Comparing All-Season vs All-Weather vs Winter Tires

Comparing All-Season vs All-Weather vs Winter Tires


There is always a bit of a debate going on whether you can get away with all season tires in the winter or if it’s a must to change them to winters. And then there are all weather tires that can provide a good middle ground depending on the weather you drive in year round. There is no law in Nova Scotia requiring the use of winter tires, so the decision rests solely on how often you want to be replacing your tires, if you’re willing to store and switch out a second set of tires and rims and what works best for your vehicle and the weather you drive in. For most Nova Scotians, you’re going to need something grippier than an all season when you are driving on our winter roads. To help you decide which options will work best for you, we’ve compiled a list of the key differences and features of the different types of tire options commonly used for winter driving.


All Season:


-Are meant for warm, dry and wet conditions


-Finer tread, not meant for slush or snow


-Designed to grip the road in warmer weather


-Made of a harder compound so they last longer


-Use when temperatures are above 7 degrees Celsius All Weather


-Meant for milder winter conditions including heavy rain and snowfall


-Blocky tread that gives stability and handles well in slush


-Provides sensitive handling for warmer weather as well


-Stays flexible in most types of weather


-Use both above and below 7 degrees Celsius Winter


-Perform best in hash winter conditions including heavy snow, slush and ice


-Blocky tread with slits that grip the road in heavy snow and icy conditions


-Adding studs will create a more aggressive grip


-Remains soft in cold temperatures


-Use when the temp is below 7 degrees Celsius Winter tires feature big blocky treads, which move water and slush more efficiently, and are made of softer rubber that maintains flexibility in cold temperatures. When it’s hot though, that softness becomes a liability, which is why you need to swap out winter tires for all-season or all-weather once the weather warms back up. All weather tires are great for shoulder seasons (spring and fall) and will continue to perform decently in the summer, but they aren’t equipped to help you best in the dead of winter when storms, ice and heavy snowfall are common. So if you opt for all weather tires, you may find that you still need to change them out each winter. If you don’t drive in the winter much, or only stay within the city and can wait for plows to have hit the streets, all weathers may be a good fit for you. If you drive a lot, especially outside of the main city centres, you’re going to want winter tires for sure!

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