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All-season vs All-weather vs Winter Tires

There is a lot to consider when it comes to car ownership. From purchasing the vehicle to maintaining it, there is a lot to think about. One such consideration is what type of tire you will use.


Did you know there are different types of tires that match the season?

You have probably heard of all-season tires, but what about winter tires or all-weather tires?

Each type of tire is designed to best move a vehicle around in different conditions.

In some provinces in Canada it is even required by law to switch your tires over to winter ones.



Types of Tires

Let’s break this down a bit more. Let’s take a closer look at what each tire is best at!


All-Season

These tires are best for warm, dry and wet conditions above 7 degrees Celsius. They are designed to provide grip during warmer temperatures with a finer tread. It is not recommended to keep these tires on your vehicle during the winter as they are not fit for snow and slush.

All-season tires are made with a harder compound to last longer.


All-Weather

All-weather tires are perfect for places that see mild winter conditions. This could include heavy rain and snowfall. Unlike all-season tires, all-weather ones usually have a blockier tread which pushes away slush and snow in a mild winter and also provide stability. They will also provide sensitive handling in warmer conditions.

These tires are flexible in temperatures above and below 7 degrees Celsius.


Winter Tires

Winter tires are the ones you hear a lot about in the late fall. It is recommended you

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switch over to winter tires if you live in a place with harsh winter conditions and sees plenty of snow – sounds like Alberta right?

Winter tires have a blocky tread and siping (fine slits in the tread) that rips the snow and pushes away slush, giving you better traction. Winter tires can also be studded, which just gives them more grip in snowy and icy conditions.

These tires are best used in colder temperatures, those below 7 degrees Celsius, as they stay soft giving a better grip.


Different Compound

We’ve mentioned a few times that tires may be flexible or soft or hard depending on the temperature and the compound they are made of. But what does that mean?

The different types of tires are made from a different rubber compound that helps improve performance in the right conditions. When temperatures drop, each compound will naturally harden; however, winter tires are composed of a softer rubber to help enhance grip in cold weather. This is where all-weather and all-season tires fail, they are too hard to “bite” into the snow or ice for a good grip. In the same way, winter tires are not suited for summer driving conditions. Their softer rubber wears down quickly in warmer temperatures, especially at high speeds, and their tread pattern is not designed for contact directly with the road.


Tread Depth

Winter tires have a deeper tread depth than summer tires to allow more space for the snow and slush to escape; keeping your wheel closer to the road. The deeper tread also creates much better grip on ice. Summer tires have shallow tread depth for improved performance on dry surfaces.


All weather tires can be good in places with mild winters. However, in Alberta where it gets cold and the snow is deep, winter tires can be your best friend.

There's so much to the winter driving equation and finding the right kind of tires for the right season is just one part. Direct2Wheels will help you find the car that will give you peace of mind on these snow-covered Canadian roads.