The Best Snow Tires of 2021-2022

The Best Snow Tires of 2021-2022


This winter, have confidence on the roads in any weather with a solid set of snow tires.

When winter weather arrives, the show must go on — but keep the drama at a minimum with a set of trustworthy snow tires. Now when the weatherman calls for wintery conditions, you can make white-knuckle winter drives a thing of the past with a quality set of snow tires.

The best snow tires for you will depend on your vehicle and your location, which is why we’ve broken up our list of the best snow tires into a range of options to cover everything from small cars and sedans to full-size trucks and SUVs.

We’ve also included some heavy-duty studded tires for the worst winter weather you might encounter as well as a snow-oriented performance tire, in case you get mild winters with only an occasional dusting of the white stuff. Either way, you should be able to find a set of tires that suits both your typical winter conditions and your vehicle on our list of the best snow tires.

The Best Snow Tires of 2021-2022

Best Overall: Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

The latest iteration of the popular Bridgestone Blizzak snow tire features a new tread compound with a larger contact patch specifically designed for better performance on ice. This optimized contact patch helps distribute forces evenly across the tire, giving you better stability in dry, icy, and snowy conditions — and shortening your stopping distance on ice and snow.

The tire’s hydrophilic coating helps the tire remain pliable in below-freezing conditions. Bridgestone’s silica-enhanced tread has tiny “bite particles” that act like microscopic studs to add grip.

This, combined with stiffer tread blocks and the interlocking sipes, gives the tire better handling in winter weather. It also helps prolong the life of the tire. Ideal for sedans, coupes, minivans, and crossovers, the Blizzak WS90 is available in a wide range of sizes.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 14-19″
  • Price Range: $99-230 per tire
Pros:
  • Excellent ice traction
  • Quiet ride
  • Available in a wide range of sizes
Cons:

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Runner-Up: Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Michelin X-ice XI3

Michelin’s third generation of its popular X-ice winter tire offers the traction you want in snowy weather. Michelin’s top-performing snow tire includes its patented Cross Z Sipes, Micro-Pumps, and Flex Ice Compound all designed to improve handling and cold-weather traction.

These tires also come with Michelin’s MaxTouch construction, which features a unique contact patch shape to maximize tread life. Another cool feature is the tire is built to be environmentally friendly, meeting Michelin’s Green X standard for low rolling resistance and energy efficiency. This reduces your fuel consumption while still giving you excellent grip in the snow.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 15-19″
  • Price Range: $80-230 per tire
Pros:
  • Rated high on comfort and durability
  • 6-year/40,000-mile tread life warranty
  • Green X technology for improved efficiency
Cons:
  • Noisy
  • Some reviewers note poor traction in slush

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Best Budget Studdable Snow Tire: Cooper Evolution Winter Tire

Cooper Evolution Winter
This sturdy winter tire fits cars, crossovers, and SUVs. It provides great performance in deep snow and other harsh elements that winter may throw your way. The tires are also studdable for improved ice traction. They’re rated for severe weather and have a standard limited warranty.

Reviewers have noted that this tire provides excellent traction in deep snow conditions. The tire has a directional tread pattern for better braking and acceleration on slippery road surfaces. The wide, rigid tread blocks add stability for better handling on ice or in deep snow. That being said, the Cooper Evolution is meant to be primarily used in winter conditions — this snow tire isn’t meant for mild winters or mostly dry roads.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 14-20″
  • Price Range: $87-203 per tire
Pros:
  • Studdable
  • Severe Snow Service Rated
  • Wide range of sizes
Cons:
  • Aggressive tread pattern not ideal for dry roads or warm weather

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Best for Trucks/SUVs: General Grabber Arctic LT

General Grabber Arctic LT

If you’re in the market for a burly snow tire made for use with pickups, SUVs, or full-size vans, the Grabber Arctic LT is a reliable option for snow, slush, and ice. The studdable tires are reinforced with high-strength steel belts for added durability and stability.

The rubber compound is designed to stay flexible in freezing temps, keeping the tire responsive even on those below-freezing days. Ideal for use in severe weather conditions, these rugged snow tires are made for drivers who need to hit the roads even in the most extreme winter weather — whether that’s to plow out your neighbors or catch the first run at the slopes.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 16-20″
  • Price Range: $167-240 per tire
Pros:
  • Excellent snow and ice traction
  • Made for light trucks and SUVs
  • Studdable
Cons:
  • Limited sizes
  • Rugged tire that performs best in winter conditions

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Best for Crossovers: Firestone Winterforce 2 UV

Firestone Winterforce 2 UV

The Firestone Winterforce 2 UV is designed with crossovers and minivans in mind. The directional tread pattern has deep grooves, open shoulder slots, and wide lateral notches all designed to provide the best grip possible. Additionally, the high sipe density tread pattern adds even more traction for snow and ice as well as resistance to hydroplaning.

The tires are winter-certified and studdable. They’re built with two steel belts on top of a polyester casing for a durable, smooth ride. Drivers report good tread life even with use on dry roads.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 15-18″
  • Price Range: $105-171 per tire
Pros:
  • Excellent traction in snow
  • Good performance in both wet and dry conditions
  • Responsive
Cons:

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Best for Passenger Cars/Sedans: Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3

Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow

Michelin-owned Uniroyal has been a trusted brand for tires for decades, and this winter tire is another excellent addition to its collection. The Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3 has a unique tread pattern that helps the tire stay flexible and perform well on the pavement even in very cold temperatures. It’s a great option for cars or sedans that see cold, dry winters with the occasional snow.

The directional tread pattern has zig-zag grooves, 3D shoulder sipes, and wide lateral grooves all intended to provide excellent traction in snow. And the tire has added silica for even better grip than most tires on wet surfaces so you don’t have to worry about wet or slushy roads. The tire is studdable if you want to add even more grip if you live in an area that sees a lot of ice.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 15-17″
  • Price Range: $74-132 per tire
Pros:
  • Quiet
  • Studdable
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
Cons:
  • Not the most aggressive snow tire for deep snow or ice

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Best for All-Around Adventure Use: Nitto EXO Grappler AWT

Nitto EXO Grappler AWT

If you’re looking for a do-everything, off-road-ready tire that can also handle a winter blizzard, the Nitto EXO Grappler AWT is a winter-rated tire ready for all of the above — and more. The all-weather compound is drilled for studs and features a durable 3-ply sidewall for added durability on rough roads.

The tread pattern is designed to provide traction off the pavement as well as add grip in snow or on ice. The lateral grooves work to remove water, snow, and slush from the tire, and Nitto even incorporates a variable pitch tread block design specifically to help reduce road noise on the highway. It’s not often a multitasker does all of its jobs this well, but the EXO Grappler AWT is decidedly well-suited for rugged winter driving — and adventurous off-roading.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 17-20″
  • Price Range: $220-502 per tire
Pros:
  • Excellent traction in deep snow and on ice
  • Off-road capable
  • Studdable
Cons:

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Best for High-Performance Winter Driving: Pirelli P Zero Winter

Pirelli P Zero Winter

Not ready to hang up the keys to your sports car when winter rolls around? Now you don’t have to, with the Pirelli P Zero Winter, a snow tire designed specifically for high-performance winter driving. Whether you have a sports car, coupe, sedan, or a high-performance crossover or SUV, the P Zero is designed to give you the kind of high-level driving experience you enjoy in the warmer months.

The P Zero Winter tread compound is engineered to stay flexible and responsive in cold conditions, while the tread pattern is designed to simultaneously evacuate water and slush from the contact patch while adding lateral stability for confident turn-in and cornering. Drivers report the P Zero does best in cold, dry conditions or on roads with light snow.

Sure, this isn’t the tire you want to take out in the next blizzard, but it will allow you to dust off that sports car even in the dead of winter. Just be prepared to pay to play, as these tires aren’t exactly budget-friendly.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 19-22″
  • Price Range: $404-665 per tire
Pros:
  • Designed for high-performance driving
  • Fit sports cars, coupes, and sedans
Cons:
  • Not meant for severe winter conditions or deep snow
  • Expensive

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Best Studded Tire: Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10

This Nokian tire has long been a popular choice for extreme winter driving. It delivers a balanced and stable grip in winter conditions and is extremely durable. The tire comes studded for grip on ice. Available for both passenger cars and SUVs, the Hakkapeliitta 10 also comes in an EV version, which gets a stronger structure, additional rubber, and Nokian’s SilentDrive technology for use with EVs and hybrids.

The Hakkapeliitta 10 utilizes Nokian’s Double Stud Technology with center studs to improve acceleration and braking grip and studs on the shoulder of the tire to maximize turn-in grip. The stud pattern is designed to add traction especially when the conditions get extreme. Additionally, the strong sidewall helps resist any impacts or cuts, making this a durable and long-lasting winter tire.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 14-20″
  • Price Range: $150-430 per tire
Pros:
  • Come studded
  • Excellent on ice
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Noisy on dry roads due to studs

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Best of the Rest

Sumitomo Ice Edge 

Sumitomo Ice Edge

The Sumitomo Ice Edge is certified to work its best in snow. Whether you’re facing a blizzard or icy roads, these tires are designed to give you traction in winter conditions. These studdable winter tires are made to fit most passenger cars and SUVs.

The tread compound and 3D sipe technology maximize grip even in freezing temperatures. The tire has a wide tread pattern that helps enhance grip in light snow and slush. The triangle pattern of the center tread blocks adds stability, helping to improve handling, especially when braking.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 14-20″
  • Price Range: $103-280 per tire
Pros:
  • Studabble
  • Sturdy and responsive in cold weather conditions
Cons:

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Federal Himalaya WS2

Federal Himalaya

Constructed with a unique compound intended to promote straight-line stability, Federal Himalaya tires are built with premium materials to promote wear resistance

These Federal snow tires have an optimal tread pattern for added traction in ice, mud, and wet road conditions. A key factor that helps these tires stand out is they have great water dispersion for wet or slushy weather, making them a good option for climates with freezing rain or slushy road conditions.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 13-18″
  • Price Range: $107-145 per tire
Pros:
  • Good traction in rain, snow, and ice
  • Studdable
  • Good treadwear
Cons:
  • Not as comfortable at highway speeds
  • Noisy

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Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter

Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter

For a reliable, no-frills snow tire you can depend on for good traction in snow, slush, and ice, the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter tire comes highly rated. These tires, which fit passenger cars, minivans, and crossovers as well as SUVs and light-duty pickup trucks, deliver good snow and wet performance.

These tires have wide tread grooves to eliminate snow and slush getting packed in the tread, as well as a directional tread pattern for better traction on snow and ice. If you’re looking for even better traction on packed snow or ice, the tires are studdable and can accommodate alternating rows of metal studs.

Specs:
  • Rim Sizes: 14-15″
  • Price Range: $83-90 per tire
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Decent traction in all conditions
Cons:
  • Limited sizes
  • Not as aggressive as other snow tires

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Snow Tires

You should consider a few factors when picking the best snow tires. First, determine your budget. You should also consider where you live and how much snow you typically get during the winter. If you have very mild winters, you may be fine with a set of all-season tires.

However, if you see regular snowfall or icy road conditions, you’ll want to consider upgrading to snow tires. For locations with severe winter weather, you might even want a studded set of snow tires.

It’s worth noting that all-season tires are not the same as snow tires. Though you can use an all-season tire year-round, you won’t get the same level of performance on snow and ice as from a dedicated set of snow tires. Here are a few things you should consider when deciding which snow tire is best for you.

Local Winter Weather Conditions

First, consider where you live. For locations with mild winters or those that only get a few light snowfalls each winter, you may be able to stick with all-season tires or all-terrain tires. However, if you regularly drive in snow or ice storms, you could probably use a set of snow tires.

cooper evolution snow tires on crossover
(Photo/Cooper)

All-Season vs. Snow Tires

It’s a common misconception that if you have all-season or all-terrain tires, then you don’t need snow tires. While all-season tires are designed for year-round use and all-terrain tires work well in elements such as mud and rain, snow tires provide the best traction specifically for snowy and icy conditions.

Snow tires perform best in winter conditions. While all-season tires have a harder rubber compound, snow tires have a hydrophilic rubber. The harder rubber of all-season tires works better on hot pavement. The softer rubber of snow tires will be more pliable in cold winter weather.

Another factor is tread design. Snow tires have larger grooves and specific tread patterns to help keep slush and ice from building up in the tread. You can also add metal studs to many snow tires — studded snow tires will be the most winter-ready tires you can put on your vehicle.

Price & Brand

One last thing you should consider is how much money you want to spend. Many snow tires have a relatively similar price point, so you can steer toward the lower-priced options if you’re on a budget.

Most well-known tire brands have at least one quality snow tire that should perform moderately well in winter conditions. If you have a preferred brand of tire, chances are they also make a snow tire you can purchase for your car this winter.

closeup of Nokian Hakkapeliitta on SUV
(Photo/Nokian)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It OK to Buy Used Snow Tires?

If you’re on a budget, used snow tires can be a cheaper alternative. However, make sure the snow tires are lightly used, no more than a year or two old, and don’t have too much wear.

Check the tread depth to make sure the tire has enough life left. A new tire normally has about 11/32 of tread depth. If getting a used tire, aim for something in the 7-10/32 range or more.

Also, make sure the tires aren’t more than a few years old (and definitely no older than 6 years since the manufacture date). Rubber degrades (dry rots) over time, greatly reducing the tires’ dependability and capabilities in adverse weather conditions.

Are Chains a Better Option Than Snow Tires?

If you’re planning to drive on the highway in snowy conditions, chains are probably not the way to go. Chains are effective for snowy and icy conditions. However, they’re best for mountain driving at slower speeds and require you to put them on and take them off at the side of the road.

Snow tires, on the other hand, are designed to not only drive on snow and ice but also perform effectively at high speeds on dry pavement. Chains are not a substitute for snow tires but can be a good option to have on hand in a pinch.

What’s the Difference Between Studded and Studless Snow Tires?

When deciding which kind of snow tire you need, consider your driving habits. Studless tires work well in slush and on packed snow. They have wide and deep grooves that allow for optimal traction.

Studded tires, on the other hand, give you even greater traction on ice. The metal studs will stick into slick surfaces for added grip. One downside is that studded tires can be quite noisy on dry roads.


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