A Short Guide to the Different Types of Tires

The tires your car is equipped with are far from one-size-fits-all, and the tires that are on your car when you drive it out of the dealership may not ultimately be the ones you should use long-term. The car you drive, the environment you live in, and your lifestyle in general should all play into the decision-making process. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the different types of tires on the market—after all, tires play a huge role in your safety and your car’s performance on the road. The six most common types of tires include the following:

  • All-season
  • All-terrain
  • Performance
  • Snow
  • Touring
  • Track

In this article, we share a brief overview of the benefits of the various types of tires and how you can choose the one that’s best for you.


Cars are often equipped with these tires when they’re first sent to a dealership. All-season tires are often considered something of a middle-of-the-road option. They’re meant to handle a variety of road conditions, though they aren’t designed to excel in particularly harsh environments. All-season tires are usually an acceptable option for most vehicles, as they’re light and comfortable. They’re also generally quiet, and the tread is likely to last a considerable amount of time.

As we just mentioned, however, these tires aren’t ideal for all conditions. They’ll handle perfectly well in a moderate amount of rain or light snow, but they may not hold up well against more adverse weather conditions. The traction on all-season tires isn’t likely to handle ice or substantially wet roads very well. If you live in an area with mild weather, however, these are a perfect option.


All-terrain tires are the ideal option for off-roaders and truckers. If you enjoy driving on rocky terrains, then we highly recommend investing in this option. These tires are also ideal for many SUVs. The tread on all-terrain tires provides an excellent grip against mud and rocks. They also perform well in a variety of weather conditions, though snow tires will still handle better on ice.

All-terrain tires do have a few downsides; for example, they have a lower tread life than other options, and they aren’t incredibly fuel-efficient. These tires also aren’t meant for anyone who does a lot of highway travel. However, we highly recommend these tires for any heavy vehicles that spend a substantial amount of time off the road.


Performance tires are the unchallenged favorite for anyone who owns a sports car. The handling these tires provide is essential for anyone who drives at high speeds or takes sharp turns. The carefully designed tread on performance tires allows for fast braking and for driving patterns that may be dangerous in other situations. Downsides of performance tires include lower gas mileage and a decreased lifespan. However, they’re essential for racers or drivers who enjoy high speeds.


If you live in an environment that experiences harsh winters, we highly recommend that you invest in snow tires. Snow tires are outfitted with rubber compounds that provide the grip required to handle ice and slush. Use these tires if you live in an area that regularly experiences temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have snow tires, it’s important that you swap them out in the summer. Changing your tires twice a year may seem annoying, but the soft rubber that holds to ice can begin to melt when exposed to hot pavement. This may seem like a decent monetary investment on your end, but it’s one you’ll want to make. After all, any accidents caused by winter weather may ultimately cost more than the tires would’ve.


You may have never heard of touring tires, but in certain circumstances, they’re an excellent choice. Touring tires are great options for anyone who spends a substantial amount of time traveling long distances on open roads. Touring tires are similar to all-season tires, but their formula is superior in handling and comfort. As far as tread life and fuel efficiency are concerned, these tires are comparable to all-season tires.


Track tires have a few similarities to performance tires. Designed to navigate the curves of tracks with ease and to brake quickly, they’re the natural companion to a wide variety of high-quality sports cars. It’s important to note that track tires are designed for dry roads, so they may not handle well in wet conditions. They also aren’t the ideal option for daily drivers, as they’re specifically designed for racing.

What Tire Should I Use?

If you still aren’t sure what tire will work best, consider your needs as well as the type of car you have in order to make an informed decision. Below is a brief checklist of a few items you’ll want to consider:

  • The size of your car
  • The conditions of the roads you drive on
  • The weather in your area
  • Your driving style
  • The amount of versatility you require

Figure out the answers to the points above and measure them against our descriptions of the different types of tires. If you have no specific needs, all-season tires will usually work, but you’ll still want to consider if this is truly the best option for you. Additionally, having more than one type of tire in your collection may not be the worst idea.

Maintaining Your Tires

As you may have observed, the type of tire you choose often affects your tires’ lifespan. However, you can lengthen the lifespan for any variety of tire if you take good care of them. Caring for your car doesn’t take a lot of time, and it can ultimately save you a significant amount of money. We recommend that you practice the follow maintenance routines:

  • Make sure you consistently check the air pressure
  • Keep an eye on road conditions, and try to avoid damaging factors such as potholes
  • Rotate your wheels every six months in order to properly distribute the weight between them

The Perfect Wheels

Anyone with an appreciation for cars knows that the wheels are an incredibly important component of a vehicle. You can perfect the build of your tire by purchasing parts that will truly optimize your car’s performance. The WheelerShip provides high-quality rims that will help your car drive the way it was meant to. From Hyundai Elantra rims to Cadillac Escalade center caps, we have the right parts to fit your needs. Don’t wait—order today.

Different Types of Tires Guide