In some places, like Colorado, driving with snow tires during the winter months is required by law. The decision of what kind of snow tires to get is often left to drivers. And if you’re an inexperienced driver, or maybe you’ve relocated to the area, or it’s been a long time since you’ve bought a set of snow tires, understanding the key differences between studded and studless snow tires will help you decide which kind is right for you.

Should You Pick Studded Snow Tires?

Studded snow tires look exactly like they sound. They have tiny spikes — typically made of metal — embedded in the rubber tread at intervals around the tire. These spikes are driven into ice and packed snow as the wheel turns and function as an anchor for the car. They can make winter driving safer by increasing traction but they can also be damaging to roads, too, because the spikes can dig into asphalt and damage it. Once winter is over, studded snow tires need to come off the car and be placed in seasonal tire storage.

Should You Pick Studless Snow Tires?

Studless snow tires used specially designed deep tire treads to drive slush, snow, and ice away from the rubber tire surface, allowing more of the tire to remain in contact with the road. Because these tires don’t have spikes that can damage roadways, there are no legal restrictions on where they can be used; however, they’re not designed for driving in non-winter conditions, so you’ll need to arrange for seasonal tire storage for them, too.

What Studded and Studless Snow Tires Have in Common

Regardless of which kind of snow tires you choose, you’ll still need to replace them regularly, just like regular car tires. They usually last about three years. In addition to planning for seasonal tire storage needs, you’ll also need to plan your snow tires purchase; because they’re not used year-round, some tire shops don’t carry them year-round.

Get Assistance Today

Mobile tire replacement services stock snow tires and sometimes offer seasonal tire storage, too. When you have a flat tire, even if it’s during the winter and you’ve got snow tires on the car, call your local tire replacement service for help. During times of bad winter weather, you want to get back on the road and en route to your destination quickly, whether you have studded snow tires or studless snow tires, and a mobile tire replacement service can help.

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