All-season tires are already a staple on our roads, with most drivers relying on them for year-round traction. However, although many people believe blindly in their abilities, all-season tires don’t exactly work as their name suggests. Specifically, they are fine for daily driving on dry and wet roads, and some will even work in light snow.
However, things quickly become slippery in harsh wintry conditions. Currently, there is no all-season tire that would work well in extreme winter weather, such as deep snow and ice. Sure, you’ll get better traction than on summer tires, but it still won’t be reliable and, most importantly, safe.
That’s where all-weather tires come in. You’ll find these products mostly marketed as all-season tires because, in the simplest term, they really are. However, there is one big difference that makes all-weather tires better than all-season ones on snow, and that’s the 3PMSF rating.
Okay, that’s an oversimplification, but a tire can get that rating if it provides reliable longitudinal snow traction. The emblem does not mean anything else and doesn’t cover side-to-side traction, but it still tells where the manufacturer was headed.
And, manufacturers that produce all-weather tires today market them as a year-round solution that also works in wintry conditions. Isn’t that the same marketing speech that you would read when shopping for all-season tires? It is, but we won’t delve into that much here.
Crucially, all-weather tires are really better in snowy conditions, and that’s the focus of this particular article. Here, I’ll list my favorite best all weather tires for snow. Hence, every tire I listed must provide good snow traction, but it should also work fine on dry and wet roads. That’s because you’ll be using this tire throughout the year, wouldn’t you?
Before we jump to my favorites, let’s get into more detail and see what the differences between all-season and all-weather tires are.
- What’s the Difference Between All-Weather and All-Season Tires?
- Top 10 Best All Weather Tires for Snow Available in 2021
- Final Words
What’s the Difference Between All-Weather and All-Season Tires?
Let’s start with the obvious thing – the tread pattern. All-season tires already have busy patterns with a lot of tread blocks and sipes.
However, all-weather tires take matters up a notch and introduce even smaller sipes and more tread blocks overall. In addition, the grooves are also slightly larger and deeper.
As a result, all-weather tires can more easily bite into snow and then dissipate it through the tread pattern. This enhances longitudinal traction but also handling in the corners.
But it’s not all about the design – the rubber compound plays a huge role as well. See, winter tires provide excellent winter traction primarily because the rubber is softer and more pliable. Softer rubber means more grip, which helps in snowy and icy conditions.
Well, all-weather tires generally have more pliable rubber than all-season models. What that means is that you get even more traction and grip on snow and also ice. Nonetheless, the rubber is still not as soft as a winter compound.
Now, while more pliable rubber improves snow traction, it usually fares worse in hot conditions. During summer days, the rubber might become too soft, thus making your vehicle significantly less responsive and stable. Moreover, when very soft, the compound loses the ability to grip the road well.
Now, some manufacturers managed to produce all-weather tires that work in the summer, but there is one area where they lag behind traditional all-season models, and that’s durability. Due to the softer rubber, all-weather’s wear faster than all-seasons, especially during hot conditions. Thus, they won’t last nearly as long, although you should still get better treadlife than winter tires.
Finally, all-season tires are also usually quieter and more comfortable, although that varies depending on the model.
Top 10 Best All Weather Tires for Snow Available in 2021
1. Michelin CrossClimate 2
The Michelin CrossClimate 2 is the latest addition to Michelin’s award-winning family of all-weather tires that took the world by storm when it was first introduced. It also caught me off-guard – I was shocked at the level of winter and summer traction in one package.
But that was the first model, which later got an improved “+” iteration, and now it got the second generation. And guys, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 is a marvel of modern tire technology.
Thanks to the innovative directional design, you get excellent traction on snow – almost 30% better than on regular all-season tires. Notably, the longitudinal traction is excellent, and there is enough cornering grip for safe driving. The stopping distances? Also, top-notch.
When a tire handles so well over the snow, it usually suffers in hot conditions. Not the CrossClimate 2, though. The handling is responsive and grippy, comparable to the best all-season touring tires out there. High-speed stability is very good as well, and the stopping distances are very short.
And what about wet conditions, you ask? Again, it won’t disappoint, with short stopping distances, reliable handling, and good traction.
Now, when it comes to all-weather tires, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 also has the longest treadwear warranty at 60,000-miles. However, that’s still shorter than on traditional all-season tires, which go up to 90,000-miles.
Besides, Michelin’s latest all-weather tire is costly, although you pay for the advanced technology and materials.
2. Nokian WR G4
Nokian was the first tire manufacturer to ever coin the term all-weather. The reason? Well, they are from Finland, the country that’s infamous for its harsh wintry conditions. Apart from providing probably the best drivers in the world, those conditions also gave us Nokian, the tire brand that specializes in winter tires.
So, how does the WR G4 fare in harsh wintry conditions? Well, it’s even better than the Michelin CrossClimate 2. Snow traction is simply outstanding for an all-weather tire, meaning you won’t get stuck anywhere. Moreover, the stopping distances are very short, and handling is safe without exhibiting oversteer.
What’s even more impressive is how good the WR G4 is in slush, thanks to the excellent hydroplaning resistance. The tire is also good on ice, although in this case, I would rather have a set of winter tires on my vehicle.
Continuing with the positive theme, the Nokian WR G4 also handles well on dry and wet roads. In this case, it’s not on the level of the Michelin CrossClimate 2, but it’s still very good for daily driving. The thing that bugged me the most was that it wasn’t very responsive, but this is not a performance tire, after all.
Ultimately, the WR G4 comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is excellent for an all-weather tire. And although expensive, you get what you pay for.
3. Firestone WeatherGrip
Firestone has one very big advantage over its closest rivals – it can use technology from Bridgestone. And currently, the Japanese tiremaker produces the best winter tires with its Blizzak lineup. The Firestone WeatherGrip obviously borrows from that line of tires since it provides outstanding performance in harsh wintry conditions.
As a matter of fact, it’s the best all-weather tire for driving on snow and ice. It provides the best acceleration on snow, meaning you won’t get stuck anywhere, the stopping distances are very short, and the handling feels secure. Moreover, unlike other all-weather tires, there is genuine traction on icy roads. Overall, the Firestone WeatherGrip is a great companion for those harsh wintry days.
The tire’s outstanding performance on snowy conditions somehow diminishes on dry and wet roads, but the tire still holds its own. There is a reasonable amount of grip and traction, and the stopping distances aren’t too long. The only gripe I have is that it’s less responsive, but I think most drivers wouldn’t notice. What you might notice is the increased tread growl at higher speeds.
On a more positive note, the Firestone WeatherGrip comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is by far the best of any all-weather tire.
4. Vredestein Quatrac 5
If you want a capable all-weather tire that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Vredestein Quatrac 5. The Dutch manufacturer has always produced excellent tires, but the Vredestein Quatrac 5 might be its best to date. It combines everything you’d want from an all-weather tire, including good winter and summer handling.
I was actually surprised at how good this tire handles snowy conditions. It’s no winter tire, but as far as all-weather tires go, it’s among the best. Notably, the Quatrac 5 is safe to drive over snow, with good acceleration traction and short braking distances. It also handles well in the corners, making it a great solution for wintry conditions.
Furthermore, the Quatrac 5 drives outstandingly well in dry and wet conditions. The tire is responsive and has an excellent grip in the corners, especially for the category. Besides, it’s also very comfortable over bumps, more so than probably every other tire on this list.
But, like with most products, there are a few niggles. For starters, the 45,000-mile treadwear warranty is lower than the main competition, although it’s still good for an all-weather tire. Also, the Quatrac 5 produces a noticeable tread growl, especially at higher speeds. It’s not overly loud, and hence, not a deal-breaker, but it’s nonetheless there.
5. Toyo Celsius
Toyo is a popular name among car enthusiasts, thanks to its excellent line of high-performance summer tires. But how does the brand fare in the all-weather category? Well, really good, actually. The Toyo Celsius, its all-weather tire, is one of the most accomplished on the market. Not only it works well across a variety of conditions, but it also doesn’t cost a fortune.
Most importantly, the Toyo Celsius is really good in wintry conditions. Snow traction is among the best of any all-weather tire, meaning you won’t get stuck anywhere. Moreover, the stopping distances are reasonably short, and handling feels secure. What’s even more surprising is that the Toyo Celsius handles ice securely, provided you don’t push too hard.
Toyo also did a good job at making the Toyo Celsius usable in warmer conditions. The handling feels very secure, and the stopping distances are short. Thanks to the excellent hydroplaning resistance, you also shouldn’t worry about losing traction in the rain. Big potholes also won’t be an issue since it cancels vibration before they enter the cabin. Nonetheless, there is a noticeable tread growl on the highway.
Still, Toyo redeems itself with the 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is among the best of any all-weather tire, and outstanding at that price.
6. Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is one of the best-selling all-weather tires in North America, and for a good reason. It provides excellent traction on snow-covered roads, with safe handling and short braking distances. The Assurance WeatherReady also works excellently over slush, and unlike other all-weather tires, it even works on ice.
Another impressive aspect is the performance on dry pavement. The Assurance WeatherReady is very responsive, especially for an all-weather tire, and communicates with the driver well. Moreover, it provides a reasonable grip in the corners and short stopping distances. It’s not a performance tire, sure, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive.
However, there are some disadvantages. For starters, the Assurance WeatherReady doesn’t handle rainy weather like the best all-weather tires out there. It’s not bad, absolutely – this is a premium product, after all. Nonetheless, the top 3 tires on this list will undoubtedly provide you with safer handling and shorter stopping distances.
Besides, the ride quality can be busy when driving over larger potholes, and there is a tire roar at higher speeds. Fortunately, the Assurance WeatherReady redeems itself with the outstanding 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, and perhaps an even more impressive real-life treadlife – Consumer Reports rates it at 75,000-miles.
7. Nokian Encompass AW01
Nokian is so good at making all-weather and winter tires that it has even built one for Discount Tire. Less expensive than other offerings from the brand, the Nokian Encompass AW01 still offers hi-tech features. Like most Nokian tires, the tread compound features a snow-focused design with multiple sipes, which create more biting edges.
The result, at least in wintry conditions, is quite impressive. Traction over snow is excellent, on par with the best tires in the category. Moreover, the stopping distances are reasonably short, and the handling feels secure. I was also surprised by the ice traction, which, again, is among the best out there, and the Nokian Encompass AW01 even handles slush with ease.
Now, on dry roads, the Nokian Encompass AW01 lacks the sophistication of the W4 GR, but it’s still very good for the category. Grip levels are okay, and the stopping distances aren’t very long. On wet roads, the hydroplaning resistance is good, but overall, traction isn’t competitive with the best out there. Ultimately, though, it’s very safe.
What I noticed, though, is that the ride can be quite busy over uneven roads, and you can hear a tread growl at higher speeds. On the positive side, Nokian provides an excellent 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
8. Nokian WR G4 SUV
Best All Weather Tires for SUV
The Nokian WR G4 SUV takes everything that’s great about the regular car model and brings it to SUVs. Hence, you can expect excellent traction, braking, and handling on snow and even on ice. Traction will be even better on SUVs with AWD systems.
Besides, the tire is impressive on dry and wet roads, where it handily beats most all-weather tires. It isn’t overly responsive, but I wouldn’t read into that much since it doesn’t matter for regular driving.
What might matter to you is the high price of the WR G4, although Nokian mitigates that with an excellent 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
9. Michelin CrossClimate SUV
Best All Weather Tires for SUV
Michelin only released a second-generation CrossClimate for regular cars, while the SUVs still get a slightly older product. However, that shouldn’t worry you, as the Michelin CrossClimate SUV is an exceptional tire.
Granted, the stopping distances on snow are slightly longer than its newer brother, but they are still better than regular all-season tires. Moreover, the Michelin CrossClimate SUV handles dry and wet surfaces like the best out there, with excellent handling, braking, and acceleration.
Michelin’s all-weather SUV tire also provides low-rolling resistance, saving you precious fuel, especially at higher speeds. However, be prepared for slightly more noise if you drive on the highway. Besides, the 50,000-mile treadwear warranty is slightly lower than the competition, although still competitive.
Overall, the disadvantages of the Michelin CrossClimate SUV aren’t that significant, but the price certainly is. Like most Michelin tires, be prepared to pay significantly more than usual.
10. Michelin Agilis CrossClimate
Best All-Weather Tires for Trucks
Owners of trucks don’t have many all-weather tire options. However, as always, Michelin seems to be the first to respond to the owners’ needs. This time, it is with the Michelin Agilis CrossClimate, an all-weather tire specifically designed for trucks.
The best thing about this tire is that it’s extremely tough and durable, even when loaded. Besides, it also offers excellent traction on snow, better than any all-season tire for trucks I can think of. In true Michelin fashion, it’s also very quiet and comfortable and works well on dry and wet roads.
However, Michelin actually produced two different designs. The light-duty trucks get the newer tread pattern, which provides overall better performance. However, the heavy-duty design should be more durable. Nonetheless, both don’t come with treadwear warranties and are very expensive to buy.
All-weather tires truly provide better overall performance on snow and ice, but they aren’t the solution for everyone. Notably, drivers that live in areas with polar-like winter weather should still invest in winter tires since they provide much better traction.
Moreover, drivers looking into high-performance driving might want to go with all-season tires, which usually work better on dry and wet roads.
However, if all-weather tires work for you, then I’m confident that the best all-weather tires for snow listed here will meet your expectations. Each one of them works well in the winter and summer and lasts for long.