Do you live in a region that experiences harsh winters? Often drive to places where the roads get buried under layers of snow? It’s time to invest in a set of premium winter tires.
Winter tires come in two types: studless or studded. Studded snow tires use studs inserted within their treads to offer excellent traction on snow and ice. In contrast, studless winter tires rely on advances in rubber and winter tire technologies for the same.
That isn’t to say that they don’t have anything in common. The latest studless and studdable winter tires are made of rubber compounds that stay flexible in freezing temperatures. Plus, their tread designs are optimized for greater traction on slick surfaces.
Which of them will be better suited for your truck? This article will answer this question for you. We’ll rate and review the top 10 snow tires for trucks. Models that will help you brake, accelerate, and steer confidently regardless of the weather conditions.
Best Studless Snow Tires
Studless winter tires are much quieter, inflict less damage on the road, and offer a more comfortable ride than studded tires. Also, since they don’t have any studs that you have to replace after a certain period of time has elapsed, the following tires are easier to maintain.
#1. Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV – Best Overall
The Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV is arguably one of the best snow tires for trucks.
Successor to the X-Ice XI3, this model offers better fuel economy, shorter braking distances on ice, and a higher resistance to hydroplaning. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you to opt for this tire, Michelin states that it will last an extra winter over rivals.
Another thing we like about this tire is how reliable it is on wet roads. There’s no hint of skidding or slippage, and the risk of water getting between the treads and inviting aquaplaning is slim. You can thus safely push your truck to its limits in the rain.
The X-Ice Snow fares equally brilliantly in the handling department. Even on dicey surfaces, its acceleration is a little quicker and steering response a little livelier than rivals. Many drivers I have personally spoken to vouch for its ‘perkiness’.
Still haven’t made up your mind? The fact that it comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty (most winter tires come with none) should be enough for you to buy this tire.
- Comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers amazing handling and traction in harsh weather conditions
- Delivers a much quieter ride than competitors
- Doesn’t come cheap
#2. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 rivals our top pick on several key areas.
A multi-cell tread design (which traps snow between the treads for enhanced traction in harsh weather) makes its braking distances almost as short as the X-Ice Snow SUV’s. Which is a remarkable feat considering this winter tire doesn’t cost as much.
Moreover, just like our top choice, the DM-V2 doesn’t skid on ice. It also offers exceptional resistance to aquaplaning and is dependable at higher speeds on slippery surfaces. So, we see no reason why you may want to slow down your truck over snow and ice.
To take the rivalry one step further, it also comes with the 3PMSF symbol. The Three Peak Mountain Snowflake sign is a gold-standard of a tire’s reliability in severe weather. Any tire with this emblem on the tread is guaranteed to do well in harsh winters.
Yet there’s one area where this model falters. Unlike the X-Ice Snow SUV, which is backed to last 40,000 miles, the Blizzak DM-V2 doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty. Which is why it’s Michelin’s flagship winter tire that’s our go to snow tire for trucks.
- Delivers excellent snow and ice traction
- Carries the 3PMSF symbol
- Puts up excellent resistance to aquaplaning
- Zero treadwear warranty
#3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV is an incredibly underrated snow tire.
Part of the reason for its lack of fame is that this tire hasn’t been around for long. Compared to the above tires, which seem to have been on the market for ages, the Hakkapeliitta R5 is a newborn, having only been unveiled to the market in January 2022.
Fortunately, this tire makes up in performance what it lacks in fame. Independent testing reveals that it offers 4% improved traction on snow and ice than the R3, its predecessor. Plus, its stopping distances are 5.6 meters (or the entire length of a RAM 1500) shorter.
Also, since its tread pattern includes 10% more sipes, expect better steering response and handling. But not at the cost of drive comfort. Nokian has designed the R5’s tread blocks so that they all but eliminate road noise and vibrations before they could enter the cabin.
Lastly, it isn’t just its predecessor that the R5 outperforms. Thanks to built-in ‘studs’ that emerge once its tread has worn down, it delivers amazing snow and ice traction over a longer period of time than rivals. Most of which gasp for snow traction during their last few days.
- Offers excellent snow and ice grip
- Delivers high fuel economy for a dedicated snow tire
- Comes with the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
#4. Yokohama IceGUARD G075
If you’re searching for a pocket-friendly winter tire, the IceGUARD G075 is hard to beat.
While its affordable asking price doesn’t convey as such, the IceGUARD G075 is a tried-and-tested winter tire, as evidenced by the 3PMSF symbol on its sidewall. This symbol indicates that this tire has what it takes to operate reliably in frigid temperatures.
Yokohama’s decision to equip it with what it calls a “high density tread compound” has expanded this model’s contact patch. Which is the area that touches the ground at any time. The benefit of this is improved grip and traction on dicey surfaces.
While most snow tires feature circumferential grooves to evacuate water, the G075 comes with zigzag water channels. Fortunately, they serve the same purpose, with the added benefit of keeping the contact patch dry to help provide additional grip.
Lastly, like all Yokohama tires, this model is covered by a limited warranty. Within the first 2/32 inch of treadwear, Yokohama will replace the tire while also covering the mounting and balancing costs. Beyond that, you’d be eligible for a pro-rated coverage.
- Comes in a large number of sizes
- Affordably priced for a dedicated winter tire
- Offers reliable grip and traction
- Isn’t the ideal option for wet weather
#5. Continental VikingContact 7
The Continental VikingContact 7 is different from any winter tire you have seen thus far.
While most snow tires have silica in their rubber compound, it’s canola oil that keeps the VikingContact 7’s rubber flexible in freezing conditions. Another benefit of canola oil is that it allows this dedicated snow tire to offer the road manners of a touring tire.
That means that this tire won’t make much noise regardless of the driving speed. Nor will it let many vibrations penetrate the cabin and hurt overall ride quality.
Another thing you can count on the VikingContact 7 to do is to trap snow between its treads. This enables it to generate higher friction and, in turn, deliver shorter braking distances on snow. No wonder I’m yet to read a single review of this model skidding or slipping.
Its handling is also impressive, while the tire feels stable and always in control on dry, wet, and wintry conditions. Another remarkable aspect is its lateral grip, which is high enough to hold your truck in place even when you’re attacking turns at full speed.
- Offers superb performance in snow
- Excellent grip and traction on dry and wet roads
- Gives plenty of feedback through the steering wheel
- Wet braking distances could be shorter
Best Studdable Snow Tires
If you live in an area with very icy winters and only want the best possible traction, studded snow tires can be a better option.
#6. Firestone Winterforce 2 UV
The Firestone Winterforce 2 UV isn’t your average studded snow tire.
Your standard studded winter tires cost a lot, come in a small number of sizes, and are thus sold by very few tire retailers. In contrast, the Winterforce 2 UV is affordably priced, can fit everything from SUVs to trucks, and is available at your favorite tire website.
More importantly, this tire carries that one symbol (3PMSF) which should erase any doubt you may have about its snow performance. As noted above, EU authorities standardize and award this emblem to only those tires that can tackle extreme winters.
Speaking of extreme winters, the Winterforce 2 UV has multiple features to thrive in them. Take, for instance, its cold-weather tread compound and a full-directional tread pattern. Both of which help it deliver class-leading traction on snow and ice.
Bear in mind, though, that this tire doesn’t come with pre-installed studs. You’d have to pay the tire dealer or a mechanic to insert the TSMI # 11 metallic inserts which come in its packaging, a minor hassle in return for class-leading snow performance.
- Available at a budget price point
- Superb snow and ice performance with the studs on
- Highly predictable at the limit
- Premium tires offer better comfort and noise levels
#7. Cooper Evolution Winter
Although a studded snow tire, the Cooper Evolution winter can keep your truck stable on snow even if you forget to insert the studs in its treads.
That will especially be the case if it’s asked to tackle shallow snow, on which the biting edges on its tread and high-density sipes offer enough grip and traction to keep your truck stable.
However, on deep snow and ice, studs would make a difference. Apart from reducing braking distances, the studs will keep this tire firmly planted on the ground. You’d thus be able to safely drive from point A to point B without risking your vehicles stability.
It isn’t just studs that are to credit for this tire’s amazing snow and ice traction. Cooper’s patented Snow-Groove Technology (with the help of multi-angle sipes) is also responsible for the amazing traction this tire offers on packed and unpacked snow, as well as slush.
To further sweeten the deal, Cooper has equipped this tire with treadwear indicators. Make sure to order another set when you notice the TWIs becoming flush with the tire’s tread.
- Excellent ice performance with the studs
- Plenty of grip and traction for daily driving
- Short braking distances in freezing weather
- Pricey for a mid-range tire
#8. General Grabber Arctic LT
The Grabber Arctic LT is a must-have for trucks that lack a dedicated Snow Mode feature.
This tire wears the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake logo, indicating that it meets the industry standard for severe winter use. Additionally, its cut- and chip-resistant tread compound has the ability to stay flexible when the temperatures drop.
An interlocking siping pattern doesn’t just reduce its braking distances on snow and ice. It also reduces tread squirm, a phenomenon which may eventually lead to tire deformation. You can thus count on the siping pattern to enhance this model’s road life.
If you feel that its rubber compound and sipes are unable to keep you safe on ice, add 11mm studs in the pinholes in its tread. Doing so will make this model an absolute beast on slick surfaces.
Best of all, even if it loses traction for a second, the recovery will be much quicker and more controllable than most rival winter tires. Which is perhaps the biggest compliment for any snow tire.
- Boasts an exceptional tread life
- Quiet and comfortable for a studded tire
- Enhances vehicle stability in snowy terrain
- May struggle on ice-glazed hard-packed snow
Ultimately, the best snow tire for your needs will depend on your driving conditions and individual requirements. If you’re in the market for a versatile, comfortable to drive, and easy-to-maintain snow tire, opt for studless snow tires. However, for best possible traction on very icy roads, studded snow tires may prove to be a better pick.