The Ultimate Tire Buying Guide
June 4, 2020
There are a ton of options for tires on the market. So much so that you can easily lose sight of the tires that you truly need. Some people aren't even aware that there are tires out there specifically designed for certain applications. Well today, we're going to bring you a tire buying guide that will break down each type of tire so you can find the correct one to suit your needs.
1. All Season
We'll start with the most common type of tire, the all-season. These tires are designed to be a jack of all trades in a certain way. It can handle various weather conditions pretty well, generally stays pretty quiet when going down the road, has a decent lifespan, and usually aren't too expensive. This seems to be the type of tire that most people default to when they just need a tire that will get them where they need to go safely. These tires can usually even handle a little bit of snow, but if you live in a place that gets a lot of winter weather and you don't have a vehicle with AWD, there may be better options for you.
If you have a weekend racecar then this is definitely the tire type you want to go for. Competition tires are specifically designed to be used on the racetrack. Most of them use more advanced tire compound to keep the tires cooler and make them stickier. These tires will shave seconds off of your lap time and will be less like to overheat than the other tire types. The tread patterns on these bad boys are usually very aggressive looking which adds to the cool factor of owning competition tires. These are usually not recommended for road use as they tend to lose grip in wet or cold conditions. These tires are meant to be pushed to the limit around the track, not to run to your local grocery store. Could you do it? Absolutely, but keep in mind these tires also wear faster than the other types of tires so we would not recommend throwing competition tires on your daily driver.
Similar to competition tires, performance tires are designed for spirited driving. The difference here is that a performance tire will be slightly more comfortable on your everyday road and will usually be able to handle some light rain. These tires typically have small water evacuation channels to help with practicality. You can run these on a daily driver if you choose but they still wear faster than an all-season tire. They offer great performance on the track or on your local curvy roads while being able to get you home safely if weather conditions permit. They don't perform quite as well in spirited driving as a competition tire but the takeaway is that you get more day-to-day livability out of the performance tire while usually saving a little bit of money.
This one shouldn't be too hard to understand. Winter tires do exactly what their name states, they get you through the snow way better than a standard all-season tire. Typically these tires have sipes that can pick up small pieces of snow which actually helps your car maintain grip. If you live anywhere that gets a decent amount of snow and you haven't tried winter tires yet, we'd highly recommend them. You won't believe the difference in winter traction that you get. It's been said that in some cases, a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive car with winter tires will outperform an all-wheel drive car with all-season tires in the snow. Grab a set and find out for yourself.
Last but not least, we have summer tires. These are designed to have the best possible grip on warm pavement. Most of the time, if you have a fun summer car, you'll end up throwing on a set of summer tires because while they are sportier than an all-season, they aren't quite as aggressive as a performance tire. These make the perfect tires for your summer daily driver or maybe even for your regular daily driver if you swap these tires out for all seasons or winters (depending on where you live) in the colder months.
We hope this helped you understand what tires you need for your car. There are a lot of different options out there under each category so be sure to do your research to find the ones that will work best for you!