Summer Tires vs. All-Season Tires: Which Ones To Get

When it comes to tires, there are often too many types and styles to choose from. Depending on the region where you live, the most critical factor is likely the season rating of the tires. To best optimize driving in hazardous conditions, it’s essential to carefully choose summer tires vs. all-season tires—which ones to get will make a significant difference in a vehicle’s ability to retain traction in different conditions and terrain types.

What are Summer Tires?

Also known as performance tires, this variety is primarily equipped to handle warm weather conditions. The tread design and depth are meant to optimize driving on paved roads’ dry, hot, or wet conditions. In addition, it contains a special additive that allows the tire to grip the road even in heavy rains.

As such, it’s an ideal choice for daily commute vehicles and highway travel. It does not handle snow as effectively, though, as the lighter tread can’t grip the road as well. Additionally, it’s not meant to engage other slick conditions such as mud, gravel, and different off-road terrain.

What are All-Season Tires?

For areas that don’t see too heavy of snowfall, a set of all-season tires are a safe bet. The difference is in the treads. All-season tires have deeper grooves and a more rugged pattern. Additionally, they are made with compounds that help ensure that shifting weathers and temperatures don’t cause them to break down too rapidly. It’s important to note that all-season tires are meant for general-purpose wear. In the case of areas with severe snow, it’s best to consider true snow tires.

When To Choose Each

Both are excellent options for different reasons; it’s often challenging to decide on summer tires vs. all-season tires. Which one to get generally depends on where you are located. For instance, the stock selection of a tire shop in Boise, Idaho, likely looks very different from those in Maine or Washington. The reason for this is due to the average season experience in each area.

In drier regions, it’s possible to save on mileage by selecting performance tires. For areas with long periods of snow and dry or rainy conditions, it may be beneficial to have a spare set of either type at the ready. Areas with more snowfall should prioritize all-season tires to ensure safe driving even in the event of surprise snowfalls.