What are the Different Types of Tires?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tire types. It can be overwhelming just thinking about it. Fortunately, most people will only ever need one or two of the many different types. We’ve listed some of the most common ones and their purposes to clear up some confusion.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are made to handle a little bit of whatever mother-nature throws at them. They can be used on wet roads, dry roads, even roads coated in a light sprinkle of snow. However, extremely low temperatures can cause the rubber in all-season tires to harden, giving your tires less traction. This isn’t exactly the news you want to hear with 4 inches of snow on the ground, so keep that in mind the next time a bitter-cold snowy winter is predicted.

Winter or Snow Tires

Winter, also called snow, tires are the ones you want for that previously mentioned bitter-cold snowy winter. Because they are made with a special rubber to retain its traction in the cold, winter tires have a better grip, allowing you to brake easier in extreme cold weather. While it may be tempting to use these all year round, we don’t recommend it because the rubber is not meant for warmer temperatures and will degrade when consistently exposed to summer temperatures.


If you’re lucky, you have one of these in your car for emergencies. The reason why we say, if you’re lucky, is because not all new cars come with them or even have the space for one if you request it. For those who do have a temporary tire, often called a donut, these can be a life saver in the short term. Keep in mind, donuts are temporary. They aren’t as durable as an all-season tire because their thinner and lighter body prevents them from having the strength of a full-size tire.

All-terrain tires

Unless you have a truck or jeep and like to go off-roading, you will probably never need to purchase all-terrain tires.  These tires are meant for, well, all-terrain, but not all all-terrain tires are created equal. Different brands cater to different needs. Some all-terrain tires are better at driving over rocks and gravel, whereas others are better for driving over sand. Despite their name, there is one terrain that these tires tend not to do well in and that is mud, for which companies make mud tires.

If you are unsure of which tire you need, make sure you have the right set of tires on your car for the weather, call us and we’ll be happy to navigate you around the confusing world of tires.