How to choose winter tires

Vehicle safety and stability on the road in winter the period of time associated with the quality of the tires installed on it in a direct way. The ability to exit the drift on time and not allow it, accelerate on slippery icy roads and quickly reduce speed, stability and stability – all these factors directly depend on how fit the conditions operation tires installed on the car. To feel confident on the winter road, their choice should be pay special attention.

choose winter tires


Read also – the secrets of choosing summer tires for a car.

Top winter tire manufacturers

It’s no secret that the functionality of both summer and winter wheels directly depends on production technology and compliance with all quality standards. Exactly because of this reason choose products from trusted manufacturers with a worldwide by name:

  1. Michelin

  2. Hankook

  3. Amtel

  4. Goodyear

  5. Dunlop

Recently, the quality of domestic manufacturers, as evidenced by numerous reviews buyers using tires for several seasons. Russian “Kama” and “Matador” and the Belarusian “Belshina” represent a very good budget option that copes with the functions assigned to it.

Types of winter tires. Which one to prefer?

Winter tires do not differ from their summer counterparts tread and not even its height. The key difference is chemical composition of the material itself. Every motorist knows that summer tires lose their properties already at a temperature of +7 or lower, and, conversely, during summer operation, the classic winter rubber quickly deteriorates. In simple words winter tires are much softer and more “hooked” than their summer counterpart. Design it so that the wheels do not lose their ductility even at low temperatures when ordinary summer tires turn into “stone” and stop performing the duties assigned to them.

Winter tires differ from summer tires and their appearance. The tread of such models is almost always higher and has directional pattern, better dissecting snow and water. Marked winter tires with a snowflake pattern in a triangle or with the letters M + S (Mud + Snow, mud and snow).

Depending on the functional features, winter tires It is divided into two main types.

Rubber – Velcro

rubber Velcro

Classic winter tires in its traditional sense. It has directional tread pattern, deep grooves, non-clogging snow, pronounced lamellas that contribute to effective braking on any type of coating. Velcro is divided into two main types:

  1. Eurozima, which is often confused with all-weather tires. Soft and plastic rubber, suitable for use in zero temperature and slight frost. It has a developed drainage system grooves, the main purpose – use on wet and dirty road from sand and reagents. Marked with the letters M + S;

  2. Scandinavian winter tires for use in harsh conditions – severe frost, a large amount of snow, icy coating. It has a small tread width and pattern, preventing snow clogging. Soft, good-grip tires providing stability on a snowy and unclean road;


  • Soft;

  • Resistant to salt, reagents and high humidity;

  • A wide variety of models for any type wheels

  • Excellent braking performance;

  • Provides good grip on snow and wet roads;


  • Not able to brake effectively on ice and icy the road;

  • On dry asphalt they make a lot of noise;

Studded winter tires

Studded winter tires

The appearance of these tires is similar to Velcro, the difference lies in a large number of metal spikes strewn on the surface tread. During braking, they bite into the ice, providing its effectiveness. Studded rubber is used exclusively on icy and snowy road, it should be preferred by residents those regions in which road cleaning is not given enough attention. The use of studded tires on clean asphalt threatens its quick failure – the thorns very quickly crumble, why such rubber turns into a “flypaper”, and far from the best features.


  • Effective braking on ice and a snowy road;

  • Suitable for residents of the northern regions and those places where roads prefer not to clean;


  • High noise;

  • Poorly suited for use on clean asphalt;

The main criteria for choosing winter tires

criteria for choosing winter tires

Characteristics that directly affect operational characteristics of the wheels, a great many.

Tire size

Put the first winter tires on the car do not will work out. Manufacturer recommendations must be considered. a vehicle regarding the technical features of wheels suitable for operation. Otherwise, the car will eat rubber – and this is only the lesser of evils. Pay attention to:

  1. Wheel diameter Matched to the specific size of your drives a car. Measured in inches;

  2. The width of the rubber. It is measured in millimeters, the choice should be given manufacturer recommended models a car;

  3. Tire height is measured as a percentage of width wheels and is indicated on the side of the tire. For example, the inscription 225 \ 45 \ R17 states that the tire diameter is 17 inches, width – 225 millimeters, and its height is 45% of the width;

Type of construction of the air chamber

  1. Depending on this parameter, all tires are divided into three categories:

  2. Chamber tires. Models known since the USSR. Tire here represents only the outer shell inside which is located thin-walled air chamber;

  3. Tubeless tires. Modern models, tightly fixed due to its design on the disc;

Tires made using RunFlat technology. Special case tubeless tires, not afraid of punctures. Thanks to reinforced side cord, allow you to move up to 50-60 kilometers from at a speed of not more than 70 kilometers per hour, even on a punched wheel. It’s hardly possible to move freely on an empty tire, but you can easily reach the nearest tire fitting.

Tread pattern

  1. Symmetrical tread pattern is good for use on snow-covered coating, very well proved to be on clean ice. FROM successfully used in everyday urban operation in countries with cold winters;

  2. The directional pattern has a pronounced taper over direction of travel as well as the inscription “Rotation” indicating tire rotation directions. Considered one of the best options. for use in wet weather, as well as on difficult surfaces, when there is dirt, sleet and slush on the pavement.

  3. Asymmetric pattern shows excellent results with normal urban operation where roads are cleaned. It has diverse pattern, the left side of which is different from the right. Asymmetric tires are marked with the words “inside” and “outside”, denoting, respectively, the inner and outer side tire installation.

date of manufacture

Like any other material, rubber is prone to aging. At improper storage it cakes and is covered by numerous microcracks and other artifacts. Even if the tire is new and not exploited before, use it is very dangerous – no one Doesn’t know how such a wheel will behave in an extreme situation. For this reason, the choice should be given exclusively “fresh” wheels, from the moment of release of which no more than 1-2 have passed years old. It is for this reason that in many European countries the “old” 3-4 year old tires cost 40-50% cheaper than fresher analogues.

Determining the date of release of rubber is simple – you just need find oval markings with four numbers engraved inside. For example, the numbers 1112 will indicate that a particular the tire was made in November 2012 and is currently heavily outdated.

Features of the choice of studded tires

The best studded rubber shows itself on a clean ice, snow covered and snow-covered ice, as well as on rolled snow roads, on which spikes in braking during braking literally bite into the surface.

  1. The geometric parameters of a particular wheel should be selected, based on the design and size of the disks that will be installation as well as taking into account recommendations vehicle manufacturer;

  2. The age of the wheels should not be older than 2-3 years from the moment of its manufacturing;

  3. Design – classic “tubeless” or RunFlat tires

  4. The tread must be symmetrical or directional;


It should be remembered that the operation of such rubber on clean and dry on the pavement is fraught with a quick loss of spikes, as a result of which such wheels turn into the most ordinary “Velcro”, and far from ideal quality.

Features of choosing Velcro rubber

Velcro is the exact opposite of a spike. Shows best results on dry surfaces, as well as wet and dirty coating. Recommended for use with near-zero temperature.

  1. The geometric parameters of rubber are selected based on technical features of specific wheels and recommendations of the plant – vehicle manufacturer;

  2. Rubber should be “fresh”, its release date should not be older than 2-3 years;

  3. The type of tread is selected individually. Symmetrical tread widely used on a snowy road, asymmetrical ideal for clean asphalt. A directional pattern dissects the dirt well and snow porridge;

  4. Manufacturing technology – tubeless or RunFlat;

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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