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The difference between winter tires and all-season tires

If you have ever driven in winter with all-season tires, and then had the chance to drive on a snowy road with winter tires, you probably already know the difference between the two, and the advantages of one versus the other. That said, it is not always mandatory to equip your vehicle with winter tires depending on where you live, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it.


The main differences between all-season tires and winter tires can be summed up in three areas.

Thread depth

Winter tires have deeper threads in order to reduce snow buildup on the surface of the tire. That allows the rubber to have better contact with the road which in turn improves traction.

Thread pattern

The unique pattern associated with winter tires are designed to better channel snow and slush towards the back of the tire, essentially getting it out of the way and improving traction.


The rubber used in winter tires won’t harden as much in winter because of the cold. That means that they retain their flexibility which means they grip the road much better than all-season tires which stiffen when the temperature drops below 7 degrees.

Thank you to Gyro Mazda for their help with this article.

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