Differences of All Season Tires vs. Winter Tires

When to Use Winter Tires & All-Season Tires in Calgary

Differences of All Season Tires vs. Winter Tires

All-season tires and winter tires have exemplary performance, but they aren’t for driving in the same weather conditions. While all-season tires were created to eliminate the need to switch between snow and summer tires, winter tires are made specifically for driving in snow and ice. Our experts at Tire Pirates offer seasonal tire change services in Calgary, AB, and will help you better understand the differences between all-season tires and winter tires. We can find the perfect tires for your vehicle throughout the year.

engineer checking tires

Why Change Tires?

We’re committed to your safety on the road, so we recommend installing a complete set of winter tires before the wintry mix hits the roads. Some drivers wonder why they need different tires for different weather conditions. In Canada, we experience extreme temperatures with ice and snow. We wouldn’t wear flip-flops on the ice or snow jackets in the sun, so it’s essential to think the same way about tires. Winter tires are made specifically to drive in snow, ice, and rain. Spring offers the perfect time for all-season tires when winter tires won’t perform as well.

Winter Tires’ Tread Rubber Compound

A tire tread’s rubber isn’t made the same on all tires. Once temperatures drop below 42 degrees Fahrenheit, all-season tires’ rubber begins to harden. The flexibility of tire rubber in icy conditions is critical to the tire’s ability to grip the road. All-season and winter tires have about the same traction until the temperature drops, leading the all-season and summer tires to lose traction. On the other hand, winter tires soften and wear out faster in temperatures over 42 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tread Pattern for Optimal Grip 

The tread pattern on winter tires is specially made for snowy and icy conditions. Summer tires have solid ribs separated by wide grooves, and all-season tires have solid tread blocks arranged in a zig-zag pattern with wider grooves. Winter tires have a high density of biting edges for optimal traction in snow and ice. Narrow slits are molded into the tread to boost the biting edge and maintain the tread’s integrity in inclement weather conditions.

Tire Markings

Winter tires have unique markings that set them apart from other types of tires. The most common winter tire marking is a snowflake symbol. This type of symbol indicates the tire meets the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association of America and the Rubber Association of Canada snow traction performance requirements. All-season tires have a typical marking of M+S.

Which Tire Is Best? 

Winter tires and all-season tires are excellent types of tires for different conditions. Winter tires are made to perform in icy and snowy conditions on the road. If you live in a location that only gets a few snow flurries during the winter, all-season tires may be perfect for you. Winter tires are critical for inclement weather in most areas of Canada. Tire Pirates offers the highest quality, leading-brand winter snow tires, including Toyo Tires, Goodyear, Firestone, Micheline, West Lake, Cooper Tires, and more.

Visit Tire Pirates Today

Stop in one of our shops in Foothills or Chinook to check out our excellent tire selections. We’ll help determine if all-season or winter tires are best for your vehicle. We offer comprehensive mechanical services at our stores in Chinook and FoothillsContact us today to schedule an appointment for service!