Best All-Season Tires: Stay Safely on the Road Year-Round
Gain better control and traction in all types of weather with these high-quality, all-season tires.
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON July 29, 2021
Built to handle whatever the road brings your way, all-season tires optimize your traction on slick surfaces. The tread depth and the overall design of all-season tires enables them to keep you firmly on the road in all conditions. From preventing hydroplaning during a rainstorm to keeping you secure when traveling dusty backroads to negotiating snow flurries, every vehicle needs a set of all-seasons. But not all-season tires are made alike.
There are slight differences in rubber density and subtle tweaks in tread design that make each tire unique. To keep your passengers (and yourself) safe on the road, you’ve got to track down the best all-season tires out there. We’ve broken down some of the leading options in performance and durability.
This is a durable all-season tire light for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. They are designed with Michelin’s Evertread compound, enabling them to last up to 10 percent longer and are M/S rated for mud and snow.
- Stops quickly on wet surfaces
- MaxTouch design to up fuel efficiency
- Includes specialized tread structure complete with dense build to enhance performance
- Somewhat rigid
- Lack forgiveness when you hit a pothole or a bump in the road
- Vulnerable to extreme heat and cold
- Not sufficient for winter driving
These highly responsive tires are rated to travel at high speeds and remain durable throughout. Working well in all environments, these are a standard replacement for many sedans and regular-sized vans.
- Incorporate Tri-Plex tread treatment that prevents puncture risks
- Able to travel long distances without showing much wear
- Works even if there is snow on the ground
- Relatively heavy and can impact fuel mileage
- Air pressure alters quickly if exposed to drastic temperatures
- Tire density and toughness varies based on heat
With a well-textured design and strong material, these P4 all-season tires work in all types of environments. They are built to balance well and remain high-functioning in all kinds of climates.
- Have a T speed rating and can safely travel on all types of roads
- Size: 205/55R16 is fairly common
- Deep treads won’t wear down prematurely
- Can puncture when continually exposed to gravel roads
- Deep treads can trap matter from road and compromise tires
- Balance changes quickly if not rotated regularly
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Benefits of All-Season Tires
- Better overall driving safety: Getting the right pair of all-season tires improves your friction coefficient with the ground you’re driving on. This helps you move more steadily and retain better control over the vehicle. Regardless of the terrain, this makes driving much safer.
- Increased traction: This type of tire is built to enable you to travel during heavy rain without hydroplaning. Whether the road is icy, wet, or gravelly, these multipurpose tires keep a grip on the ground—it also helps slow the process of wear and tear.
- Useful year-round: Barring extreme circumstances (and assuming you rotate them properly), you can get a lot of use out of your all-season tires. Equipped with a way to read tread depth, you can drive on these tires in any season and for quite some time.
- Help increase fuel efficiency: Because these tires are well-balanced, evenly structured, and improve the control of the vehicle, you don’t waste any fuel during travel. This is not only useful for the environment, but it’s also helpful for the pocketbook.
- Improved performance. All-season tires are designed to make your journey through rain, water, or slick streets much smoother. Their tread is designed to last longer, meaning you will get more miles out of them and better grip and function, improving your fuel economy and braking ability.
A huge name in the tire industry, Michelin has its roots in France. Dedicated to crafting high-quality tires for all types of vehicles, it remains one of the leading purveyors of top-grade tires. Meant to improve overall safety and fuel efficiency, its tires are a staple worldwide.
This American brand is known for its automotive supplies (and its iconic blimp). Dating back to the late 19th century, this brand evolved into one of the top suppliers of tires on the international market. To this day, it crafts high-traction tires for all situations, an excellent example of which is the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max All-Season Radial Tire.
Based in Tennessee, this company came to be at the turn of the 20th century. Initially a manufacturer of industrial tires and supplies, it continued to produce quality products. This led the brand to be chosen as the go-to factory for Ford Motors. The root of its namesake lies in its crafting side-wire tires for firetrucks as one of its original products. Popular to this day, one of its top selections is the Firestone Destination LE2 SUV Tire.
Opening its doors in 1941 in South Korea, this tire designer focuses on variety. It manufactures supplies for all types of vehicles, ranging from compact cars to long-haul trucks. Among its other supplies are automotive parts such as brake pads and wheel parts. Its Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 All-Season Tire is one of its leading products.
All-Season Tires Pricing
- $50 to $100: Here, you will find all-season tires that work well on both dry and wet surfaces. However, they won’t have as much traction on snow or extreme winter conditions. They will still improve your fuel economy and traction control.
- $100 and up: This price range will contain more products from name-brand manufacturers. They will also come with an improved tread that enhances the grip, traction, and durability of your ride. They might also be a little quieter on the road, and their tread life will be more long-lasting.
There are tires manufactured for every vehicle size (and there are usually a few options). To find the proper size, check your owner's manual or consult an online size checker where you can search a database. You can also take a look at the sidewall on a tire (provided it's OEM).
Read the markings as follows: First is a letter representing the type of car (P for passenger, etc.). Next is the width in millimeters. Behind the forward slash is the height, calculated as a percent of the width, followed by a letter noting the construction (R for radial layer lines, etc.). The final number is the wheel's diameter in inches: a sample tire marking is P215/60R15.
There are three types of tread that all-season tires can come with: symmetrical, unidirectional, and asymmetrical. Symmetrical treads will be longer-lasting due to groove patterns. These tires will wear down evenly to ensure you don’t burn through them quickly. Unidirectional tread all-season tires are designed to move in a single direction and are standard on most vehicles. They will need to be rotated more frequently to avoid being worn down more quickly. Asymmetrical patterns are more common on sports cars or muscle cars. That is because they are equipped with a much more durable grip at higher speeds.
The tire load range or capacity measures how many pounds it can carry efficiently. These are represented by letters on the sidewall that range from A through F. You can read it in terms of pressure, where a C-rated tire lies at 50 pounds per square inch and an F-rated tire rings in at 95. The load capacity of the tires must always be higher than what your car weighs. You have to account for the contents of the vehicle in addition to the diminished fuel efficiency resulting from overweighting your tires.
- Shock absorption: Riding around on tires that don’t provide you with a large amount of shock absorption is a great way to damage your vehicle. Tires able to absorb some of the ground’s harshest bumps will last longer and prevent you from being jostled, plus they give you a much smoother ride. The tires will soften each impact if designed correctly, even on a bumpy road.
- Warranty: A lot of tire manufacturers offer warranties against defects and issues with tread. Some even guarantee the tires’ durability based on mileage. Though it won’t stop your tire from wearing down, it can buffer the cost of getting new tires. Be sure to keep records of your maintenance to get the value of the agreement.
- Durability: One good way to think about durability is to consult the warranty and see the maintenance demands. All tires need to be rotated, but if the tread is even and the rubber itself is of a high enough quality, you will get the tire for much longer.
- Sound: Although your tires should absorb shock and buffer it against your car, it isn’t the same as quieter ones. If the air gap in the tread is too substantial, you can end up hearing a pesky wind when you drive. Generally, this diminishes over time, but it can be unpleasant.
- Safety: For those unaware, there is a code all tires must follow called the Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG). It measures the various elements making up the tire, such as treadwear, traction, and resistance to temperatures, to determine the safety of your tires.
Best All-Season Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Know the optimal pressure of your tires and check it regularly. Each time you leave for a lengthy ride, check the pressure on each tire. Sometimes the kick-check trick works, but you can always opt for a tire pressure gauge and get an exact metric. It’s especially important when the weather (or season) changes.
- If you have a tire warranty, be sure to familiarize yourself with its terms and conditions. Keep proof of maintenance to ensure that you can show that you stuck to your end of the bargain.
- Be sure to rotate your tires regularly to avoid issues with the tread wearing down unevenly. Yes, it will wear down eventually, but it doesn’t have to be too soon. To stay on the cautious end, rotate every 6,000 miles—you can get away with every 8,000 miles, but not much more.
- Make sure you check tire tread as you go to keep an eye on tire quality. There are tread depth gauges on the market, or you can assess tread wear with household items like a quarter.
- Stick to the speed rating since tires are built to travel at specific speeds. Look at the sidewall of the vehicle and look at the last letter. You can get a lot of info from these markings if you know how to read tire sizes.
- Watch out for load capacity: avoid blowouts by factoring in the weight of the vehicle and its contents.
Q: Can I use all-season tires in the winter?
A: All-season tires can work for moderate changes in the weather, but anything substantial like ice roads demands a much heavier-duty tread. Winter tires use a different grade of rubber that can hold up to the cold. Use all-seasons when it’s at least reasonably warm.
Q: What do all-season tires mean?
A: All-season tires are models built for use in temperatures greater than seven degrees. Performing best in warm environments, you can use these tires during fall, summer, and spring. The rubber used in construction is meant to pull water and prevent hydroplaning when the weather is warm enough.
Q: How long do all-season tires last?
A: All-season tires stand out in terms of tread durability—most will last up to 70,000 miles with proper rotation and maintenance, while lower-quality models will work for around 50,000 miles. These distances assume that you’re driving reasonably and taking care of the tires themselves. Most warranties assume that you drive 12,000 miles a year. If three-quarters of that are on all-season tires, you should get about six years out of the tires.
Q: What is the difference between all-season and all-terrain tires?
A: All-season tires provide your vehicle with traction on roads all year round. They perform the best on smooth, normal road surfaces, especially in the rain, and are more fuel efficient. All-terrain tires are best off road and are made up of thicker treads and more robust materials to handle nearly any terrain.
Q: How often should I check the tire pressure?
A: Consider checking the tire pressure of each all-season tire once a month or before any major journey. Another time to check them is with any major shift in temperature. A sudden change from intense heat to extreme cold may decrease the maximum pressure in the tires.
Q: How do I check for signs of damage?
A: Look over your tires, and you should be able to spot any signs of wear and tear. Tires that are underinflated will show signs on the outer edges. You may also notice bumps or bubbles on the sidewall, indicating one of the belts may be separated.
Q: Which all-season tires are best in the snow?
A: All-season tires are no match for dedicated snow tires, which are designed for deep snow, ice, and extremely cold temperatures. However, you can drive some all-season tires in light snow or on roads that have been plowed really well. We include several tires in this article that perform adequately in mild winter conditions.
Q: What are the best all-season tires for an SUV?
A: When shopping for all-season tires for your SUV, look for brands that provide good grip and traction on both wet and dry surfaces. The best tires even provide traction in light snow. There are many options available from manufacturers such as Continental, Bridgestone, Michelin, Cooper, Goodyear, BFGoodrich, etc.
Ready to pick out your next all-season tire? Check out the durable and reliable Michelin Defender LTX All-Season Tire for tackling wet conditions. Or, save a bit and opt for the value of the Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire. If you drive a truck, pick up the Nitto Ridge Grappler All-Season Tire.