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Driving in the winter is unquestionably the most dangerous and causes the most accidents. Because there is less traction and grip on snow, ice, and slush, driving on these surfaces can be extremely hazardous. Most drivers aren’t prepared for the significant disparity in stopping distance that icy conditions present, which can be anywhere from two to three times longer than normal. This is especially relevant if the tires on your car are not designed for the winter weather.
Even while there are a lot of all-season and all-weather options available, which claim to have better traction in the snow, such options still can’t give drivers dependable performance in those kinds of situations. In my opinion, all-season tires do not provide an adequate level of safety for driving in the winter, particularly when it snows or when there is ice on the road.
Because of this, I never fail to advocate getting appropriate winter tires. These items are developed to improve the driver’s traction, handling, and braking performance on slippery terrain such as snow, ice, and slush. Their functionality is supposed to be long-lasting.
Having said that, even the greatest winter tires aren’t going to cut it in regions where snow and ice are present throughout the whole year. If you frequently drive in deep snow, you should probably invest in snow tires equipped with studs. These tires were developed specifically for use in extremely severe winter conditions and perform exceptionally well in both heavy snow and on ice.
The problem is that there are not a lot of different types of studded tires available on the market. The primary reason for this is demand; consumers do not purchase a significant quantity of studded tires. An further issue is that studded snow tires are prohibited from use in several states in the United States, as well as in many other nations across the world.
Therefore, there are a lot of considerations to make when it comes to studded tires. To begin, you should really only consider purchasing studded tires if you reside in regions that see extremely severe winter weather, as they are not very effective on paved surfaces. Additionally, you will need to ensure that you have the ability to install and remove the studs annually, which will require you to take your vehicle to a tire provider.
After that, you will need to locate snow tires that include studs. Because the majority of them are generally not stocked in the tire shop that is most convenient to you, your best bet is probably to make the purchase online. You have, fortunately, arrived just in time to find out about the offers for studded tires that are currently available on the internet.
I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the top studded snow tires currently available on the market in this post. This list is primarily comprised of studded winter tires; however, it also has a few studded all-terrain tires that, in my opinion, perform exceptionally well in severe wintry circumstances.
A buyer’s guide for studded winter tires can be found further down here. I wrote that section to assist drivers who don’t have a strong grasp of studded tires, as well as other topics, such as the regulations that exist in some states. It is highly recommended that you read through that section in order to select the most appropriate tires for your requirements.
Therefore, without further ado, let’s have a look at what the 11 best studded snow tires are that are now available on the market.
The 11 Best Studded Snow Tires Available in 2023
I – Best Studded Snow Tires for Minivans, Crossovers, and Sedans
1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9
People who are interested in purchasing studded tires do so mostly because of the increased grip on snow and ice that these products provide. In addition, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 is now the best tire available on the market for driving in such situations. The Hakkapeliitta 9 demonstrates why the Finnish manufacturer has been, for a very long time, our top pick when it comes to harsh winter tires.
The snow and ice performance is absolutely amazing, and this is true even if the studs are not attached to the tire. Snow traction is superior to what the competition can supply, probably as a result of the cuts on both sides of the center blocks, which produce sharp edges for enhanced grip and traction. Snow traction is a step above what the competition can offer.
In addition to this, Nokian was successful in fitting the Hakkapeliitta 9 with not one but two distinct types of studs. Studs placed in the center of the tire are designed to improve grip during acceleration and braking, while studs placed on the tire’s edges are intended to improve the vehicle’s ability to turn corners.
The outcome is quite remarkable, since we have never before used a studded winter tire that performed as well as this one did on ice. In addition to this, the tire performs exceptionally well on slush as well as on conditions that combine slush and ice.
As was to be expected, the turning capabilities of the Hakkapeliitta 9 are somewhat compromised when driven on dry terrain. You can hear noise on the highway, but the tire is comfortable (the wet traction is acceptable, but it isn’t as spectacular as the best premium tires), and the tire has good comfort overall.
But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the Hakkapeliitta 9 is the greatest studded winter tire for severe weather conditions; it keeps you safe even when you think it’s impossible for a tire to do so.
- Exceptional traction and braking over snow
- Best-in-class traction and braking on ice
- Outstanding traction and braking over slush
- Comfortable for a studded snow tire
- Performance on dry pavement is only average
- Noisy on the highway
2. Goodyear WinterCommand
The Goodyear WinterCommand is an exceptional tire that is recommended for use in regions that experience extremely severe winter weather for owners of sedans, minivans, and crossovers. In contrast to other studded tires, this one not only has a high performance rating, but it also has an exceptionally high level of toughness and durability.
The WinterCommand, when equipped with studs, offers the driver simply unrivaled levels of grip, handling, and braking performance on snowy terrain. In addition, the tire works quite well on icy surfaces, which provides the driver with excellent handling characteristics. The performance of Slush is also quite high quality.
Even without the studs attached, the WinterCommand performs at a level that is comparable to that of the very best studless winter tires now available on the market.
Having said that, the performance on dry roads is terrible when the studs are attached to the tires, but it is just mediocre when they are not. Additionally, the WinterCommand does not provide the same level of comfort as the Hakkapeliitta 9 when the studs are installed, and it can be quite noisy while traveling on the highway.
Despite this, the Goodyear WinterCommand is an amazing option for customers in the United States because of its affordability. In addition to that, this tire is easily accessible, in contrast to the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9, which is not.
- Exceptional traction in the snow
- Excellent ice traction and braking
- Outstanding performance in slush
- Tough and durable compound
- Works great even without the treads attached
- Uncomfortable on dry roads
- Noisy on the highway
3. Firestone Winterforce 2
The second generation of Firestone’s Winterforce tire, which is one of the most popular studded snow tires currently available, was just released not too long ago. The new Winterforce 2 model, just like its predecessor, is capable of achieving exceptional performance across the board.
Even on snow and ice, the tire can be used effectively even if the studs are not fastened to it. In addition, the tire performs exceptionally well both when driving on dry roads and when driving in very heavy rain. Having said that, you should be prepared for a ride that is somewhat uncomfortable and for an increase in the amount of noise while driving on the highway.
On a more upbeat note, the Winterforce 2 is an excellent choice for use in wintry situations when equipped with the metallic winter studs that are included in the package. In this scenario, the tires have exceptional traction over the snow, and they perform far better on ice roads.
The treadlife is said to be quite good for a studded winter tire, which came as a pleasant surprise to me when I considered the tire’s affordable pricing. This is just one of the many great things about the Winterforce 2 tire.
- Exceptional snow traction and braking
- Excellent handling on ice (with studs attached)
- Handles wet conditions very well (without the studs)
- Very good treadlife
- Inexpensive for a studded snow tire
- Noisy on the highway
- The ride quality could be better
4. Laufenn I Fit Ice Studdable
The Laufenn I Fit Ice Studdable is an excellent option to consider picking up as your next set of studdable winter tires if you are interested in cutting costs. If you want to give the impression that you really mean business, buying studded tires is the way to go.
Even without the addition of studs, for example, the snow traction is on par with that of tires that cost significantly more. Additionally, the handling has a surefooted feel to it, and the stopping distances are not that far. Even on packed snow, the performance of this tire is significantly improved when studs are installed.
Ice traction is also quite impressive, especially considering the low cost. This is especially true when you can have superb handling, appropriate acceleration, and acceptable braking with the studs attached. In this configuration, you may experience all three.
To my pleasant surprise, the I Fit Ice has a very smooth ride when traveling on roads that are dry. The handling is also rather good, but it cannot compete with the handling provided by the very best winter tires currently available. The category average for wet traction is also met by this product.
However, when compared to premium tires, the Laufenn has a treadlife that is far less than the competition. This is unquestionably the Laufenn’s most significant drawback.
- Outstanding snow traction for the price
- With the studs, it provides the driver with excellent ice traction
- Smooth ride quality (without the studs)
- Very competitive pricing
- Treadlife is shorter than the premium competition
- Doesn’t feel very responsive on dry surfaces
- Could see further improvement in wet performance
II – Best Studded Snow Tires for Smaller Compact Cars
5. General Altimax Arctic 12
Whether or not the studs are mounted, the General Altimax Arctic 12 is widely considered to be among the best winter tires currently available on the market. The accessibility of the Altimax Arctic 12 is one of its strongest selling points, as is the case with the vast majority of items sold by General Tire.
You are getting exceptional winter performance despite the modest price that you are paying. The fact that the Altimax Arctic 12 can perform almost as well as premium winter tires even when the studs have not been mounted to them is surely something to be commended for. Furthermore, after you have attached the studs, you should be prepared for great traction, braking, and handling in the snow and ice.
It is interesting to note that the Altimax Arctic 12 performs admirably on dry and wet roads alike, including during the winter when dry roads are the norm. The only aspect that I would like to see improved is how noisy the operation is when it is set to higher speeds, but I believe that prospective purchasers will be able to overlook this flaw, especially when considering the cost.
- Exceptional snow traction, handling, and braking (studs or no studs)
- Outstanding ice traction (studs)
- Handles wet conditions very well (without the studs)
- Excellent performance on wet pavement
- Low price
6. Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
The Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter is intended to be driven on the majority of the time without the studs attached. Having said that, if necessary, you can put studs with a number 12 and significantly improve the traction in the winter.
It’s not like you’ll use them very often. When used without the studs, the Ultra Grip Winter demonstrates already impressive levels of performance. The snow traction and stopping power are both quite good, and the handling is very secure. You won’t have any issues with ice traction or braking, and you won’t have any issues with slush either.
However, when studs are applied, the Ultra Grip Winter becomes a completely different beast. Because of the studs, the vehicle’s traction on snow and ice, as well as its handling and stopping ability, are all significantly enhanced.
The Ultra Grip Winter is a very safe tire to use on dry pavement, but it does not have the same level of control as other winter tires. In addition to this, the treadlife is only around average. The fact that Goodyear sells this tire at costs that are on par with those of its competitors, however, helps to alleviate some of these concerns.
- Exceptional traction over snow, with or without studs
- Outstanding traction over ice (studs attached)
- Excellent wet traction (without studs)
- Handling on dry tarmac is below average
- Treadlife is average
7. Cooper Evolution Winter
The Cooper Evolution Winter is yet another excellent studded snow tire that does not break the bank and performs brilliantly in virtually all of the relevant categories. This is especially valid with regard to traction and handling in the winter.
The Sawtooth circumferential center rib is responsible for the Evolution Winter’s remarkably good handling on both dry and wet surfaces, as well as an improvement in traction during the winter months. Both braking and traction in wet conditions are excellent, at least when compared to the performance of other winter tires. Having said that, there is still a problem with noise at higher speeds.
When it comes to handling in the snow, the Evolution Winter performs as well as one might hope for from a tire that is priced so affordably. This is partly attributable to the Snow Groove technology, which serves to improve grip by entrapping snow within the tread of the tire. You can anticipate significantly improved traction on ice terrain now that the studs have been fitted.
In conclusion, we anticipate the Evolution Winter to have a high level of durability, particularly with regard to its treadlife.
- Excellent snow traction, handling, and braking (studs or no studs)
- Very good performance in slush
- Ice traction, braking, and handling are outstanding with studs attached
- Durable design
8. Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3
The studded snow tire produced by Uniroyal is one of the most reasonably priced options available, but it delivers excellent performance in comparison to its cost.
Obviously, there are some drawbacks associated with the tire. To be more specific, the Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3 does not perform as admirably on ice when the studs are not attached. On dry pavement, the tire’s lack of responsiveness makes it difficult to drive, and it also diminishes the steering feel.
On the other hand, the Uniroyal does quite well in a number of other categories. Even without the studs affixed, the tire’s performance in the snow is practically on par with that of its premium counterparts. When the studs are attached, the traction, braking, and handling are all much improved, and the vehicle’s overall performance on ice is enhanced.
In contrast to a lot of budget-friendly winter tires, the Uniroyal performs remarkably well both on dry and wet pavement. Additionally, I have heard really positive things regarding the treadlife, and it appears that customers are pleased with the product as a whole.
- Excellent snow traction and braking
- Good handling on ice (with studs attached)
- Budget-friendly pricing
- Safe and reliable on dry and wet roads
- Handling isn’t very responsive on dry roads
- Without studs, ice traction is below average
III – Best Studded Snow Tires for SUVs and Trucks
9. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV is a comparable tire to the Hakkapeliitta 9, albeit in larger size. This causes the price to rise to an uncomfortable level for some purchasers, but the Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV is the best studded tire for SUVs and trucks if money is not an issue for you.
Even without the studs affixed, the tire offers a significant competitive edge over its contemporaries. The traction in the snow is absolutely outstanding. You should not have any problems with accelerating, cornering, or braking. Additionally, the tire performs exceptionally well when traversing slush.
When the studs are installed, the Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV transforms into a genuine ice carver. The two distinct types of studs, one designed for acceleration and braking and the other for cornering, are likely responsible for the incredible traction that this product offers on ice.
Even on more uneven pavement, the Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV maintains an impressive level of ride comfort thanks to its studded tires. Despite this, noise is still a problem when traveling at highway speeds. Additionally, dry cornering performance isn’t as outstanding as it is on some other premium winter tires, and stopping distances are further than they are with those tires.
In spite of this, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV is, in my opinion, the best tire you can get for an SUV if you live in an area that experiences severe winter weather and you drive one.
- Outstanding traction, grip, and braking over snow
- Best-in-class traction and braking on ice
- Exceptional traction and braking over slush
- Comfortable on the road, especially for the category
- Traction, handling, and braking on dry tarmac are average
- Noisy at higher speeds
10. Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT
The Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT is a rugged tire that is available in LT-metric sizes. It is also a tire that performs exceptionally well in environments with a significant amount of snow and ice.
Because it is equipped with Winter Reactive Technology, the tire offers an exceptional level of traction, handling, and braking performance not just on snowy and icy roads, but also on wet roads and in slush. The WRT LT will not function properly over ice if the studs are not installed; however, this issue can be remedied by attaching the studs.
The studded snow tire that Goodyear makes for vehicles is likewise exceptionally strong and long-lasting.
- Outstanding snow traction
- Exceptional ice traction with the studs attached
- Excellent traction in slush
- Good dry and wet performance
- Ice traction without the studs is only average
11. General Grabber Arctic LT
The Grabber Arctic LT demonstrates that you do not need to spend a lot of money to equip your truck with high-quality studded snow tires.
Even though it is priced affordably, the Grabber Arctic LT offers the driver superior grip and stopping power on snow, ice, and slush, particularly when the studs are mounted. The tire continues to impress both on dry and rainy roads with its safe handling, excellent braking, and comfortable riding, notwithstanding the conditions of the road.
Having saying that, the Arctic LT has a reputation for being a raucous vehicle on the highway. Additionally, General only provides this tire in a limited number of LT-metric sizes, which restricts its availability for the vast majority of trucks.
- Very good performance in the snow, regardless of whether or not studs are put.
- On ice, exceptional traction and stopping power, especially when equipped with studs
- Report from the owners extremely long treadlife
- Rides comfortably
- Only available in a few LT-metric sizes
- Noisy on the highway
Buying Guide For Best Studded Snow Tires
1. What’s the Difference Between Studded and Regular Winter Tires?
In order to provide an answer to that issue, let’s begin by analyzing the factors that make winter tires superior to other tires when driving in cold weather.
The tread compound is the primary characteristic that sets winter tires from from other types of tires and goods. In winter tires, the compound is typically designed to be more malleable and flexible, particularly when the temperature is extremely low.
Other tires, when subjected to similar conditions, will become excessively hard and brittle, which can lead to a reduction in traction and braking skills on surfaces that are prone to slipping, such as wet pavement, snow, ice, and slush.
In contrast, the malleable rubber that makes up winter tires enables the driver to have effective traction, grip, and braking in conditions where the temperature is below freezing.
The tread patterns on winter tires are also far more robust than those on summer tires. The tread on these tires is typically more deeply recessed, and it also features a significantly increased number of sharp edges.
When opposed to all-season or summer tires, winter tires have a greater number of biting edges because the producers of tires incorporate a large number of very small sipes inside the treads of the tires.
The aggressive tread pattern that is found on winter tires is not only able to give drivers with much improved traction over snowy and slushy terrain, but it can also boost traction over icy terrain.
On the other hand, even the best winter tires won’t be able to give you reliable handling when driving on ice. Even though they perform better than all-season tires, you still need to exercise extreme caution when using them and be very attentive behind the wheel.
You will need studded winter tires for your vehicle if you want it to drive as smoothly on snow and ice as it does on wet surfaces.
These tires include studs (tiny pins) that can be inserted into the tread pattern, which are located in the little holes. Typically, steel is used in the production of the studs.
Because of this, studded tires are able to readily push through snow, but they also have the potential to significantly increase friction when driven on ice.
For drivers who frequently navigate icy conditions, I believe that studded tires are a far superior option to consider. When it comes to driving in the snow, studless winter tires are more than enough, and this is true even for snow that is quite deep and packed down.
Despite this, I know a lot of drivers who stick to their studs even when the weather is extremely harsh and icy, which is completely understandable.
2. Studded Snow Tires Legality
The fact that studded tires are illegal in many places is easily the most frustrating aspect of using them. In the northern states, using studs on your tires is typically allowed, but there are specific times of the year when this is not the case.
Some jurisdictions do not allow the use of studded tires at all, while others do so only when there is snow or ice on the roads. Other states do not permit the use of studded tires at all. The following is a list of all 50 states in the United States, along with their respective legislation regarding studded tires.
Please be aware that you run the danger of getting a citation if you wear studs in public locations where it is against the rules to do so.
3. Disadvantages of Studded Snow Tires
Although studded tires may perform very well on snow, ice, or slush, they also come with a number of drawbacks, particularly when contrasted with other kinds of tires.
The most significant drawback is the significantly inferior performance on both dry and wet conditions. The tread compound is then elevated over the surface by the studs, which can significantly diminish the amount of grip available. To put it another way, you won’t be able to handle the vehicle nearly as well, and its traction and grip will suffer, as will its stopping power.
In addition to this, studded tires are far less comfortable to ride on than regular tires. Even when moving at slower speeds, the studs make a significant amount of noise, which may be heard by the driver. Additionally, because of the vibrations that are caused by the studs, riding on studded tires can be an extremely unpleasant experience.
Last but not least, using the studs in conditions other than extreme cold and ice can cause irreparable damage to the pavement of highways and streets. Because of this danger, many states have laws that prohibit the use of tires with studs on public roads.
You can use your studded tires without the studs if you want to, that is not a problem. On the other hand, if this is the case, you should most likely invest in adequate winter tires. From my own personal experience, I’ve found that studded winter tires (with the studs) operate better for winter driving conditions than studless winter tires.
In conclusion, treadwear warranties on studded tires are typically not offered by the manufacturer, in contrast to winter tires in that region, where you can discover select models that come with a warranty.
There is no doubt that studded tires have a place in the world of automobiles, particularly in the most northern regions that experience a significant amount of snow and ice throughout the course of the year. If you reside in one of those areas, I really hope that the list of the finest studded snow tires was able to assist you in locating a model that is appropriate for the car you drive.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to purchase studless winter tires if you reside in an area that does not see consistent cold weather throughout the year. The most recent generation of winter tires performs exceptionally well on snow and can even be used on ice.