Treadwear & Traction

All tires have a treadwear “grade”, a rating system to demonstrate the life of that tire’s tread under controlled conditions. A tire with the treadwear grade of 300 should last twice as long as a grade 150. Grading systems are specific to tire brands, meaning a 200 grade in one brand may not be exactly equivalent to a 200 grade in a different brand.

Likewise, there are grades to represent a tire’s traction, that is the ability to stop. Grades ranked highest to lowest are “AA”, “A”, “B” and “C”. Naturally, “AA” tires are expected to preform more efficiently on wet and snowy surfaces.

Hard Tread

Typically, a harder rubber compound can make for a longer lasting tread and can positively impact your fuel consumption, however it will decrease your traction on both wet and dry surfaces and result in less efficient cornering.

Wide Tread

Minimal grooving on a wide tread will give your vehicle better grip in dry conditions, but you will lose traction on wet and snowy surfaces.

Open Tread

These deeper grooves make for better traction on wet and snowy roads, but will wear out quickly on dry pavement.

Asymmetric Tread

With a changing tread pattern, this tire is designed to increase contact area on the outboard side, thereby offering better cornering control on dry surfaces, while still providing traction on water and snow with smaller tread blocks on the inboard side. This still allows for multiple tire rotation patterns.

Symmetric Tread

This is the most common tire tread pattern and can easily be found at any tire supplier. These tires make it possible to utilize the highest number of tire rotation patterns.

Directional Tread

Also called unidirectional, this pattern only works in one direction. The unique v-shaped treads and grooves enhance driving performance on wet roads. Even at high speeds, this tread provides high resistance to hydroplaning and allows water to move through the tread more efficiently. Rotation, however, is restricted to the front and rear axles on one side as the tires cannot simply be turned around. If tires are to be rotated to the opposite side, the entire wheel mount must be removed in order to accommodate the unidirectional nature of the tread.

Combination Asymmetric/Directional Tread

These tires offer the cornering stability of the asymmetrical tread with the traction of the unidirectional pattern. They have the same rotation restrictions as the directional tires and will remove rotation possibilities all together if the front and rear axle use different size tires.