Snow tires can also be referred as winter tires. They are designed basically for use on snow, ice and winter conditions. Snow tires have tread design with large gaps, and are built to give extra traction on snow and ice. Some snow tires have metal or ceramic studs that protrude from the tire which helps in the increase in traction on hard-packed snow or ice. Also, they are engineered to drive at very cold temperatures even below 7 °C (45 °F).
Before we get to the best snow tires review 2019, let’s get to some frequently asked questions about winter driving conditions and snow tire. But before that here is the list of our best snow tires.
- Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
- Continental VikingContact 7
- Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
- Yokohama iceGuard iG52C
- Michelin LTX Winter Tire
- Continental Wintercontact SI
- Michelin X-ice Xi3
- Dunlop Winter Maxx
- Goodyear Ultra Grip
- Pirelli Winter Cinturato
Do I need snow tires on all four wheels?
Either it is four-wheel drive or rear wheel or front wheel drive vehicle, it is advisable to have four winter tires on your vehicle. Because, winter tires are best at providing ice and snow traction than ever before so not having snow tires on all four wheels will mean the tires won’t reach the peak of its performance.
One end of the vehicle won’t react and perform the same as the other in the dry, wet, slush and snow conditions you have to drive through. Sometimes your vehicle will understeer in some condition and over steer in the other due to the fact that it is not all winter tires.
Your vehicle handling is important and the best way you can keep it consistent and great is by replacing it with all four winter tires when it is needed. And the extra investment will be worth it for better handling, brake, accelerating and better control of your vehicle all through winter seasons.
When should I put winter tires on?
The temperature plays huge role in helping you discern when to have your winter tires installed. Once the temperature in your area is regularly 7 degrees Celsius or less, then it will be the best time to get your winter tires installed.
The rubber on summer tires and all-season tires hardens when the temperature is less than 7 degrees Celsius and thus it is less effective. While winter tires are built for this season giving you the best handling when driving and extra traction with braking you need for confident driving in the cold season.
Are my snow tires better with chains?
Snow tires are built with holes where snow studs can be fitted. These studs allow the tires to gain better traction when driving over snow or ice. Snow chains or tire chains fit all the way around snow tire, giving its wheels an extra grip on slippery roads.
They are sold in pairs and they come in different sizes based on the tire diameter and its tread width. However, your snow tires are safe on snow but with studs your grip and your stopping power on ice will be improved.
On the drive wheels of your vehicle there might be little difference in the tire performance when it comes to the traction but then it is essential for four-wheel drive vehicle, the chains should be installed on all four wheels for safest ride with excellent traction.
Although, chains on bare pavement can cause some serious damage to both your tires and the road you drive on so your chains on your tire should only be used when there is layer of snow or ice on the road.
Are winter tires really necessary?
Winter tires are not just necessary but compulsory in countries where there are legal requirements for it. And even for countries that there are no legal requirements for it, it is still necessary most especially if you live in areas prone to severe winter weather conditions for better handling and better traction while driving and for your safety which shouldn’t be compromised while driving.
Are all season tires good for snow?
All season tires are designed to withstand variety of road conditions and multiple seasons. They are built with great tread designs and compounds that gives durability and good mileage during summer but they don’t deliver much quality during winter especially in extreme cold seasons.
However, they perform just fine on light snow but not advisable on heavy snow. Winter tires are built specially for cold and freezing times and they perform well and remain flexible in freezing temperature through winter season.
Best Snow Tires In 2019
1. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90:
Yes the blizzak WS90 is the newly produced blizzak tire for consumers to get the best performance on winter surface. The Blizzak WS90 is an improved version and successor to the previous WS80.
The former WS80 is a very good winter tire that does give great performance on winter surfaces. However, the new WS90 has few additions and improvement in comparison to its predecessor.
Its tread compound through the multicell technology attract water and then clears it from its surface for better grip and by so doing as given the tire 14% improvement in its stopping distance on ice compared to other leading competitors.
Also, it features nanopro-tech for better flexibility in cold weather conditions as it is well-known that rubber starts to get stiff in low temperature. Its tread design improves drainage which is very useful on wet surface to avoid hydroplaning.
And lasting tread than the WS80 as consumers can get two winter seasons out of this tire before its tread wear out completely. As stated by bridgestone most of the new innovations and the improvement in the WS90 is based off of customers and dealers feedback.
The WS80 is a winner when it comes to winter performance and the WS90 is no doubt on that path as well, and just like the WS80 this is one of the best and good choice to pick.
2. Continental VikingContact 7:
You will find the Vikingcontact 7 capable when it comes to ice braking; you also get great snow traction plus good handling. This studless tire is also great on dry surface and it delivers good braking even on dry surface. You will find it with less noise when driving on highway while wet braking is also good almost as good as the wet braking performance of its predecessor.
As designed and stated by continental, if punctured the tire automatically seals its holes with a diameter of up to five millimeters. You will find it available from 15 to 20-inch rim diameter for coupes, sedans and minivan.
This tire is an improved version compared to its predecessor when it comes to been secured from hydroplaning, also it has shorter braking distance in wet condition and great handling on winter driving surface.
Rolling resistance in comparison to its predecessor has been reduced by three percent. Its multi 3D siping gives improved traction and its tread pattern is designed to evacuate water to avoid the risk of hydroplaning.
This Vikingcontact 7 will be a good choice to pick for your winter and snow surface, it even meets the industry winter requirement and has the 3-peak mountain snowflake symbol therefore, you can expect the best performance in the toughest winter condition.
3. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2:
Bridgestone blizzak dm-V2 is a winter tire built to deliver its best performance on ice and extreme winter driving conditions, it provides stability and gives better braking abilities on snow and icy driving surface.
Gives you the ultimate control on ice when it comes to providing good grip with good handling and higher level of snow traction even when driving on heavy snow.
The blizzak dm-v2 unique hydropholic coating present in the tire helps absorb water into the tire cells when driving on wet surface or rain filled surface, and thereby getting you out of it without hassle.
Also, you don’t have a problem when driving on dry driving surface, in essence, if confidence, stability and control is what you seek when driving through the harshest winter condition then the blizzak dm-v2 will not disappoint you.
4. Yokohama IceGuard:
The Yokohama IceGuard are winter tires that provide stability and give good grip in snow, they also feature biting edges on either side that helps to maintain traction in the snow even when the tire wears. The IceGuard features outer sipes that Yokohama calls triple 3D sipes. They can lock together to enhance tread block rigidity which aids better cornering stability on both dry and wet roads. They deliver good braking even in deep snow.
The iceGuard provides good bite in the snow, whether it’s during acceleration, braking or cornering. In slightly deeper snow, some acceleration slip does occur, but braking remains quite good. Its cornering grip is where the tires really excel.
They only lose grip if really pushed beyond their limits; otherwise, they provide good lateral stability even as the snow piles up. The iceGuard is designed to pack snow into its tread thus providing optimal traction and the deeper the snow got the tires still retains its grip.
The iceGuard is into two categories:
IceGuard ig51v and iceGuard iG52c, the iG51v is a studless ice and snow winter tire that is designed for SUV, crossovers and light trucks to deliver the best performance in winter conditions. While the iG52c is also a studless ice and snow winter tire but unlike ig51v it is designed for compact, coupes, sedans and vans.
The iceGUARD iG52c gives good performance in winter conditions, as well as comfortable ride and you won’t have to worry about road noise and vibrations. Like what you go through with some winter tires, excessive road noise when driving could cause lots of discomfort but you don’t have to worry about that with the iceGuard iG52c. Both of this iceGuard are good choice to pick in winter season.
5. Michelin LTX winter tire:
The Michelin LTX winter tire is built for vans, SUVs, heavy-duty trucks and commercial pickups. They can withstand winter conditions just great and are designed with high technology cold weather winter tread compound called “W/Max” which helps boosts acceleration and gives good braking performance on ice.
Comes with E load ranges and it gives firmness while driving on dry and wet surfaces. Features low rolling resistance and built with symmetric tread design which aids in giving good grip in all types of winter driving conditions.
Great tread blocks that give good traction even on snow and ice and its 3D sipes around the tread that gives good biting edge. Also, its four circumferential grooves combine with lateral grooves to expel water and slush away from the tire which gives it better traction and better braking abilities. Paired with three steel belts for strength and durability especially during heavy-duty use.
It comes with 40,000mile tread warranty which is great warranty on winter tires. It has 10-ply rating that gives good puncture resistance which is great for those who drive on gravel roads and on rough terrain.
6. Continental winter contact SI:
If you are scared of winter driving, don’t worry the continental winter contact SI got you. This tire will see you through the lightest to the worst snow, ice and winter surface. Its PolarPlus technology helps with shorter braking distance on winter surface and it has a unique multi angled tread pattern that bites into the snow for better grip. With the directional tread pattern you get a good grip, and its +silane tread additive keeps the tire flexible even at the coldest possible temperature.
The Maximum Traction Silica Compound ensures excellent wet grip and therefore improves braking performance significantly. Additionally, the WinterContact IS stays flexible at any winter weather and transfers the good braking forces safely onto wet, icy and snow-covered roads.
This special drainage eliminates the danger of deteriorated braking performance caused by melting water by aiding faster braking.
7. Michelin X-ice Xi3:
Going by the incredible tires made by this company over the years one would definitely look into giving them the benefits of doubts on their expertise. The X-ice X-i3 is a typical upgrade from their previous piece of work, that is the Michelins X-ice Xi2 snow tire.
Which all seem to agree that the overall handling was something special and snow tire geeks have been eagerly waiting to see what the still accelerating quantum leap going on in siping technology would bring to Michelin’s next generation.
Well this new technology has been test run. The review so far as been that the Xi3 is clearly a much better snow tire than Xi2, way better. It features car load of new technology including new self-locking siping pattern, more tread blocks at variable angles and an interesting “Catarpillar drive” feature in the central circumferential groove.
The engineering team work on making the blocks more compact, adding 15% more tread blocks, they claim that the more blocks means channel and grooves which will make the tire more efficient at water and snow evacuation.
The tread blocks also feature serrations on the leading and lateral edges which are intended to bite the surface even as the tread blocks is flexing upwards and away when flexing laterally.
Michelin X-ice Xi3 shows authoritative grip and response in all winter conditions, its linear acceleration is smooth, confident and easily controlled. Their lateral grip is really impressive.
They provide ultimate winter confidence over many miles, enabling you enjoy the best even in the harshest driving condition. They are designed to be environmentally friendly and reduce fuel consumption in addition to long lasting tread life.
8. Dunlop winter maxx tire:
This is a studless ice and snow tire that is built for use on a wide range of coupes, sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles. While most winter tires feature directional tread design, the winter maxx has unique asymmetric pattern which is generally quieter than their symmetric counterparts. It gives enhanced handling in snow, wet and dry conditions.
They feature sharp edges with sipe technology which provides higher blade density that helps prevent block distortion and increase tread to ice contact. They also come with wide grooves and lugs that help improve snow traction and wet handling.
It uses silica enhanced nano fit rubber that is more flexible and rigid for increased grip in all types of winter conditions coupled with jointless bard technology that is used in tread makeup to create comfortable ride quality while adding strength and durability.
This product as great positive reviews and imperfections too as no product is perfect. On the positive side you can expect good traction and stability in light to deeper amount of snow as well as comfortable ride quality and decent tread life. On the bad side it sometimes gives bad steering responses.
It is slower than most winter tires and does not inspire much in the way of confidence, particularly on icy surfaces. Also, their acceleration and braking on ice and hard pack snow is not as good as other tires at the top of his class.
Overall, they are not acknowledged as “bad bad” by any means, I will rank it to the lower half of the studless winter tire category. Other models like Michelin X-ice Xi3 and blizzak WS80 both provides a much better result in performance.
9. Goodyear ultra-grip winter tires:
This is a directional tire designed to give you the grip, handling and traction which are essential when driving in severe winter conditions. It is built to take you through snow, rain, ice and other rough weather conditions around town and highway without issues. It is well designed with a wide range of size to suit minivans, sedans, coupes and smaller crossovers.
It is a studable tire with directional tread pattern and numerous biting edges which enhances the hydroplaning resistance and winter traction. With a wider tread grooves which reduces the likelihood problems occurring when it is wet or snowing by pushing away excess water or slush that could have effect on your driving performance.
Aside from their company’s year of highly guaranteed product, they have positive reviews from different vehicle users and on different kinds of winter conditions, it has been said that the goodyear winter tires gives you an excellent traction and grip you need in slush surface as well as on icy and wet road surfaces.
Just like in every product not everything is perfect on this model. You may observe little extra noise from this tire on dry pavement, so also the softer sidewalls are noticeable particularly during harder cornering situations.
As much as been said on this so far, I can firmly attest that this winter tire is quite reliable safe and durable. They are also cost-efficient and could be boldly ranked among the upper half of the studable winter tire class you can ever come across.
10. Pirelli cinturato winter tire:
This is designed to be adaptable to all winter driving conditions. Also, it is able to put together quite a number of new technological innovations to make them exclusive from their former products and their counterparts.
Their tread compound is designed to perfectly fit on wide range of wheels and rims. Designed for sedans, coupes and SUVs to provide them maximum traction, stability and comfort on every wet and snowy surface. Although, the tread compound is one of its distinct features, the tread grooves also provide significant reduction in the risk of hydroplaning and an increment in the evacuation of water and slush.
The Pirelli engineers where able to create an excellent tire that are distinctive in every size you can come by, the available sizes created are 14”, 15”, 16” and 17”, the purpose is to satisfy every possible customer.
The sipe density is optimized to give the tire perfect grip even on dry surfaces with an extremely low rolling resistance to minimize the fuel consumption. They have proven to deliver quality performance and it really is a good pick for winter surface.
We know there are lots of tires out there and that is why this are carefully chosen from the most recent bests and the ones that have continually proven to deliver quality.
We hope you will find our best snow tires review 2019 helpful and also find your choice in this top 10 list. You can also check for our list of best snow chains here, if you need snow chains to install on your tire.
If you have questions, review or comment, leave it in the comment box below, we will be glad to hear from you.