Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking around and all I found was an answer on a wikianswer page. The answer was that "snow tires have a still more aggressive tread pattern than winter tires".

So if I were to walk into an auto shop, would I be able to find a section accurately labeled snow tires and another section labeled winter tires? Or are snow tires and winter tires interchangeable when it comes to labeling tires? Or both depending on the auto shop? :huh:
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XT
Joined
·
178 Posts
Do you want snow tires or winter tires? There are plenty of people on the board that have experience with multiple examples of both. I run the General Altimax Arctics for both my FXT and my WRX and I wouldn't run anything else. My friend is running Hankook Ice Bears W303 on his STi and loves them.

And if you want to see mine up close then feel free to come by the shop sometime. If I'm not too busy I can even take you out for a spin to demonstrate just why I love my tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you want snow tires or winter tires? There are plenty of people on the board that have experience with multiple examples of both. I run the General Altimax Arctics for both my FXT and my WRX and I wouldn't run anything else. My friend is running Hankook Ice Bears W303 on his STi and loves them.

And if you want to see mine up close then feel free to come by the shop sometime. If I'm not too busy I can even take you out for a spin to demonstrate just why I love my tires.
Oh thanks! I'll keep you in mind when wanting to buy snow or winter tires for a Subaru Forester when I buy one. I'm not really looking into buying just yet. =P However, right now I'm trying to find out if there even IS an OFFICIAL difference between snow tires and winter tires. I've seen people use it interchangeably so I'm a bit confused.
 

·
Registered
2004 2.5XT - Cobb Stage 2
Joined
·
564 Posts
I think the difference is pretty minimal but as I understand it...

Winter tires - Designed for clear roads and minimal snow/ice with a rubber compound that works well in cold weather
Snow tires - Designed for much heavier snow/ice at the expense of dry road handling

I run Firestone Winterforce tires on my FXT and I understand them to be a Snow tire.. they work fantastic in the snow/ice but dry handling leaves a little to be desired.. it's not bad mind you but my modded FXT is definitely too much for those tires if driven at its potential. I really have to dial down my driving on them, even in dry weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the difference is pretty minimal but as I understand it...

Winter tires - Designed for clear roads and minimal snow/ice with a rubber compound that works well in cold weather
Snow tires - Designed for much heavier snow/ice at the expense of dry road handling

I run Firestone Winterforce tires on my FXT and I understand them to be a Snow tire.. they work fantastic in the snow/ice but dry handling leaves a little to be desired.. it's not bad mind you but my modded FXT is definitely too much for those tires if driven at its potential. I really have to dial down my driving on them, even in dry weather.
Oh, I see. The compromise comes with the tread patterns and the type of rubber used, right?
 

·
Registered
2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
Joined
·
3,658 Posts
Oh thanks! I'll keep you in mind when wanting to buy snow or winter tires for a Subaru Forester when I buy one. I'm not really looking into buying just yet. =P However, right now I'm trying to find out if there even IS an OFFICIAL difference between snow tires and winter tires. I've seen people use it interchangeably so I'm a bit confused.
AFAIK, it's the same dang thing. Winter/Snow tire has aggressive tread and rubber that stays grippy in cold temps is my understanding.

I think it's mostly semantics at a certain point, just common sense when buying and look at the tread an it's ratings.
 

·
Registered
08 Audi RS4 6 speed man
Joined
·
156 Posts
AFAIK, it's the same dang thing. Winter/Snow tire has aggressive tread and rubber that stays grippy in cold temps is my understanding.
X2 i thought snow/winter tires have more grip, deeper thread and better traction in the snow
 

·
Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
Joined
·
24,014 Posts
Well as far as things are concerned in Canada, a winter tire is just a generic M&S rated tire... typically a highend all-season
A snow tire doesn't have the M designation and is meant to be run in snow, but is more than capable on dry or wet pavement without any snow. I'm running Michelin Xice2's as my winter/snow tires.

essentially we look at them as being dedicated Summer, Snow, or All-Terrain tires... everything in between can be called whatever you really want.
 

·
Premium Member
12 Premium 5-speed
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
Car and Driver had a good article about the various options an issue or two back. You can find it online here. A snip:

During our devastating Michigan winters, a regular point of contention at C/D is whether to fit snow-and-ice tires or a newer category of winter tires, called “performance winter.” The snow-and-ice backers argue that there are few things greater than being endowed with superhero traction during a blizzard, which can lead to unforgettable role reversals such as blasting around a Crown Vic police cruiser struggling mightily to get up a slight grade and leaving it in a blur of swirling snow. (If any law officers are reading this, note that the above never happened.) The performance-winter faction rightly points out that even if you live in a metropolitan area that gets significant snowfall, most driving will nonetheless occur on plowed roads. And these guys, always thinking about maximum g’s, would give up some snow-and-ice traction for additional dry grip. Both tire types are to be used exclusively during winter (below temperatures of 35 degrees F), but the performance-winter variety comes with a higher speed rating and the promise of a more secure and connected feeling between the tire and a dry road, a feeling that is often lacking in snow-and-ice tires with their deeply grooved treads and soft, pliable rubber.
Good article with some interesting test results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Car and Driver had a good article about the various options an issue or two back. You can find it online here. A snip:



Good article with some interesting test results.
So winter performance tires offer more dry traction but lose some of it's snow traction when compared to snow-and-ice tires, correct?
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester AE
Joined
·
1,723 Posts
what you will find is that other than the symbol posted above there is no OFFICIAL word on snow vs ice vs winter etc tires. this is because there are soo many tire companies and each has it's own name/trademark/logic as to what a winter tire should be. They all have different advantages and drawbacks.

motorsport wise a snow tire is very skinny and has big spaced lugs; this is the yoko A034: 195/65R15;


these lugs shovel and shed loose snow like a sand paddle.. but you wouldn't want to go far on the road with them..
 

·
Registered
2010 Sexually Trans infec 6MT
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
like a few already mentioned above, I categorize "winter" tires into to categories:
Snow - better snow/ice traction with poor dry condition performance
Performance Winter - Good performance in cold dry conditions with okay snow traction.

In chicago I run performance winters (like Dunlop 3Ds or Nokian WRG2s) as the snow is usually plowed within hours.
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
486 Posts
Do you want snow tires or winter tires? There are plenty of people on the board that have experience with multiple examples of both. I run the General Altimax Arctics for both my FXT and my WRX and I wouldn't run anything else. My friend is running Hankook Ice Bears W303 on his STi and loves them.

And if you want to see mine up close then feel free to come by the shop sometime. If I'm not too busy I can even take you out for a spin to demonstrate just why I love my tires.
Where do you work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
like a few already mentioned above, I categorize "winter" tires into to categories:
Snow - better snow/ice traction with poor dry condition performance
Performance Winter - Good performance in cold dry conditions with okay snow traction.

In chicago I run performance winters (like Dunlop 3Ds or Nokian WRG2s) as the snow is usually plowed within hours.
Hrmm.. okay. :)
what you will find is that other than the symbol posted above there is no OFFICIAL word on snow vs ice vs winter etc tires. this is because there are soo many tire companies and each has it's own name/trademark/logic as to what a winter tire should be. They all have different advantages and drawbacks.

motorsport wise a snow tire is very skinny and has big spaced lugs; this is the yoko A034: 195/65R15;


these lugs shovel and shed loose snow like a sand paddle.. but you wouldn't want to go far on the road with them..
Wow, those are some distinctive treads. >.>

This is the emblem for severe snow rating.
Thank you!
 

·
Registered
2000 Forester
Joined
·
263 Posts
My Hankook Winter iPeak's have the sever service emblem, and are quite aggressive, where as the similar Hankook IceBears are very much like a all season in tread pattern. Thats the biggest difference.
 

·
Registered
2016 Forester XT AT
Joined
·
1,295 Posts
According to Transport Canada, there is no difference between "snow" and "winter" tires. To be legal for use in Canada, a snow/winter tire must have the sever snow logo on it:



More from TC, including a link to what tires are acceptable as winter tires in Canada, here: Winter Tire Safety Tips - Vehicle Safety Features - Safe Vehicles - Road and Motor Vehicle Safety - Road Transportation - Transport Canada.

Tire choice by individuals should be based on the conditions they expect to drive in. For example, I have found that my Blizzak WS60's are an incredible tire at temps below -10 or so, so work very well for the majority of the winter driving I do but they do not work very well in slushy conditions. If I lived on the South Coast/Vancouver Island of BC area, I would go with a more aggressive/open pattern like the General Altimax Arctic's we have on the Sienna. Its winter travels are more to Vancouver, so it needs the better slush/water evacuation properties than I do with my driving to Northern BC/Alberta.
 

·
Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
Joined
·
4,255 Posts
Tire Rack's "Winter Tire Tech" section of their Tech Center library contains several useful articles. "How to Confirm a Winter Performer" is one example.

Point to www.tirerack.com, select "Shopping Tools", pull down to "Tech Center", select and then scan down to the Winter Tire Tech section.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top