The best run-flat tires cost more than conventional tires, yet their popularity is soaring. Want to know why? Start with safety. Run-flat tires can keep your vehicle stable in the aftermath of a blowout, preventing your car from swerving into another lane or vehicle.
Next comes convenience. It isn’t uncommon for run-flat tires to cover 50 to 100 miles even when they have lost all their air pressure, minimizing your chances of getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. With run-flat tires, you can almost always drive to the nearest tire shop.
Run-flat tires also offer massive space and weight savings. Since they can be driven with zero air pressure, you won’t need to carry a spare anymore.
A note of caution before you check out the best run-flat tires: these tires are only recommended for vehicles with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Cars without TPMS will give you little to no indication when the tire pressure is dropping, exposing the tires to avoidable wear.
#1. Bridgestone DriveGuard Plus – The Best Run-Flat Tire
Bridgestone has long been a leader in the run-flat tires category. Porsche chose the company to develop run-flat tires for its supercar in the mid-1980s, and it hasn’t looked back since. At the time of writing, the Japanese tire brand has manufactured and sold over 3 million run-flat tires.
The DriveGuard Plus is the latest in the long line of Bridgestone’s run-flat tires. It was released in April 2022 as the successor of the famous DriveGuard. Just like its predecessor (and competitor), this tire can be driven up to 50 miles (at speeds of up to 50 mph) with zero air pressure.
Bridgestone has reinforced this tire’s sidewalls to ensure that even when deflated, they support the load rating. A unique cooling fin technology minimizes heat build-up in the sidewalls, helping the tire cover the distance mentioned above (up to 50 miles) with little risk of bust-ups.
Wet traction is an area where this tire has experienced improvements. Circumferential and lateral grooves perform an adequate job of evacuating water from the tread area. Plus, open shoulder slots and full-depth main grooves help reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
The DriveGuard Plus also shines in the comfort department. A NanoPro-Tech Sidewall Technology lends it all the help it needs to deflect road noise. Twin internal steel belts with enhanced cushioning soak road vibrations. The result is a vibration- and noise-free ride on the highway.
- Can be run flat for up to 50 miles at speeds of 50mph
- Excellent ride quality for a tire in this category
- Enhanced wet traction and snow performance
- Doesn’t come cheap
#2. Bridgestone DriveGuard – 2nd Best Run-Flat Tire
The DriveGuard has most of the attributes that you get from the DriveGuard Plus. It is also available at a cheaper retail price. However, in the Bridgestone DriveGuard Vs DriveGuard Plus debate, this tire will always come second. Here’s why we’re so sure.
Unlike our top pick, the DriveGuard doesn’t come with open shoulder slots (which help with water evacuation when the tire is worn out). It also lacks an asymmetric pattern and inboard design, crucial for confident handling and a noise-free ride.
Mileage warranty is another area where our top pick comes out as the winner. The DriveGuard Plus has been backed to last up to 65,000 miles. This tire’s warranty isn’t miniscule – Bridgestone backs it for 60,000 miles – but it is still small in comparison.
That is where the differences end. Both these tires have a NanoPro-Tech rubber insert that makes them capable of supporting the entire weight of the weight. Cooling fins, which reduce heat build-up and friction for enhanced low-pressure mobility, are also present in both tires.
So, should you choose the DriveGuard or DriveGuard Plus?
The former deserves your attention if you are on a budget and could do with a modest mileage warranty. Conversely, if you have deep pockets, the DriveGuard Plus is the best run flat tire on the market.
- Competitively priced for a run-flat tire
- Comes with a mileage warranty of 60,000 miles
- Superb hydroplaning resistance and wet traction
- Isn’t the most responsive tire on the market
#3. Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP – Best Run-Flat Tire for Snow
For driving on snow-covered roads, the Primacy MXM4 ZP is a better choice than our top pick. This tire’s traction and handling in harsh wintry conditions is much higher than the DriveGuard Plus, though it fares relatively poorly in the comfort and noise department.
Michelin has developed and used an M+S rated tread compound in this tire’s construction. The M+S symbol indicates that the MXM4 ZP meets the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) guidelines for above-average mud and snow performance.
Small wonder than that this tire’s wet traction is supreme. The built-in grooves perform a phenomenal job of evacuating water from the tread area and reducing hydroplaning. Sipes around the shoulder blocks also enable the contact patch to grip the road better.
Extended 6 years/30,000 miles warranty is perhaps the best feature of this tire. A uniformity warranty for 1 year/first 2/32’’ of wear is also on offer. You also get a six-year workmanship and uniformity warranty and a 60-day satisfaction manufacturer guarantee.
As stated earlier, this tire struggles in the comfort department. The blame for that can be laid at the door of its sidewall whose firmness makes the ride pretty stiff. Also, its warranty is less than half of what you’re getting from the Bridgestone DriveGuard (65,000 miles).
- Has an M+S rated tread compound
- Supreme wet traction and hydroplaning resistance
- Decent treadwear warranty (30,000 miles) for a run-flat tire
- Struggles in the comfort and noise department
#4. Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat – Best Grand Touring Run Flat Tire
The Pirelli Cinturato P7 run-flat tire strikes the perfect balance between ride comfort and fuel efficiency. This tire has as much cushioning as it needs to soak road vibrations for a comfy ride. Yet, its rolling resistance has been deliberately kept low to lower fuel costs.
The credit for this goes to this tire’s optimized tread pattern. Or, to be more precise, the phasing and pitch sequencing within the tread pattern. These design elements help lower this tire’s rolling resistance by as much as 20% than your average tire, while also reducing road noise.
The Cinturato P7 is great in other aspects too. For instance, it will provide you with a much more accurate and quicker steering response than you usually get from run-flat tires. This tire’s grip and traction on dry surfaces will also make you forget that you’re driving an RF tire.
What’s more, just like the Primacy MXM4 ZP, this tire is useful on light snow. The biting edges on the tread area as well as the solid traction on offer help this tire carry you from point A to point B in mild wintry conditions. Still, for snow-laden roads, this isn’t the best option.
Unfortunately, this tire is only designed for OEM fitments. This is unfortunate because it means that it doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty, a big shame for a tire whose ‘normal’ grand touring version has been backed for 70,000-miles treadlife by the manufacturer.
- Available in a budget price point
- Offers excellent fuel economy
- Remains useful on light snow
- Zero treadlife warranty
#5.Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 Run-On-Flat – Best Performance Run-Flat Tire
The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 ticks various boxes. A summer max performance tread compound helps this model last longer than its high-performance counterparts. At the same time, the tread compound doesn’t compromise on ride comfort.
As you might expect from a high-performance tire, the Asymmetric 3 lets you attack the corners aggressively and come out with flying colors. Its braking distances on dry tarmac rival those of the leading tires in this category, reducing the risk of accidents.
Wet performance isn’t quite as good. Which is something almost everyone expects from a max-performance tire. After all, these tires justify their asking price on dry tarmac. They aren’t specifically designed for wet or wintry conditions.
Yet there is one area where the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 breaks away from tradition. Unlike the majority of max-performance tires, this tire is quiet, even at highway speeds. That is something you don’t usually get from tires belonging to this category.
- Relatively quiet for a max-performance tire
- Offers excellent steering responsiveness and high-speed stability
- Backed with Goodyear’s treadlife warranty
- Average wet traction
#6. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT – Best Winter Run-Flat Tire
The Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 is one of the best winter tires on the market. Its cousin, the Blizzak LM-25 RFT, enjoys the same status in the run-flat tires category.
Similar to other run-flat tires in this review, the LM-25 RFT can be driven up to the speed of 50 mph for 50 miles even when it is losing air pressure or fully deflated. This can be a real life-saver in harsh wintry conditions, where the alternative (closing the windows and waiting) could be deadly.
In the winter, the LM-25 RFT provides with more than adequate grip and hydroplaning resistance. Its steering responsiveness and braking distances are also above-average for a winter tire. And the same can be said for grip and traction, making this tire one of the best winter tires in its class.
Bear in mind that this tire cannot be mounted on the same vehicle that can support the regular Blizzak LM-25, due to its heavier construction which helps this tire withstand the weight of your car as well as its passengers with little to no help from the rubber.
No treadwear warranty is on offer on this tire, though Bridgestone tries to soften the blow with a uniformity warranty (first 1/32’’ of wear) and 5-year workmanship and materials warranty.
- Top notch grip and traction on snow and ice
- Excellent responsiveness for a winter tire
- Also works on dry and wet pavement
- No treadwear warranty
#7. Goodyear Eagle LS-2 RunOnFlat
The Goodyear Eagle LS-2 ROF is a middle-of-the-road touring run-flat tire. This tire has been designed to offer decent dry, wet and light snow traction. It can be driven up to 50 miles at zero air pressure and has been awarded the A traction rating.
Wet traction and hydroplaning resistance are areas where this tire excels. Wide circumferential grooves present in the tread area give accumulated water particles all the space they need to evacuate from beneath the tread. The result is a try that self-dries.
Most run-flat tires on the road struggle balancing handling and traction with road noise. That is because one of them often comes at the expense of the other. The Eagle LS2 ROF, however, has a special treadblock sequence that hits the sweet spot between both.
The result is enhanced handling and traction as well as reduced tread noise. Aside from that, a close inspection of the tire will reveal that its sidewall has been styled with premium lettering. The lettering is the reason many drivers praise this tire for its modern appearance.
However, just like the Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat, this model too doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty, a major shortcoming in the day and age when tires like DriveGuard and DriveGuard plus come with extensive mileage warranties.
- One of the most responsive run-flat tires
- Offers quiet and comfortable ride
- Delivers exquisite wet performance
- Doesn’t come with treadwear warranty
#8. Michelin Latitude Tour HP ZP
Two pieces of information will convince you that the Michelin Latitude Tour HP ZP is one of the best run flat tires on the market. This model is used as original equipment on BMW vehicles and comes with all the technologies that you get from premium Michelin tires.
The first of the technologies, titled “Comfort Control”, ensures consistent road contact at all times for even and long-lasting wear. Then comes the “Filament At Zero Degrees Technology”, which helps the tire offer enhanced steering response for extended periods.
Green X Technology helps increase the tire’s fuel efficiency without decreasing traction. A wide groove tread pattern offers great handling and precision at high speeds. These grooves are the reason why, even without air pressure, this tire will track in a straight line.
Comfort Contact Technology ensures the even distribution of the tread pattern along the surface of the Latitude Tour HP ZP, providing you with a superior grip. Small wonder, then, that this tire offers enhanced gripping power in dry, wet and light snow conditions.
All of this isn’t to say that this tire doesn’t have any drawbacks. In fact, its asking price alone is more than enough to make you forget about all of this tire’s beneficial characteristics. For, staying true to tradition, Michelin has set an astronomical price tag for this tire.
- Backed with a 30,000-mile treadlife warranty
- Offers quiet and comfortable ride
- Enhanced gripping power in wet, dry and light snow
- Astronomical asking price for a run-flat tire
#9. Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Run-Flat
Run-flat tires aren’t exactly known for being fuel-efficient. While their standard counterparts offer low rolling resistance for enhanced fuel economy, ordinary run-flat tires want you to sacrifice fuel efficiency at the altar of other characteristics that they possess.
Fortunately, the Pirelli Scorpion Verde is different. This tire’s unique pitch sequence decreases the tire’s rolling resistance for an improved fuel economy. It does that by increasing the Verde’s contact points with the road, ensuring even pressure distribution.
This tire also takes care of road noise and vibrations. A built-in Noise Canceling system places a sound-absorbing device between the tread and the contact patch that comes into contact with the road. The resulting isolation dissipates most vibrations before they could reach the cabin.
While it is categorized as a touring tire, the Scorpion Verde still offers enough oomph for an exciting driving experience. At the time of writing, it is probably one of the most responsive tires for X1, X2, X3 and all the remaining BMW crossovers.
Wet traction is the only area where this tire could have done better. The similar could be said about its treadwear warranty. After the Pirelli P7 and Goodyear Eagle, the Scorpion Verde is only the 3rd tire in this review that isn’t backed with a treadlife warranty.
- Outstanding responsiveness for a touring run-flat tire
- Offers a quiet and comfortable ride
- Superb wet and dry traction and grip
- Doesn’t come with treadwear warranty
#10. Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport RFT
The Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport RFT has almost become the standard tire for BMW X-Drive crossovers. These vehicles have powerful motors and huge wheels, an ideal combination for sporting run flat tires that are normally heavier than their standard counterparts.
A combination of UNI-T Technology and symmetrical tread pattern helps this tire offer better wet grip than most. A silica tread compound guarantees enough flexibility for trouble-free winter performance, whereas L.L. Carbon Black enhances summer grip.
Just like the standard Dueler H/P Sport, this RFT tire also comes with wider shoulder blocks and two continuous center ribs. Their coming together enhances this tire’s cornering performance, making it a stand out performer in its category.
Four circumferential grooves and multiple lateral grooves drain water from beneath the tread surface, thereby reducing the risk of hydroplaning. The lateral grooves in particular keep the contact patch dry, enhancing this model’s wet traction.
Two possible issues might prevent you from buying this tire. The first is that it has a lower tread life than expected, a fact further highlighted by the absence of any treadwear warranty. Secondly, the Dueler H/P Sport RFT isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
- Excellent hydroplaning resistance and wet traction
- One of the most responsive and snappy tires
- Available in a large number of sizes (16- to 20-inch)
- No treadwear warranty
#11. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is one of the best-selling max-performance summer tires, both in standard and run-flat guise. While both the tires offer the same enhanced traction levels, the run-flat tire offers better responsiveness and a more comfortable driving experience.
Similar is the case with various other areas. This model’s dry grip is so high you would have a hard-time believing that you’re driving a run-flat tire. It is accompanied by short braking distances, especially on dry tarmac, as well as reduced rolling resistance for a perky acceleration.
However, its run-flat sidewalls bring down the ride quality. Their stiffness means that some of the vibrations will be transferred to the cabin. Still, on the whole, the Pilot Sport 4S is comfortable, especially when you take its quiet ride into account.
The fact that this max-performance tire comes with a 30,000 miles treadwear warranty further enhances this model’s appeal. However, as extended as the warranty is, it still cannot obscure the reality that the Pilot Sport 4S ZP is one of the priciest run-flat tires today.
- Backed with an outstanding 30,000 mile treadlife warranty
- Offers short braking distance on dry roads
- Enhanced traction and grip in the summer
Factors to Consider When Buying Run Flat Tires
Run-flat tires are available in the following tire categories:
Touring/grand touring tires offer the best of both worlds. These tires are moderately priced, backed with excellent treadwear warranties and pose low rolling resistance for an enhanced fuel efficiency. Plus, grand touring tires are exceedingly quiet, even for run-flat models.
These tires thus have everything that the average driver needs. Their wet traction great, thanks to their superb hydroplaning resistance. What’s more, grand touring tires are usable in light snow too, which is another feature you don’t get from touring tires.
High-performance tires, as their name implies, are made for super-powerful cars. These tires prefer performance over comfort and are therefore much more responsive than touring/grand touring tires. So, the moment you turn the wheel, the car will respond.
Provided you want better performance, ultra-high-performance or max-performance tires might be a better option. These tires’ aggressive compound is much more aggressive, making them suitable for “M” cars, especially for driving on the street or on track days.
Weather is an important aspect when choosing a set of run-flat tires. For, a tire’s rubber compound is designed to operate in a certain temperature window. If it gets too hot, the tire’s ability to grip the road suffers. If the rubber gets too cold, the tire’s winter traction reduces.
Summer tires, as their name implies, are designed to work best in hot weather. These tires deliver much better traction and grip in warmer conditions. Winter tires, on the other hand, have a softer and pliable rubber compound. This enables them to perform better in sub-zero temperatures.
Pros and Cons of Run Flat Tires
Here are the benefits and shortcomings of run-flat tires:
- You can drive a run-flat tires for up to 50 miles. The primary benefit of these tires is that you can keep driving after all the air has gone. This means that even when the tire is punctured, you won’t have to get out of your vehicle and could keep driving.
- Run-flat tires offer better stability after a blow-out. With standard tires, a sudden blow-out might result in tread destabilization and uneven weight transfer. However, with run-flat tires, handling and steering will remain near normal.
- More cargo space in the boot. In most vehicles, spare tires are located on the floor of the boot, taking up precious cargo space. But with run-flat tires, you no longer need a spare, freeing up valuable storage space in the trunk.
- Smaller tread life than standard tires. According to a 2013 study, most carowners replaced their run-flat tires 6,000 miles sooners than people using conventional tires. Possible reasons include a softer tread compound, which counters hard ride but results in a shorter tread life.
- Hard to identify low air pressure. Since run-flat tires have a stiffer sidewall than conventional tires, they do not bulge even if the air pressure is low. That is the reason why these tires are recommended for vehicles with TPMMS.
- Available in fewer sizes. Because the majority prefers conventional tires, run-flat tires are usually manufactured in smaller sizes.
- Price. Run flat tire models are pricier than the competition without the feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do run-flat tires work?
Run-flat tires feature stiffer, reinforced sidewalls that allow them to withstand the weight of the vehicle and the passengers even with zero or low air pressure. The sidewalls feature tough rubber inserts that help these tires hold up the vehicle’s weight.
Can I drive on a run-flat tire that is flat?
Yes. One of the major benefits of run-flat tires is that you can continue on driving until you reach the nearest tire shop or get home, meaning your car won’t be immobile.
How to know if your run-flat tires have a puncture?
Run-flat tires have a stiffer sidewall than conventional tires, which doesn’t bulge even when the air pressure is low or the tire is punctured. It is for this reason that only vehicles with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) come with run-flat tires.
How long can you drive on a run-flat tire which is flat?
Most run-flat tires can be driven on for 50 miles, even when the tire has gone fully flat.
What kind of vehicles use run-flat tires?
In theory, run-flat tires can be installed on any vehicle with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. All vehicles with the model year 2008 or after are required by law to have a built-in TPMS. However, even if your vehicle lacks this system, you can install after-market TMPS.
Run-flat tires offer multiple sought-after benefits. These tires can be driven for long distances in the aftermath of a blowout and allow you to free up your car of having to carry a spare tire. The only requirement is that your vehicle must have TPMS before installing any of these run flat tire models.