What's the difference between all season and all weather tires?

Several decades ago, some executives in the tire industry made a marketing decision that has challenged drivers ever since: the naming of the all season tire.

It can be a confusing moniker. All season tires are great for all seasons -- if you live on the southern end of North America. But if you get snow and ice even once or twice a year, they won't do a great job keeping you safe in those conditions. In fact, even when roads are dry, all season tires tend to lose much of their grip when temperatures fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit [7 degrees Celsius], which hardens their rubber compounds and lowers their responsiveness to the road.

Drivers who want a year-round solution that enables them to forget the forecast should instead pursue all weather tires. Unlike their all season counterparts, all weather tires are certified with the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake – also known as the severe service emblem, it’s a mark that denotes that they’re approved for use in winter conditions.

All weather tires have a tread compound that stays soft and agile at much lower temperatures than all season tires, but they’re still effective in spring rain, summer heat and everything in between. Nokian Tyres is an industry leader in making all weather tires: We've made six generations of them, including our most recent innovation: the Nokian Tyres Remedy WRG5.

Nokian Tyres Remedy WRG5
The Nokian Tyres Remedy WRG5 all-weather tire.

In extreme winter conditions, there’s still nothing safer than a dedicated winter tire. And for areas that don’t get winter weather at all, all season tires like the Nokian Tyres zLine A/S, Nokian Tyres One or Nokian Tyres One HT are great choices. But for drivers who experience unpredictable winter weather, all weather tires are an optimal year-round answer.

For more information on this topic, check out our Tire Buying Guide.

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