Best Wet Weather Tires: Wheels That Make the Drive Safer in the Rain
These are the best tires to depend on while heading out in the rain
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
When you drive frequently through the rain, the right set of tires will not only deliver a better driving experience but also enhance safety. While you can’t avoid the rain, you can invest in the right set of tires for better wet-surface traction. The special external grooves and the right rubber compounds make these tires ideal for tackling rainy weather. This guide will help you find the best wet weather tires available.
These tires offer impressive dry and wet weather performance The enhanced tread design provides good traction in the rain. The unique sound suppression technology delivers a quiet ride.
- Silica compound used in the tire reduces vibrations and adds to the comfort factor
- Low surface abrasion technology increases the tread lifespan
- Cold weather performance is not impressive
- Tires are not available in all sizes
These tires provide a good ride quality. Four circumferential grooves and a unique V-tread pattern enhances traction in the rain. The special carbon compound makes the tires last longer.
- Higher levels of silica in the tire provide better traction
- Offers good steering response
- Road noise is also kept under control
- Tire is not suited for rough winter weather
- Not ideal for drivers looking for top-class handling performance
These tires come with an asymmetric tread pattern to prevent hydroplaning. The special Helio technology provides superior traction over asphalt and concrete surfaces. It also improves tread life.
- Tire provides better cornering grip and high-speed stability
- Big rain grooves and 3D sipes help prevent hydroplaning
- Offer good performance in light snow conditions
- Ride comfort is not the best
- Comes with complicated warranty information
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Wet Weather Tires
- Traction. Tires that are specially made for wet weather have to channel in the rubber to better direct the water or snow away from the tire. This increases the amount of rubber that comes into contact with the road and thereby gives you better traction.
- Handling. When your tires have a better grip on the road, you will have better handling. This will enable you to react faster in the event of an emergency or when you need to avoid an obstacle.
- Fuel efficiency. Your fuel efficiency can suffer when you don’t use the right tires for the conditions you’re driving in. Summer and winter wet weather tires have different compounds for the extreme temperatures.
Types of Wet Weather Tires
These tires are optimized for performance during warmer weather conditions. They’ll grip the road during wet and dry conditions. You’ll see more solid contact patches and larger circumferential grooves.
These tires are going to give you decent handling and a comfortable ride throughout the seasons. Think of them as the do-it-all tire. They won’t outperform summer tires in rain or winter tires in the snow, but you’ll get reliable performance. They’ll have circumferential grooves and an asymmetrical tread pattern.
If you live in frigid conditions, then you’ll want to look at winter tires. These tires work best when temperatures fall below 45 degrees. They’ll have deep circumferential grooves to channel slush away and heavy siping to expel snow. You’ll see that these tires come studded or not studded. Studs provide better traction but increase noise and reduce comfort.
Founded in 1898, Goodyear is one of the leading tire manufacturers in the United States and the world. The company is based out of Akron, Ohio. It owns two other tire brands: Dunlop and Kelly. The Goodyear Eagle RS-A All-Season Radial Tire is a perfect example of why Goodyear is one of the most trusted tire companies on the market.
Founded in 1870 as a rubber company, it has grown to be one of the most well-known names in tires. In 1988, Michelin acquired the business and now markets the tires. The BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Performance Radial Tire performs well in wet conditions.
Founded in 1891, Michelin is a global tire manufacturer based in Greenville, S.C. It’s credited with being the first to introduce the radial tire. It has continued to focus on innovation and development. The Michelin Premier A/S All-Season Radial Tire will perform well in wet weather.
As one of the biggest tire manufacturers in the world, Bridgestone is dedicated to producing quality tires. The company headquarters are located in Tokyo, but the American operations are based out of Nashville, Tennessee. If you’re looking for wet weather tires, the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza All-Season Tire will perform well.
Cooper has made a name for itself by being an independent tire manufacturer with roots going back to the early 20th century. Its smaller size puts it in the top 10 manufacturers in the world. From its headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, it markets the Cooper, Avon, Starfire, and Mastercraft brands. The Cooper Zeon RS3-S Summer Radial Tire is perfect for driving in the hot, rainy summers.
Founded in 1888, Dunlop is owned and marketed by Goodyear. It focuses on producing quality tires that can deliver performance to drivers and riders. The Dunlop Direzza DZ102 225/40R18 Tire can perform well in the wettest of conditions.
While Continental may not be as large as other brands on this list, it’s known as the highest quality. Based in Germany, it also manufactures braking systems and other vehicle components. The Continental ContiSportContact 5 Summer Performance Tire will give you traction and superior handling in wet weather.
Wet Weather Tires Pricing
- Under $100: These are cheap tires and will use rubber compounds that break down quickly. Don’t expect these tires to perform in extreme weather or last a long time.
- $100 to $200: The majority of tires fall within this range. The price will vary based on the tire’s brand, size, and rubber compound. This is a decent price range for your daily driver.
- $200 and up: These are typically high end and specialty tires. You’ll find tires in this range designed for extreme climates or specific purposes.
These are the main grooves that wrap longways around the tire. Their main function is to channel water away from the tire. The next time you drive in the rain, look at the rear tires of the car in front of you. If you see water radiating off of them, that’s circumferential grooves at work. Look for tires that have larger or more numerous grooves to channel more water away from the tire and increase your traction.
Not all tires use the same rubber compound. Summer or wet weather tires tend to use a softer rubber compound to create a better grip with the road. All-season tires will have a slightly harder rubber so they can function across several different driving conditions. Keep in mind that while softer rubber performs better, it also wears away faster.
This is the part of the tire that touches the road at any given time. Wet weather tires will have narrower contact patches than other types of tires to reduce your risk of hydroplaning. This is when your tires lose contact with the road, and there’s a layer of water that causes you to lose control of your car.
- Size. You need to buy the right-sized tire so that it will fit on your wheels. Too small and it won’t fit over the wheel rim. Too large, and it’ll be prone to slipping off. Look at the code printed on the sidewall of your current tires to know what size to buy.
- Speed Rating. The speed rating is a letter in the code printed on the tire. It’s the maximum speed the tire can handle while bearing a load. It is not telling you how fast you should drive. This is a safety rating. The rating is a letter that stands for a speed range.
- Tread Wear. This is a government-required rating that indicates how a tire’s tread is expected to wear away. The higher the number, the better the rating. A tire with a 300 grade will wear away three times better than one with a 100 grade. Keep in mind that they’re assigned by the tire manufacturers and not an independent third party.
Best Wet Weather Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Summer tires are the best choice for wet conditions, but they get stiff in freezing temperatures and offer less traction. For cold and wet climates, all-season tires are a better choice.
- Tires with circumferential grooves will effectively channel the water away from the surface and offer better traction in rain. They will also prevent hydroplaning.
- Tires are generally specified for use in cars, SUVs, or trucks. Check the recommended vehicle type and the maximum weight limit of the tire before purchase.
Q: Do wet weather tires lose traction with use?
They do wear out with time and deliver less traction. If your location receives heavy rain throughout the year, it is best to change the tires before the recommended period to stay safe.
Q: What tire should I choose for driving through rain and snow?
For freezing conditions with wet snow, all-season tires are a good choice. In heavy snowfall, specially designed winter tires provide the best traction.
Q: Is it necessary to drive slowly in the rain?
Even with the best tires, heavy rain will reduce your vehicle’s traction, and stopping distances will be longer. Losing grip on the road can happen instantaneously in such situations. To be on the safe side, it is best to drive at lower speeds in the rain.
We have chosen the General Altimax Radial Tire as the best option for wet weather tires. They offer a unique tread design along with fast braking and acceleration capabilities.
For a good balance of price and quality, you can use the Hankook Ventus All-Season Radial Tire.