Different Types of Tires

A common challenge when buying tires is understanding the different types of tires, and which one will work best for you.

The easiest way to group tires is to start with the type of your vehicle. After determining which tire types are possibilities for your vehicle, you can determine which type is best for you based on your driving needs.

Passenger Touring Vehicles: Sedans, CUVs, & Minivans

The tires designed for this particular class of vehicles are generally engineered to deliver a smooth and quiet ride, reliable all-season traction, and a long lasting tread life. Luxury vehicles that fall into the passenger touring category can find luxury tire options in both the all-season touring and grand-touring categories. While most cars in this segment will conform to these types of tires, some vehicles are modified for enhanced performance, and will need more performance from their tires.


The all-season touring tire is designed to deliver good comfort and handling on the highway, as well as reliable all-season traction. It will generally feature a symmetrical tread pattern and circumferential grooves for wet weather grip.


Touring tires, also called Grand touring tires are designed to deliver a comfortable ride and reliable all-season traction, with the addition of more responsive handling. They generally have a higher speed rating than all-season touring tires, and often feature an asymmetrical tread pattern.

Performance sport and sedan vehicles generally require enhanced handling capabilities from their tires. They often want reasonable traction in a variety of conditions, but the focus leans more towards performance than comfort. Some touring sedan owners modify their vehicles, and want a tire with greater performance capabilities. There are luxury options available in both the all-season performance and the summer performance segments.

A common challenge when buying tires is understanding the different types of tires, and which one will work best for you. The easiest way to group tires is to start with the type of your vehicle. After determining which tire types are possibilities for your vehicle, you can determine which type is best for you based on your driving needs.


Performance tires generally have larger circumferential and lateral grooves, for wet weather traction. They also typically feature fairly dense siping and silica enriched tread compounds, for better grip regardless of the weather. They have higher speed ratings than touring tires.


Summer tires are geared for performance in wet and dry conditions. They are not designed for all-season traction. They are optimized for warm weather, and deliver grip and responsive handling in wet or dry conditions. Summer tires generally feature solid contact patches, adequate circumferential grooves for hydroplaning resistance, and little to no siping. They are ideal for performance vehicles in warmer climates.

Track and Competition

Track and competition tires are similar to street performance tires in that they are designed to deliver the pinnacle of performance. Track and competition tires are rarely used for daily driving. They are engineered to provide constant road contact in dry conditions. They differ from summer tires in their construction, which often features high-tech body and sidewall reinforcements such as kevlar or aramid. While these tires may be D.O.T. approved, they are designed for extreme performance, and are generally used for amateur track days or professional competitions. If you are in a competition series, whether a Corvette club or a MINI series, your competition tire specifications are determined by your series’ mandate. To ensure that your competition tires align with your series, it is best to check series bylaws.

Truck and SUV

Truck and SUV tires are divided up by the different uses of the vehicle. You may need a more aggressive tire that can handle things where the pavement ends, or you may see a lot of highway driving, which would benefit from a smoother, longer lasting tread. There are truck and SUV tire types that can meet your needs wherever you drive.


Highway tires have all-season tread patterns and are designed to handle the heavier loads of a truck or SUV. They are engineered to be very comfortable on the pavement. Most highway tires have durable compounds and tread patterns that resist uneven wear to deliver long lasting tread life. They generally feature siping for enhanced all-season traction.


All-terrain, or A/T tires generally have a more aggressive tread pattern than highway or trail tires. They have larger tread blocks and more voids, which provide traction in off-road driving conditions. A/T tires often feature the Severe Weather Service symbol. They are designed to handle gravel, sand, and light mud. Most all-terrain tires achieve this off-road traction with little to no on-road discomfort. They provide highway stability and comfort, in addition to the off-road thrills. Many people enjoy all-terrain tires because they have a more aggressive look with little or minimal sacrifice in noise, comfort, or longevity.


Mud-terrain, or M/T tires feature extremely aggressive tread patterns with very large tread blocks and more voids. This allows the tires to get more traction in soft terrains, such as deep mud and sand. They often have aggressive sidewall features that enhance traction in soft terrain while giving the tire an even more rugged appearance. Often, the sidewalls will be reinforced to resist punctures, abrasions, and tears that commonly occur when driving off-road. Mud-terrain tires are generally less comfortable on roads, and tend to be noisier than the less aggressive tire options. They are best for vehicles that see regular off-road driving, off-road enthusiasts, or those looking for an off-road appearance.

All-Purpose or Trail

All-Purpose (A/P) or trail tires are only a little more rugged than a standard highway tire. A/P tires generally feature fewer sipes than a highway truck tire. An A/P tread pattern will often include overlapping blocks to provide moderate off-road grip in loose road conditions. A/P tires are commonly referred to as very mild all-terrain tires.


Ribbed tires are designed for the ultimate in highway handling and long lasting mileage. They generally have a solid rib tread design for enhanced stability, even under a heavy load. This also enhances wet weather traction. Ribbed tires are great for commercial vehicles that see a lot of highway mileage.

Sport Truck

Performance truck tires are very similar to highway tires. They feature all-season tread patterns that are optimized for a variety of weather conditions. They generally have sipes for enhanced traction, although not as many sipes as seen on a highway tire. Performance truck tires also feature higher speed ratings than highway tires. Some performance truck tires will feature an asymmetrical tread pattern.

Specialty Tires

It is possible that you find yourself in need of specialty tires. They could be for your lawn mower or go-cart, or maybe you need to replace your spare tire. We have temporary spare tires, trailer tires, ATV tires, and even lawn and garden tires. Whether you need to outfit your golf cart, or replace tires on your horse trailer, we have the tires you need.


Winter tires are designed for the best possible traction in harsh winter conditions below 45 degrees. Winter tires come in a wide variety of uses, and are made for an even wider variety of vehicles. Winter tires feature heavy siping and deep circumferential grooves that work to expel snow and slush buildup from the contact patch. The two main winter tire types are studded and non-studded. Studded winter tires feature small metal studs, or pins, that are engineered to deliver the pinnacle of traction on icy driving surfaces. Studded tires, while great for conditions with heavy ice, can cause additional noise and discomfort. Studded winter tires are illegal to use in some states. They are only recommended if you drive in the harshest of winter conditions. Non-studded winter tires have all of the features of studded winter tires, except the studs. They are designed for great traction in winter conditions, and even provide reasonable grip on ice. Non-studded winter tires provide plenty of traction for your winter driving.

The All Weather tire is a newcomer to the industry. It is designed to fill the gap between a dedicated winter tire and an all-season tire. All Weather tires are designed to maintain reliable traction when temperatures drop below 45 degrees, but unlike winter tires, they don’t need to be changed out when spring comes around. However, if you live in regions that deal with heavy ice and snow, an all-weather tire, like the all-season tire, will not provide the superior winter traction that a winter tire delivers.

Temporary Spares

Temporary spare tires are available in either compact or full size. Compact temporary spares, a.k.a. donut spares, are for temporary use only. They are typically rated for up to 50 miles, at speeds up to 50mph. They require a much higher air pressure than standard tires. Full size spares are generally the same size as the tires on the vehicle. Often, if the manufacturer provides a full size spare, it will be the same tire type as the original equipment.


Trailer tires are available in either bias ply or radial ply constructions. Bias ply tires typically can carry more weight for longer periods of time. However, they tend to have more irregular wear and a rougher ride than radial tires. Radial ply tires provide a smoother ride and are better suited for highway driving.


ATV tires are available in mud, sand, all-terrain, and racing types. They can feature large individual tread blocks and large voids, which deliver excellent traction in sand, mud, gravel, and rocks. Generally speaking, the more aggressive the tread pattern is, the more aggressive the usage can be.

Lawn & Garden

We also have lawn and garden tires in stock. This includes: dolly (a.k.a. hand truck) tires, wheelbarrow tires, lawn mower tires, and golf cart tires.