can affect traction. A deep tread also prevents punctures from rocks and other debris.

Sidewalls

To protect the interior of the tire and for better longer term durability, look for a product with the thickest sidewalls possible. You want a tire with a rubber sidewall that's three ply or higher. When you drive through mud and over rocks, sharp objects can puncture the sidewall.

Shoulder Tread

Because mud tires are subjected to a lot of abuse, you’ll need a product with a tread pattern that wraps around the tires to what’s called the “shoulder”. This will enable a wider footprint and give you more grip in tighter situations. Some brands of mud tires have elevated tread on the shoulders for even more control and power.

Clearance

Another important thing you need to determine is whether there's enough clearance between the tire and your vehicle's fender. Vehicles made specifically for off-roading generally have enough space to accommodate larger tires, but if you have a less off-road focused truck or SUV, you may not have enough clearance. Many vehicles have lift kits available through the aftermarket to give you a bi tmore clearance for larger wheels and tires. 

Other Considerations

  • Size: Wider tires have more contact with the ground. Usually, wider is better, but always check to see if they will fit on your existing wheels. If your wheel width only accommodates a 7.5-inch tire, you can’t use one with a 10-inch width. The same holds true for the wheel and tire diameter.
  • Terrain: Decide what type of surface you will be traversing before you purchase popular mud tires. For example, if you plan on driving mostly on dusty trails, you won't need heavy-duty mud tires. They will wear down pretty quickly on pavement, and it will cost you more in the long run.

Best Mud Tire Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T

This tire is geared towards both rugged off-road performance and on-road comfort. Its Z-groove tread provides lateral stability and excellent traction in mud, while stone ejectors help protect the tread, reject stones, and clear mud away. The 3D tapered groove tread provides biting edges for off-road adventures. It also has a reinforced shoulder groove and a deep center sipe to increase traction on wet surfaces.


The Nitto Trail Grapplers are very aggressive both visually and physically. They perform great on rocks, trails, sand, and mud, yet are fairly quiet and smooth on the road. The three-ply sidewall construction provides an extra layer of puncture resistance. In addition, the tires have great traction in the snow even when you're just in two-wheel drive.


One downside is the tires will get noisier as the tread wears down and can produce a high-pitched hum. It's also a struggle to get traction on ice, and these tires can become a little unstable at speeds over 70 mph on the highway. They also slip a bit on wet surfaces and can be prone to hydroplaning.

Best Value
BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2

These tires have deep, self-cleaning independent tread blocks and linear transverse flex zones for combating off-road obstacles. They have aggressive sidewall lugs, cut- and chip-resistant sidewall compounds, and BF Goodrich's TriGard casing (three-ply polyester construction).


These are great tires that perform well in snow and mud. They look just as aggressive as they are. They are good all-around tires that are capable of slinging mud and snow when you need it. They perform very well on rock and gravel and are difficult to puncture, even when airing down to a lower PSI for off-roading and moderate rock crawling.


The biggest problem with these tires is they can be very noisy on the pavement. There have been some complaints that the sidewalls are a little thin and may be damaged on rocky trails. In addition, they tend to become unstable on wet roads or packed snow, a problem common to these types of tires. While they're great for off-roading, they aren’t very comfortable for daily driving.

Honorable Mention
Falken Wildpeak AT3W

The Falken Wildpeak AT3W is not an inexpensive tire, but it is rugged and built to tackle virtually any terrain. Falken uses a trick heat diffuser technology built into the sidewall. With lower temperatures, the inner structure of the tire gets additional protection against punctures. 


The 3D canyon style sipe delivers additional reinforcement features into the Falken’s tire treads. The AT3W features enhanced shoulder blocks which can help reduce the likelihood of wheel or sidewall damage. 


The AT3W may be too aggressive for some uses however, its extreme design is definitely not for long haul driving on the highway. As noted, it’s also relatively pricey compared to some of the competition.

Tips

  • Even the best mud tires can change the way your vehicle drives and handles. For example, really large mud tires can affect the gear ratios, which can in-turn give you inaccurate speed or distance readings.
  • Mud tires can be really noisy on the pavement due to their construction and design. Keep this in mind as they will be much louder than your average road tire.
  • If you want really large mud tires, you may need to increase the height of your vehicle. Tires with larger circumferences may not fit properly, so you could require an aftermarket lift-kit.
  • When you upgrade to a mud tire, you may want to change your wheels too. Larger wheels can better for steering control, but the size of the sidewall may decrease. Smaller rims accommodate tires with larger sidewalls. This increases comfort but may adversely affect handling.
  • Even the best mud terrain tires can't guarantee you won't get stuck. Consider investing in some recovery tools, such as a hitch, winch, recovery board, etc., in case you need assistance in particularly difficult terrain.

FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between mud tires and all-terrain tires?

All-terrain tires can get you through many different types of surfaces, but they aren't the best pick for off-roading. However, they'll work fine if you end up on a dirt road after a heavy rainstorm. Mud tires are specifically designed for off-roading. The tread is large and knobby, enabling you to navigate through rocks, mud, and sand. The sidewalls are also thicker than all-terrain tires to protect against sharp, jagged edges.

Q: Can I use mud tires on the pavement?

You can use mud tires on pavement, but they tend to be very noisy and typically provide a bit of a rough ride. Their specialty is mud terrain, so traveling on a paved road is not particularly comfortable. For the best of both worlds, consider an all-terrain tire instead or, alternatively, a mud tire with a bias toward all-terrain performance features.

Q: Are mud tires good in the snow?

Mud tires function rather well in deep snow, which requires aggressive traction. However, even the best off-road mud tire does not work great on ice. All-weather tires are a better pick for icy roads.

Q: Can I tow with mud tires? 

First, check to see if the mud tires have a high-load range, which appears on the sidewalls. The higher the load range, the better the tire will perform in terms of grip and control when towing heavy loads.

Q: How long will mud tires last?

It depends on the brand and what type of off-roading you plan on doing (and how often you do it). The rougher the terrain, the more quickly the tires will wear. In general, a good-quality mud tire should last about 40,000 miles.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the top mud tires is the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires. They have excellent traction in mud and are aggressive performers on rocks, trails, sand, and mud. They're great for off-road exploring but also comfortable when driving on paved roads.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2.