Calling winter tires "snow tires" is like calling Wayne Gretzky a professional skater. It's technically true, but it massively undersells their abilities.
In fact, we'll take it a step further: We don't make snow tires. We make winter tires.
Just a difference of semantics, you say? We politely disagree. Here's why we want to set the record straight: Because winter tires aren't just made for snow, and they can even come in handy when there's no winter precip on the road.
Essential in Cold Weather
Winter tires are skilled at carving through snow, but they're important to have on your car before the first flake falls. When temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius), all-season tire rubber hardens like a hockey puck and loses grip on the road. That makes driving summer tires in the winter months a sketchy proposition even when roads are dry. It's why we recommend swapping to winter tires before the first snowfall and well below temps consistently drop below freezing.
Built for More Than Snow
The term "snow tires" is also a misnomer because winter tires are built to power through a diverse array of conditions, not just powder.
Get lots of ice? Our studded tires help drivers thrive on even the thickest sheets. Is slush an issue? Our tread patterns maintain sturdy contact with the road in the squirrely stuff.
In Finland, there are more than 40 words for "snow." And our Finnish-designed, Arctic-tested tires are crafted to help drivers thrive in every one of those conditions -- snow, sleet, freezing rain, solid ice, wet snow, dry powder, slush and even just a really cold dry road.
So the next time you hear someone call them "snow tires," remind them that Wayne Gretzky did a lot more than skate. And winter tires handle a lot more than just snow.