Mud terrain tires usually don’t come cheap. Unique tread compounds and patterns, sturdy internal construction, and targeted reinforcements for long-term durability all push their asking prices to the roof, making it impossible for anyone with one eye on their pocket to afford mud tires.
That leaves two options for off-road enthusiasts or anyone who likes to drive through mud, slash, rock, gravel, and other similarly challenging conditions. Either bite the bullet and spend a few grand on quality mud tires or forget the idea of your car powering through rugged surfaces.
In this article, we’re going to provide you with a third option. Invest in cheap mud tires that are ‘cheap’ in nothing else but their asking price. These tires deliver exceptional off-road traction, have a reasonable tread life, and their braking power would leave you drooling.
Have doubts about what you just read? Then you must read this article to the end. We’ve prepared a list of the ten best cheap mud tires on the market. That is not all. We’ve also answered some of your queries about these best mud tires. Read on for more.
- Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
- Falken Wildpeak AT3W
- Milestar Paagonia M/T
- General Grabber X3
- Mickey Thompson Baja MTZP3
- Firestone Destination M/T2
- Nitto Mud Grappler
- Thunderer R408 Trac Grip M/T
- Ironman All Country M/T
- Kanati Mud Hog M/T
Top 10 Best Cheap Mud Tires
Here are the top cheap mud tires currently available on the market:
#1. Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
The Cooper STT Pro is my top pick for several reasons. It has a staggered tread pattern that ensures even wear, crucial for a balanced vehicle handling. Even tire wear also enhances tire life and extracts better overall performance from your vehicle on the most challenging of terrains.
An internal 3-ply Armor-Tek3 protection combines with an advanced silica and carbon black tread compound to prevent damage from rocks, fallen trees, and other debris. Cooper claims that this combo helps this tire offer a 50% more protection than a standard 2-ply tire.
Unique shoulder cleats, known as sidebiters in everyday language, dot the SST’s outer sidewalls to provide extra grip and traction on the slipperiest of terrains. Multiple mud release dimples and scoops on the outer lugs help the Discoverer SST automatically remove mud buildup.
Its aggressive tread pattern might lead you to believe that this tire will be loud on the pavement. But put its huge profile into perspective, and this tire isn’t loud at all. Credit goes to its rib pattern which cancels out road noise via its alternating sizes and angles around the tread.
That said, while this tire can outperform many others on the mud, its performance on the snow is lack luster. Sure, it has scoops to automatically remove any snow. But there is very little siping, which winter tires need to offer adequate friction against snow and ice.
- Excellent puncture resistance
- Quieter than most mud tires out there
- Durable and long-lasting than most of its competitors
- Not made for ice
#2. Falken Wildpeak AT3W
The Falken Wildpeak AT3W offer the best of both worlds. On the one hand, it is available on a budget asking price. You won’t have to rob a bank to pay its asking price. On the other hand, this tire has most of the features which most people think are unavailable in cheap mud tires.
Falken conceived the Wildpeak AT3W by joining the rugged performance of all-terrain tires with the comfortable ride quality of a highway tire. That isn’t to say that this tire will be ultra-quiet on the road. It’s just to say that it will be much quieter than your average AT tire.
An outer apex sidewall helps is sturdy enough to help provide this tire with extreme resistance against punctures or damage. That is something you can expect from a sidewall of an A/T tire. What this sidewall does next, however, is something most people don’t see coming.
The sidewall helps this tire offer smooth performance on the highway. You read that right. There are heat diffusers on the edges of the sidewall, ensuring that as the AT3W rolls on the pavement, the inner rubber stays cool. This ensures better stability, especially when carrying massive loads.
A close inspection of this tire’s tread reveals step-down etching and support ramps. Both of them not only ensure the tire’s traction stays consistent even as its tread wears down. They also help in stone, mud and snow ejection. You can thank them for helping the tire stay clean.
- Excellent off-road performance
- Superb in the snow
- Offers a smooth ride
- Gets loud at highway speeds
#3. Milestar Patagonia M/T Mud-Terrain Radial Tire
Who says that excellent mud terrain tires couldn’t be cheap? The Milestar Patagonia M/T is proof that you don’t have to blow a hole in your pocket to afford a capable mud-terrain tire. Even though the company producing it, Tireco, is based in California. It doesn’t import tires from China.
Milestar has opted for an off-road focused (no surprises here), cut, and chip-resistant tread compound with this tire. As if that wasn’t enough to give this tire all the toughness it needs, Milestar then molded the tread an ultra-aggressive tread pattern. One that has its fair share of high-void areas.
What do we make of this design? It is more than capable of providing your vehicle with superb traction on muddy, rocky, and other slippery terrains. As for the high-void area, it plays the role of a self-cleaner, helping this tire eject stones as quickly as they enter its tread area.
Everything we have discussed so far paints the picture of a good mud-terrain tire. But, as stated at the start of this review, this tire’s mud performance is excellent. How, you might be wondering, does this tire bridge the gap between ‘good’ and ‘excellent’? Enter the staggered off-center tread blocks.
The off-center tread blocks increase this tire’s traction for off-roading. That is not all. Working as angles, they provide the Patagonia with even more biting edges than it already has. Throw into the mix this tire’s small sipes, and you’re looking at excellent traction in deep mud.
- One of the cheapest mud tires on the market
- Best in the class deep mud traction
- Offers excellent stability on dirt and gravel
- Uncomfortable ride quality
#4. General Grabber X3
The Grabber X3 is one of General’s flagship tires. People with knowledge to the company’s operations claim it spent quite a lot of time perfecting this tire’s off-road formula. Even so, as its inclusion in this review makes clear, the X3 is available on a budget.
General claims that the X3 is an “aggressive Mud-Terrain tire’’ that also delivers “extreme off-road performance” in multiple terrains. That means that even though this tire carries a Mud-Terrain moniker, it should work in wet, dirt and rocky terrains as well.
That wouldn’t have been possible had this tire lacked the DuraGen Technology. The DuraGen Technology not only makes this tire more pliable in wet weather, so that you get all the traction you need. It also blesses it with the cut- and chip-resistance you expect from MT tires.
All in all, you can count on the technology to keep this tire puncture free. It’s helped in this quest by the multiple Sidewall Protection Lugs – that shield the tire’s inner rubber from stones, rocks or any other debris trying to enter from outside.
A three-ply body casing and two ultra-high-strength steel belts give the X3 all the toughness it needs to conquer the most difficult of terrains. And despite offering such outstanding toughness, this tire’s rolling resistance isn’t massive. So you can expect its fuel consumption to be average.
- Outstanding mud traction
- Excellent grip on dirt and rocks
- Sturdy and tough-compound
- Noise can be an issue on highways
#5. Mickey Thompson Baja MTZP3
Enthusiasts like Mickey Thompson are to credit for where we’re today in the off-road world. It was his untiring efforts that blazed a trail that most off-road enthusiasts nowadays follow. For this reason alone, Mickey Thompson tires and wheels deserve our attention.
As if upholding the stellar reputation of its manufacturer wasn’t heavy enough of a burden, the Baja MTZP3 faces the unenviable task of replacing the legendary Baja MTZ. Its inclusion in this review should make clear that this tire has manage to do both with aplomb.
The Baja MTZP3 has a unique read design made easy-to-notice by an aggressive-looking sidewall. Grip is exceptional with this tire, and it tracks really well on loose gravel and in deep mud at high speed. Aside from that, it dugs and claws really well on steep, rock-strewn surfaces.
Just make sure to air this tire down, and you can take it to the most challenging of terrains. A decoupling groove will come to your aid in this, making sure the tread conforms to uneven surfaces. It will also reduce heat, making for a pleasant (though not noise-free) driving experience on the highway.
On top of everything else, Mickey Thompson has equipped the Baja MTZP3 with its proprietary PowerPly XD Technology. What the PowerPly construction does is placing the third ply at a bass angle. This ensures the division of impact forces across a wider area, increasing this tire’s puncture resistance.
- Extreme puncture resistance
- Superb at rock crawling
- Brilliant traction and grip in deep mud
- Feels stiff on the road
#6. Firestone Destination M/T2
Firestone tires are famous for their long treadwear warranties and affordable asking prices. The Destination M/2 serves as proof. Despite being the cheapest of all mud-terrain tires we have reviewed thus far, this tire is warrantied for the first 1/32 inch of the wear.
This tire features the cut- and chip-resistant tread compound we have come to expect from MT tires. A 3-ply sidewall construction (a welcome feature in a budget-friendly tire) makes it tougher. It also enables it to withstand more challenging terrains than its predecessor.
Another area where this tire has improved over its predecessor is the sidewall. Firestone has equipped the upper portion of its sidewall with more aggressive lugs than what you got from the M/T, increasing this tire’s resistance against rocks, glass and other roadside debris.
This tire isn’t all-about cutting edge technology. Taking a leaf out of the book of old-school tractor paddle tires, Firestone has punctuated its tread blocks with 23-degree attack angles. They help provide this tire with extra traction on loose surfaces such as dirt, gravel, and sand.
The Destination M/T2 can hold its own on wet pavement, too. It boasts 20% more biting edges around its tread area than the original for shorter braking distances on wet pavement. Firestone has also made this tire studdable to help it deliver exceptional performance on the snow.
- Has a 3-ply sidewall
- Excellent traction in mud, sand, rocks and snow
- Has a studdable tread
- Not the best among its class in deep thick mud
#7. Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto offers so many quality mud-terrain tires that picking one isn’t easy. The Mud Grappler is best for those of you who are on a strict budget. Provided you can afford to pay a little higher, and need better highway performance that what this tire can offer, check out the Nitto Terra Grappler.
Coming back to the Mud Grappler, this tire features monstrous 15-mm side lugs, which offer excellent sidewall puncture resistance. The side lugs also provide this tire with unbelievable mud traction. And without them, its rack crawling wouldn’t have been as outstanding as it is.
Driving through deep mud means bucket loads of the squishy substance making its way into your tire’s tread. This leaves you with no choice but to opt for a tire that could self-clean. That is precisely what the high void ratio in the Mud Grappler’s computer designed tread pattern does.
You can’t help but get impressed with its wet traction. Multiple sizes along the tread area perform an excellent job of resisting hydroplaning. Various anti-slip grooves make are also there for optimal road traction, and two steel belts ensure maximum road contact in wet conditions.
The only thing that might keep you from buying this tire is wear. Multiple users have complained that it wears down very quickly, especially if you’ll be using it on the highway. You’d thus have to have a separate set of highway tires and use the Mud Grappler only for off-roading.
- Amazing performance in mud, snow and sand
- Monstrous 15mm side lugs provide added traction
- Self-cleans mud and dirt
- Tread might wear quickly with highway use
#8. Thunderer R408 Trac Grip M/T
The Thunderer R408 Trac Grip M/T offers everything. It has the looks that will improve your tire’s aesthetics, the vibration-absorption capability that will ensure the comfort of your fellow passengers and the performance that will keep your vehicle stable in extreme conditions.
Start with its performance. The Thunderer has super-tough sidewalls that give this tire the gripping power it needs on slippery surfaces. The sidewall also help it absorb the impact of rocks. Those of you sitting in the cabin won’t feel every piece of rock that this tire will roll over.
Open tread lugs channel mud, sand and other sticky substances away from the tread area. The gaps between the lugs (a welcome feature) allow them to conform to off-road conditions. At the same time, their visibility makes this tire’s design eye-catching to those standing on the roadside.
You might want to note that the R408 comes with Q-speed rating. That means the maximum speed you can drive with this tire stands at 99 miles per hour. Aside from that, it has two load ratings. The 6-ply tire can withstand 2,205lbs and the 10-ply tire can hold up to 3,750lbs.
Unfortunately, unlike most other mud-terrain tires in this review, the Thunderer R04 isn’t meant to be driven on snow-laden roads. The absence of sipes means it doesn’t have anything to offer traction on ice and snowy conditions. Better keep it for your off-road adventures only.
- Available at a competitive price
- Extra chip-resistance against rocks
- Impressive load rating
- Performs admirably in muddy conditions
- Not for snow-laded roads
#9. Ironman All Country M/T
The Ironman All Country M/T is proof you don’t always have to choose between quality and price. It is designed for spring, summer, fall and even winter. You can install it on everyday passenger vehicles and their aesthetic appeal would help your drive stand out on the road.
What about this tire’s mud performance? Multiple hollow sections between the tread blocks enable it to self-clean itself of mud, rock, gravel and even snow. An aggressive looking sidewall allows the tire to absorb the impact of collisions, while also giving it gripping power on slippery surfaces.
As for rocky terrains, the All Country M/T would shine there, too. A sturdy tread compound guards the inner rubber against the onslaught of rock particles, which will find a hard time cutting through the compound and damaging the rubber. So the tire will stay in its original shape for a long period.
The All Country M/T would excel on dry roads as well. All the grooves and lugs that Ironman has provided this tire with help it offer the necessary traction on the street. As long as you don’t drive on the heavy gear, in which case the drive may get uncomfortable, this tire should do pretty well on the road.
Unfortunately, there is one area where this tire could have done better. It offers almost zero traction on wet roads to the point that things could get out of hand very quickly if you accelerate without paying attention. And its performance at subfreezing temperatures isn’t any better
- One of the most budget-friendly tires out there
- Performs well on dry surfaces
- Cleans itself of mud, rock, gravel and even snow
- Wet traction is poor
#10. KANATI MUD HOG M/T
The Kanati Mud Hog isn’t your average mud-terrain tire. It is designed for drivers of SUVs and light pickups that are looking for a tire with dependable on-road performance as well as superior off-road manners. On both counts, this tire hardly puts a foot wrong.
Start with its off-road performance. Its tougher tread compound is as puncture-resistant as they come. Molded into the aggressive tread pattern – one that features staggered shoulders and deeper lugs – the tread compound is the main reason for the term ‘M/T’ in this tire’s name.
But some credit also goes to the tire’s higher voids. Without them, this tire wouldn’t have offered as much traction as it offers in mud, gravel, sand and clay. As for traction on hard surfaces, that’s where the obvious siping around the tread come to this tire’s aid.
A welcome feature on the Mud Hog is its self-cleaning nature. Alternating shoulder lugs make sure this tire clears out the mud as quickly as some of the best cheap mud tires in this review. Kanati makes this tire available in various sizes ranging from 15 – 20 inches.
- Brilliant off-road traction
- Self-cleaning is a welcome feature at this price point
- Above-average tread life
- Available in only a few sizes
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to queries most people have about mud tires:
Why do mud tires wear faster?
Mud tires feature softer rubber compounds to provide better grip on slippery surfaces. The rubber compound expands when the tire comes into contact with gravel, loose dirt or mud. It also wears faster than the rubber compound used in all-terrain or all-season tires.
Do mud tires affect gas mileage?
Mud tires reduce your vehicle’s gas mileage. They offer higher rolling resistance than standard all-terrain tires, forcing your vehicle to expend more power to keep the tire rolling. This is great in off-road conditions, but it hurts gas mileage.