The benefits of winter tires are well documented. On snow covered and icy roads, winter tires are proven to provide better traction and better handling compared to all season tires. All the major manufacturers offer a wide range of winter tire from which to chose from but what about studded tires. Are they a good fit for you?
The answer depends on the type of vehicle you drive and the driving conditions in your area. If your drive consistently on icy roads, studs are a good choice. Dozens, sometimes hundreds, of studs biting into road surfaces provides superior grip and traction. On icy roads and at 30 kilometers per hour a studded tire can stopped in about 23 meters compared to all-seasons at 34 meters to stop.
Studded winter tires feature studs spread across the entire tread face providing you better side-to-side and front-to-back grip, which is critical on ice, particularly black ice.
If its snow and not ice on the roads, non-studded winter tires are probably a good fit, unless the snow is hard packed – dense snow that’s been driven over and packed down. In this case, studs digging into the snow provide better traction and control. The studs also help clear the snowpack that builds up between the tire treads.
Studded tires can be used in every province and territory—though with restrictions in some provinces. Some drivers complain about the noise when driving studded tires on bare roads however innovation has come a long way, and tire makers have designed ways to overcome what was traditionally the biggest beef about studs.
So if you’re consistently driving on icy or snow-packed roads, studded tires may be the best option.