September 9, 2021
Using all-season tires for winter driving is only recommended in warmer parts of Canada, and even then only if they come equipped with the following winter performance features.
Read on to learn what to look for in all-season tires for winter driving, or contact your local TIRECRAFT for personalized tire recommendations.
Look For Sipes When Buying All-Season Tires For Winter
Tire sipes, also called “kerfs,” are small slits in the tread block that increase tread surface area to enhance grip in wet, icy, and snowy conditions.
The effectiveness of proper siping for winter driving is borne out by several studies.
For example, Consumer Reports researchers witnessed the superior stopping power of siping firsthand while testing Michelin all-season tires for winter.
“To see whether siping makes any difference, we tested two performance all-season models, an H-rated Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus and a V-rated Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, with and without siping,” states the Consumer Reports study.
After completing multiple track tests and synthesizing all performance data, the research team found that the siped versions of both all-season tires showed “measurable improvements in snow-traction and ice-braking performance.”
Similarly, in one study for Tire Science and Technology, titled “Effects of the Number of Siping Edges in a Tire Tread Block on Friction Property and Contact with an Icy Road,” researchers found a positive correlation between sipe density and stopping performance, noting “the larger the number of tread sipes in the rubber block, the higher the friction.”
In addition to improving stopping distance, sipes may also extend the lifespan of all-season tires for winter driving, since they “cool” the tire by letting air into the tread, thereby reducing harmful heat build-up.
Need help finding a set of all-season tires for winter with a high sipe density? Contact your local TIRECRAFT for a personalized shortlist of all-season tire recommendations.
Find The Alpine Symbol When Buying All-Season Tires For Winter
The Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake, sometimes known as the alpine symbol, guarantees certain performance minimums on winter roads. Specifically, all-season tires marked with the Alpine symbol undergo the ASTM F 1805 tire test, which measures single-wheel driving traction in a straight line on snow and ice-covered surfaces.
You can find the Alpine symbol on the sidewall of most winter tires, as well as certain all-season tires for winter. Contact your local TIRECRAFT for assistance.
Seek Deep Treads When Buying All-Season Tires For Winter
The tread on your tires is crucial for driving safety and performance, and doubly so come winter! According to Consumer Reports testing, all-season tires start losing traction long before they appear worn out. In fact, when only half of the tread depth remains, snow traction when accelerating falls by 14.5% and wet stopping distances increase by about 7%.
For best results, seek all-season tires with at least 4 mm of tread depth, but the more the merrier!
Find The Best All-Season Tires For Winter: Contact TIRECRAFT
Use the Find a TIRECRAFT tool to start a free consultation with an ASE-certified tire tech and get a free quote on your next set of all-season tires for winter.Back