If you are in the market for some new winter tires, you are going to need to decide what type of tire tread you want on your new set of winter tires. Here is a quick rundown of the four different types of tire treads that you can find on the market.
#1: Directional Tread
When a tire is labeled as having a directional tread pattern, that means that all of the grooves and chevrons on the tire all point in the same direction. This type of directional tread pattern is designed so that water on the road is directed away from the path of your tires. This helps allow your tires to grip the road better. In rainy conditions, this type of tire tread also helps prevent your vehicle from hydroplaning.
Due to the way the tire tread is created, when you rotate directional tread tires, you need to rotate them from the front to the back. You cannot rotate them from one side to the other or rotate them diagonally from front to back switching sides.
#2: Symmetrical Tread
Symmetrical tread tires are designed so that the pattern that the grooves and chevrons creates is the same on all sides of the tire. By keeping a consistent pattern, symmetrical tires make a lot less noise than other tire designs. Symmetrical tire tread also wears very evenly and lasts a long time. With symmetrical tire treads, you can rotate the tires from side to side, diagonally or front to back. They work okay for winter coverage but are not specifically designed for winter driving.
#3: Asymmetrical Tread
Asymmetrical-tread tires generally have a couple different types of tread patterns on the tires. This type of tire tread is designed for multi-purpose tires. Generally, there are specific tire patterns on the middle of the tire that are designed to help propel water away from the path of your vehicle. They are also designed to provide a greater level of grip in the snow. Generally, asymmetrical tires also have tread blocks on the outside edge of the tire; this allows the tire to handle better when you take corners. These types of tires are designed for winter driving and for a more aggressive style of driving.
#4: Directional and Asymmetrical Tires
These are tires that have both a directional and asymmetrical pattern on the tire tread. The directional aspects help direct water away from the path of your tire. The asymmetrical section of the tire is designed to improve grip during dry weather and is also designed to help increase your traction and handling abilities.
When choosing new tires for your vehicle, think about where you live and how you drive, and choose a tire-tread design that fits your lifestyle.