Difference Between Summer Tires and Winter Tires
By Rebecca Rodriguez - November 15, 2022

The overall environment and driving circumstances should regularly determine the tire your automobile wears. However, drivers rarely think about tires until one goes flat or it’s time to replace them, and they may be unaware of the tire they’re driving on or if it’s the correct fit.

Table Summary

Summer TiresWinter Tires
It has a smoother thread pattern and shallow grooves.Deep grooves and thread blocks called sipes
It should not be used in temperatures under forty degreesIt should not be used in temperatures above forty degrees
piles of tires

Getty Images / Moment / Jack Adams Photography


Summer tires, as the name implies, are developed for warm weather conditions and optimum grip for enhanced vehicle handling.

Winter tires are made to provide traction in snow, ice, and slush. They are suitable for temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and provide occupants with the most pleasant overall ride.

Summer VS Winter Tires

Winter tires include more natural rubber, which keeps them pliable in the cold. The softer they are, the better the tire interlocks with the road surface, boosting grip and handling. Winter tires function best in temperatures below +7 degrees Celsius, unlike summer tires, which harden fast in cold conditions. They aren’t meant to be driven in the summer since they lose grip and wear more quickly on hot pavement. Therefore, they should only be used when the temperature is below 40 degrees. Winter tires also contain hundreds of small grooves (called sipes) in their tread blocks to dissipate water and avoid aquaplaning. These grooves dig into the snow, slush, and ice, offering excellent traction on the road. They also feature a substantial tread pattern. This creates a space for snow. Surprisingly, nothing adheres to snow better than snow, and compacted snow strengthens the grip, increasing traction to propel the car ahead on snowy and icy roads. In terms of rubber composition, the summer tire has a physical compound designed for temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer tires offer the stickiest combinations of the three tire types, providing the maximum grip and braking capability in wet/dry conditions. However, in colder conditions, the compound of a summer tire may harden and lose grip, increasing the danger of slipping or skidding on the road surface.