Unlike what some car owners think, standard car tires do not perform the same in all weathers or environmental conditions. Off road tires, for instance, perform excellently in rugged and challenging environments. However, in snowy or frozen winter conditions, the probability of slipping and getting involved in accidents increases significantly, mainly because of their tread patterns and designs.

A Complete Guide To Choose The Best Winter Tire For Your Car

If you are planning for winter, avoid the foregoing challenges by purchasing one of the 10 winter tires on this list instead. Specially designed for driving on snow and ice, they grip slippery surfaces excellently.

The quality rubber and other materials used to manufacture them last long, while their cost effectiveness will see you through harsh winter months successfully without burning a hole in your pocket.

Check Price
  • Weight
  • Height/Diameter
  • Aspect ratio
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General Tire
205/55R16 91Q
  • Weight 19 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Firestone Tire
205/55R16 91S
  • Weight 22 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Michelin X-Ice
205/55R16/XL 94H
  • Weight 20 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Vitour Polar
205/55R16 91T
  • Weight 22 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Goodyear Ultra
Goodyear 205/55R16 91T
  • Weight 22 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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  • Weight
  • Height/Diameter
  • Aspect ratio
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Arctic Claw
205/55R16 91T
  • Weight 22 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Nitto NT-SN2
NTSN2 235/65R16 103T
  • Weight 25 pounds
  • Height/Diameter17 inches
  • Aspect ratio65 mm
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Nokian Tire
205/55R16 94T XL
  • Weight 24 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Falken Espia
EPZ - 205/55R16 91Q
  • Weight 22 pounds
  • Height/Diameter16 inches
  • Aspect ratio55 mm
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Bridgestone
Blizzak LM-32
  • Weight 22 pounds
  • Height/Diameter20 inches
  • Aspect ratio45 mm
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10. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32

Are you replacing the worn out 20-inch winter tires on your vehicle? To get a heavy duty set on a budget that will see you through the winter safely, Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 ranks among the best. With an aspect ratio of 205 millimeters, its sturdy and designed to grip surfaces better than comparable thinner models. The compound itself is very gripped, making sudden brakes more comfortable than ever before.

Another notable feature of this tire is its optimized design, which improves fuel efficiency significantly. In this day and age, muscle cars as well as family cars guzzle gas incessantly. Something as generic as driving your family around, can prove to be so expensive because of a non efficient car engine. Thankfully, tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 can fight back against the popular problem of fuel overconsumption.

Weight is around 22 pounds, while its impressive tread depth (11 thirty-second inches) not only improves traction but also the stability of vehicles in the harshest of winter environments.

Our Verdict

The high sipe density pattern boosts the traction to a whole new level, so if you live in an area with lake-effect snow, this tire will make driving much easier.

The tire also features a large shoulder blocks, which provide accurate precision while cornering and handling the vehicle. Buyers also like its stylish black sidewall and the affordable rates charged in the Amazon web stores.

Pros
  • High density pattern
  • Larger shoulder blocks
  • Appealing sidewall
Cons
  • None

9. Falken Espia EPZ – 205/55R16 91Q

Falken Espia EPZ - 205/55R16 91Q

When shopping for winter tires, traction, durability, and overall quality of construction are essential attributes to keep in mind. Falken Espia EPZ meets this threshold. With each original ordered from Amazon, car owners get a premium 205/55R16 91Q tire with an expanded lateral shoulder that grips road surfaces better that most models.

The patented pattern of the tire, for instance, makes for a wider center tread and expanded lateral shoulder blocks as well. The enlarged shoulder blocks of the Falken Espia EPZ, make cornering and handling as precise as can be, even in extreme weather conditions.

This is a tire you can truly count on, whether you live in a generally cold area or want to stay ready for the upcoming winters, the Falken Espia EPZ is definitely worth the price tag. This tire is one of the most durable options we have come across, making it perfect for those who are looking for a long term solution.

Our Verdict

This tire has a self-maintenance mechanism at the base of the tread, which can resist the damages caused by ultra violet rays and repeated bending. Along with durability, this tire also offers better performance simultaneously.The grooves present in this tire are deeper than the average groove depth, making for a better grip on snow and ice.

Pros
  • Deep grooves
  • Large shoulder blocks
  • Self maintenance mechanism
Cons
  • None

8. Nokian 205/55R16 94T XL (Studded)

Nokian 205/55R16 94T XL (Studded)

Research has demonstrated the value of using studded winter tires on snow-capped or icy roads. This extra-large (XL) 205/55R16 94T model from Nokian, for instance, is a durable five-studded tire with an advanced stud technology (bear claw) that performs excellently in all environments. Its wedge-formed design also pretensions and preloads rubber compounds to improve braking power, making unplanned braking more comfortable and safer for the driver as well as the passengers.

During braking situations, the bear claw stud technology shifts the stud into an optimal position instantly, avoiding slip-offs at all times. This is unlike conventional studs that often worsen the performance of tires.

Apart from its premium stud layout, Nokian 205/55R16 94T XL comes recommended by individuals and professional drivers because of its superior stabilization zone that improves lateral grip and bare road stability when under heavy loads, so you do not have to worry about your tire getting worn out even if it has to keep up with ponderous weights. The polished grooves are in depth, so driving in snow and slush will be effortless even on the most challenging of roads.

Our Verdict

Another great thing about the grooves we mentioned before, is the fact that they can be maintained easily. Unlike other tires which may get unbelievably dirty due to snow and slush and start to lack in performance, the Nokian 205/55R16 94T features smooth grooves which are easy to clean snow and slush remains off of. This tire is also made of 100% HA-free materials, so only purified aromatic oils have been used in its production. This tire takes cleanliness and productivity to the next level!

Pros
  • Studded
  • Impressive stabilization
  • HA-free
Cons
  • Requires cleanups often

7. Nitto Winter NTSN2 235/65R17 104s

Nitto Winter NTSN2 235/65R17 104s

Developed for individuals that require superior adhesion in wet weather, a smoother drive, and better steering during winter, Nitto Winter NTSN2 235/65R17 104S is a hardwearing winter tire with a high 104-load index. Perfect for use in low temperatures, the compound silica used in its production keeps tires dry for optimal stability and safety. Even in the most extreme weather conditions, you will not have to worry about your tire giving out and leaving you stranded.

The Nitto Winter NTSN2 235/65R17 104S is superior to other winter tires, with every feature available in a more improvised version. For starters, this tire weighs 25 pounds, which is more than any of the other tires we have reviewed so far.

This weight figure ensures that heavy loads in the car do not air out the tires. Additionally, the 17 inch rim is higher than that of conventional winter tires, fitting your vehicle more vigorously and giving it an overall boost as well.

Our Verdict

Its black sidewall is perfect for winter driving, while its special tread pattern betters handling and car response time devoid of the vehicle in your possession. Do not risk your safety and or that of your passengers with one of the cheaply made standard tires in stores, this tire may cost you more than one of those cheap tires, but it is certainly a more reliable and cost-effective product to opt for comparatively.

Pros
  • Heightened tire
  • 104 load index
Cons
  • Extremely heavy

6. Arctic Claw Winter Txi – 205/55R16 91T

Arctic Claw Winter Txi - 205/55R16 91T

Featuring an advanced tread design (high traction) that delivers a smooth ride and better wet-dry performance, Arctic Claw Winter Txi is an excellent winter tire with patented exterior, such that you will never have to worry about replacing your tire due to unprecedented weather conditions.

This tire does not only contain the basic features found in winter tires, it has additional features which further improve its performance and make this tire especially capable of catering to people who have to deal with severe snow falls. Hence, the Arctic Claw Winter Txi tire is truly a winter tire.

Circumferential grooves are notched to further improve snow and water evacuation. These grooves are also deeply lateraled and notched to a level that maximizes safety against snow and slush slippages. The set of grooves also has a number of ‘snow grooves’ which are uniquely designed to fight against the inconveniences associated with snow. The snow grooves are very impressive on the road, especially when it comes to the traction of ice and snow.

Our Verdict

The lateral grooves which are deeply oriented to better evacuation, are truly one of a kind. While its studded outer surface offers superior ice adhesion whenever needed. In addition to the studded outer surface, this tire features enhanced retention that can also regale to the people who experience severe snow falls. This minimizes slips and therefore the risk of accidents.

Pros
  • Deep grooves
  • Studded
  • Very durable
Cons
  • Requires cleanups often

5. Goodyear Ultra Grip – 205/55R16 91T

Goodyear Ultra Grip - 205/55R16 91T

A pioneer in the winter tire industry, Goodyear has bettered the safety and experience of users with the quality tires in its arsenal. For optimal grip and safety, for instance, Goodyear Ultra Grip – 205/55R16 91T is a recommended model. Even though its slightly heavier that some brands (20 pounds), its quality of construction makes it ideal for everyday commuting, as well as heavy loading purposes.

The tread depth of this tire, 13 thirty second inches, has unmatchable traction capabilities that you can rely on, even if your tires are fully covered in snow. Other tires may get worn out in such snowy weathers, but the Goodyear Ultra Grip – 205/55R16 91T, is not one of those. In fact, this tire will further improve in terms of performance because it is well equipped with the features that can combat weather inconveniences. Needless to say, the specs of this tire can truly vouch for its effectiveness.

Sizing is accurate, while its wide section width (205 millimeters) and aspect ratio (55) improve the performance of most vehicles significantly. If you have standard 16-inch wheels, you will also enjoy its speed rating (T), load index rating (91), and tread wear indicator that tells you when to replace your tire.

Our Verdict

The tread indicator safety feature in particular, will go a long way especially for people who may have a hard time figuring out whether or not their tire needs replacement. The safety aspect of the indicator, helps to ensure your tire is in working condition so that you do not experience mishaps out on the road.

Pros
  • Wide tread
  • Wear indicator
Cons
  • Suitable for certain type of vehicles only

4. Vitour Polar Bear – 205/55R16 91T

Vitour Polar Bear - 205/55R16 91T

In our top 10 best winter tires reviewed 2018, Vitour Polar Bear – 205/55R16 91T is a dependable 22-pound tire with an advanced radial technology that boosts its performance. Recommended for use with most standard 16-inch rims, its versatility is admirable. Its thick section (205 millimeters) withstands abuse longer, while its high load index (91) supports heavier weights without crumbling under pressure. This is unlike some poor quality winter tires that bulge or lose their shape after weeks of months of consistent use.

When it comes to winter tires, durability is key. The Vitour Polar Bear – 205/55R16 91T surely meets this requirement. The directional treat design, for instance, improves snow acceleration as well as water evacuation.

The high sipe density design features biting edges at the exterior of the tire, which exceed the average ice and water traction capabilities found in other winter tires. This tire is not just a namely winter tire, it truly caters to the needs of people who need to get around during the tough season of winter.

Our Verdict

In addition to the immaculate features the Vitour Polar Bear – 205/55R16 91T has to offer, it is constructed in a way that makes it way more practical than the average winter tires. The tread itself is made of low modulus compounds which make for a stronger grip on snow, ice and wet slushes. This firm grip waives off the possibility of slip offs or accidents. The exterior of this powerful tire is made of safe, high silica materials, which are smooth to the touch, making this tire an easily maintainable one.

Pros
  • Advanced radial
  • High density pattern
Cons
  • None

3. Michelin X-Ice Xi3 – 205/55R16/XL 94H

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 - 205/55R16/XL 94H

With premium Michelin X-Ice Xi3 – 205/55R16/XL 94H on your vehicle, driving in harsh winter condition is no longer an issue and the safety hazards associated with it, are now in the past. Featuring an outstanding winter grip that takes on both snow and ice well, the overall stability of this tire is professional-grade. This tire offers the necessary level of traction to overcome the hurdles that are brought on by the snowy weather. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the features of this tire.

The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 – 205/55R16/XL 94H goes above and beyond when it comes to reliability. This tire features an absolutely genius design, with a tread that has cross z sipes, micro pumps, and a flex ice compound that will always keep the snow and ice from creating trouble for you.

The tread also features a contact patch, increasing safety and maximizing the tire’s durability. This tread is not the kind to get worn out if subjected to extreme weather, it will last you for a good amount of time even if it is used quite often.

Our Verdict

The quality rubber used to make it withstands sub-zero temperature without cracking or hardening while its unique self-cleaning treads also feature a novel sipe technology that improves handling. The high quality materials this tire is made of, make for a contoured and easy to clean surface that will not be fussy to maintain. Forget about skidding around and compromising your safety or that of other drivers when commuting to school or work.

Pros
  • Cross Z density pattern
  • Self cleaning mechanism
  • Contact patch
Cons
  • Flex ice compound not suitable for regular weather

2. Firestone Winterforce – 205/55R16 91S

Firestone Winterforce - 205/55R16 91S

Firestone is a dominant brand in the tire niche. It has a produced many great tires with this 205/55R16 91S Winterforce model performing best in snow and icy roads for many reasons. Its sturdy sidewall, for instance, holds up well. Its weighted design (22.7 pounds) and intricate tread pattern improve traction and stability, while its thick 205-millimetre section does not wear out easily. If you have 16-inch rims, only a few tires rival Firestone Winterforce – 205/55R16 91S.

A common problem faced by people with supposed winter tires, is the fact that their tires do not provide the necessary amount of support in times of need and that they do not last long either. With Firestone Winterforce – 205/55R16 91S, we doubt that you will ever experience such problems.

The fact that Firestone is one of the leaders in the tire industry, should be reason enough for you to consider this tire, but there is so much more to this tire than the Firestone brand name.

Our Verdict

Designed especially for passenger cars, Firestone Winterforce – 205/55R16 91S is a tire that you should definitely consider if you and your family members reside in a cold area and need to get around town with ease. With a tire as reliable as this one, you would not have to worry about safety hazards and constant tire replacements. Instead of opting for a cheaply made winter tire, do yourself a favor and consider the likes of Firestone Winterforce – 205/55R16 91S

Pros
  • Compatible with all 16 inch rim passenger cars
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • None

1. General AltiMAX – 205/55R16 91Q

General AltiMAX - 205/55R16 91Q

A perfect winter tire for vans, sedans, SUVs, and coupes, General AltiMAX – 205/55R16 91Q tops our list. If you are planning to replace your existing set of tires for winter ones and purchase an original set, you get premium compound tires that perform excellently in sub-zero temperatures as well are regular ones. This tire is essentially a convertible among tires, and that would appeal to anyone who wants a long term product rather than a flimsy one which would need to be replaced every now and then.

The sipes and grooves are in depth, and designed to provide optimal support and traction against ice, snow and water. If you reside in an area that is cold all year round, of in an area where the season of winter is extreme, this tire is definitely a good option for you.

Even if your car gets snowed in, this tire will continue to function at its peak capability and you will not have to worry about dealing with any car hassles during the snowy or flooded weathers.

Our Verdict

This power packed tire features a self-cleaning tread along with an all-weather design, while the premium rubber used in production features an advanced reactive contour technology (RCT) that prevents bulges and other defects that often plaque standard tires. For a reasonable price tag, you get a durable, productive and easy to maintain tire which has endless benefits.

Pros
  • Deep grooves
  • All weather design
  • Bulge resistant RCT
Cons
  • Limited slip-off resistance

How to Find the Best Winter Tire?

Size: The size of a winter tire is absolutely necessary to check on, before you make a purchase. The weight, ratio and height of the tire needs to be compared against your vehicle’s rim to ensure that you are getting the right size. Whether your car is a sports one or a passenger one, you are sure to find a suitable option in our list.

Design: The design of the winter tire is also important and should be studied thoroughly before making a final decision. You have to determine your requirements beforehand, this can be done by observing the weather conditions in your area and then looking for the helpful features in your winter tire accordingly. Whether your area is snowy or flooded, you will find an applicable option in our list.

Compatibility: The compatibility of a winter tire should also be checked before opting for the product. This compatibility refers to the type of vehicle you drive, and the types of winter tires that are available. Some winter tires are for passenger cars, some are for muscle ones, and some are compatible with both. Read up on our detailed reviews to find yourself the ideal tire.

Conclusion – Wrapping It Up

When you are faced with a seemingly impossible problem, make sure you have done your research on possible solutions. Knowing how troublesome the task of driving can be during winter time, we prepared a list of spectacular options for you so that you do not have a hard time finding the ideal solution for your vehicle. The options we reviewed are verified, effective and affordable. So you can truly drive away from your problem with a new set of winter wheels!

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1 Comment

  1. I have 2 winters on my General Altimax Arctic tires and I agree with the top rating here. The tread still looks like I’ll easily get 2 more winters out of them. I’ve had many brands of winter tires over the years, driving the mountain roads here in West Virginia and these are the best. Reasonably priced too. Deep aggressive tread. Excellent in snow, slush and ice. They also have good dry handling for a snow tire.

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