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Are winter tires good in rain?

Winter tires are the type of tires that are specifically designed for prolonged winter conditions including snow, slush and ice. And yes, winter tires can be used in rain but they are nowhere on the same level as all-season tires in terms of rain performance.

If you are considering buying winter tires but also want them to work during rain just know that it overall depends on how good the quality of the winter tires is. It is to be said that if you’ve invested in an expensive and high-quality pair of winter tires, they are more likely to perform well in rain as compared to the cheap and low-quality winter tires.

What makes winter tires good in rain?

Here are some of the reasons, winter tires are able to manage rainy conditions rather well. Most of them have to do with the winter adaptations that are similar to the all-season tires’ features.

1. Deep treads:

Winter tires come with deep tread patterns that have extremely good grip in snow and during heavy rains. The rubber compound of the tire also plays an important part here because the tread blocks need to remain flexible at low temperatures ensuring a safe ride.

2. Multiple sipes:

Sipes are small grooves that cut across larger tread elements. More sipes mean more traction in snow or extremely wet surfaces. This is the reason winter tires have thousands of pronounced sipes and they give good traction.

3. Compound:

Physical configuration of the tread also plays an important role in the good performance of a winter tire in rain. Winter tires employ a rubber that is made up of microscopic pores that sops up all the water.

Which winter tires perform best in rain?

Even though there is no doubt that all-season tires are the best pick for rainy surfaces, there are some brands that claim that their winter tires work just fine on wet surfaces other than ice and snow just like all-season tires do. Therefore, if you have to go with winter tires but still don’t want to compromise on rain performance, here are two winter tires that we’ve hand-picked for you.

1. Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Studdable Winter/Snow Tire P275/65R18 114 S

A thorough-bred studdable winter tire with adequate rain performance…

Designed for use with pickup trucks, CUVs and SUVs, the Firestone Winterforce 2 is a great winter tire that comes with its special cold weather compound, open shoulder slots, and deep tread design that gives you better grip that you can rely on in wintry conditions as compared to an all-season tire. Although this is a winter tire and we know that winner tires tend to perform the best in extreme cold conditions, this tire compares itself with an all-season tire which means that it also ensures a comfortable and safe ride in rain as well. 

Firestone winterforce tires ensure excellent winter performance and a grip you can rely on even during heavy rain fall alongside snow and ice. This tire also claims to give a long-lasting performance, winter after winter meaning that you won’t have to spend extra cash on changing tires every winter. 

With a combination of great tire performance and long-lasting performance, it adds up to a great value for you and not only perform well in extreme snow and ice but also during heavy rainfalls.

Pros:

  • Has a special cold weather compound
  • Deep tread design
  • Long lasting performance
  • Offer nice grip on snowy and wet surfaces
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons:

  • Bit expensive

2. Sumitomo Ice Edge Studable-Winter Radial Tire – 195/65R15 91T

Much less costly than premium brands, but similar in performance…

Sumitomo ice edge winter radial tire is also one of the winter tires that claims to meet the needs of users in a variety of winter driving environments. This tire comes with design features that target the unique demand of cold weather driving and rainy surfaces. Its specially formulated tread compound is tuned to perform well in low temperatures alongside its 3D shape technology that provides the ultimate bite on snow. This tire also has the additional benefit of being able to fit a wide variety of vehicles.

The tire also comes with wide tread channels that enhance the grip of the tires in snow, ice and during heavy rain. Similarly, its 3D serrated sipping pattern maximizes tread bite on winter road surfaces. This tire is also superior in stability and handling as its triangular centered tread blocks expand tread contact of the tires. Although this is a winter tire, it claims to maintain a “very good” overall rating in dry and wet road conditions and since we are talking about winter tires that are good in rain, this tire is a nice pick.

Pros:

  • Performs good in variety of winter conditions
  • Has a formulated tread compound
  • Has wide tread channels
  • Superior stability and handling 
  • Bold design and high performance
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not a renowned brand

A word of caution on winter tires:

If you are considering buying winter tires but also want them to work during rain just know that it overall depends on how good the quality of the winter tires is. It is to be said that if you’ve invested in an expensive and high-quality pair of winter tires, they are more likely to perform well in rain as compared to the cheap and low-quality winter tires.

If you’re looking for more capable winter tires head out to our article: Best Off-Road Tires for Snow

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