Ask a Pro - Jims Service Center
What is the difference between all-weather tires and snow tires?
There are two main differences between all-weather tires and snow tires; tread pattern and braking ability.
First is the tread pattern. Winter tire treads are specifically designed to handle snow and lower temperatures better.
A wider wheel design adds traction and helps dig into the snow. The grooves within the tire are wider as well, creating an easier channel for snow and water to travel through.
Inversely, all-season tires have a thinner wheel design to allow for faster driving on various terrains. The grooves are thinner on all-season tires as well, creating a smoother drive the highway surfaces, but don't expel as easily as winter tires.
Second is braking. Winter tires are specifically designed to create more traction to make it easier to brake in snow and icy conditions. Braking with winter tires in winter conditions typically feels like braking in normal conditions with all seasons tires. Braking with all-season tires in snow and icy conditions is more difficult and potentially dangerous. It requires slowing and braking at a considerably longer distances.