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All Weather Tires Vs. All Season Tires: What’s The Difference?

All Weather Tires Vs. All Season Tires: What’s The Difference?

All Weather, All Season…these are the same types of tires, right? As similar as their names may sound, these tires are pretty different in design and quality. 

Until recently, you may not have heard about All Weather tires, which makes sense because they haven’t been around for very long. 

You’re used to Performance tires in the summer, Winter tires in the winter, or a reliable pair of All Season tires you leave on year-round. Manufacturers recently began developing a new set of tires called All Weather to replace the All Season set that we know and love. 

These All Season tires haven’t fully made their way to the United States yet, but we have the low down on who’s making them and what they do. 

What Are All Weather Tires, And Where Did They Come From?

All Weather tires come from our friends across the pond. In Europe, there are fairly strict tire safety regulations, especially during the winter.

In America, we might have a trusty set of All Season tires that we leave on our car year-round and only switch out when they need to be replaced. However, Europeans typically have dedicated sets of Summer tires and Winter tires.

This is because of Europe's high safety standards for tires. They require drivers to have tires that meet exceptional winter regulations, and All Season tires don’t quite cut it. 

Winter tires work great in the snow and have excellent traction in slick conditions, but they aren’t built to work during warmer months. Winter tires wear out extremely fast in the summer, and the tread designs that create Winter tires’ necessary high traction lead to uncomfortable driving experiences on dry pavement. 

In comes the dawn of the All Weather tire. Tire manufacturers set out to help our European friends by developing a tire that meets Winter tires’ high standards with enough flexibility and durability to be used the rest of the year. 

All Weather tires are designed to reach the high-intensity winter ratings that Europe follows while also being safe, sound, and efficient for the summer. All Weather tires combine the tread designs of Winter and All Season tires, and they use a different type of rubber that grips onto the snow while remaining resilient.

What’s So Bad About All Season Tires?

All Season tires aren’t that bad. They’re great tires under most conditions. 

All Season tires are warranted for more miles than other tires, perform well in dry conditions, can hold their own in casual snow and ice environments. 

Take the Ironman RB-12s, for example: a set of killer All Season tires that work in most driving conditions and only cost $22 a month through Rent A Wheel’s flexible payment plan. 

As great as the Ironman RB-12s are, All Weather tires are even better in those conditions. That’s what makes them stand out. 

In Europe, there’s a mandatory traction rating called Severe Snow Traction. Severe Snow Traction tires get a cute little three-peak mountain stamp, which you can use to tell if your tires are up to snuff. In the United States, we have the same cute little mountain stamp on Winter tires if they pass the Severe Snow Traction test; it just isn’t mandatory to meet that high standard. 

Most American All Season tires are rated “M+S,” or mud and snow. Tires with this rating aren’t nearly as reliable as tires with Severe Snow Traction. 

Sidebar: How to Discover Your Current Tires’ Ratings

If you don’t know already, it’s important to know which tires you currently have and their rating. If you already know what kind of tires you have, go on and skip this part—we’ll catch up with you later. 

Odds are, you probably have All Season tires on your car, unless you bought them recently with a specific need in mind. Most All Season tires are great. Depending on your year-round road conditions, All Season tires are probably the right fit for you. 

To double-check, you can easily look at your tires to identify their name and brand, then quickly search for their specifications online. Even easier, you can look around the front face of the rubber for an “M+S'' marking. You may even find the small mountain sticker we mentioned earlier, which looks like this:  



If you find either the “M+S” stamp or this little mountain on your tires, you’re ready for the colder months. “M+S” are All Season tires ready for a little snow, and tires with that mountain sticker are Winter or All Weather tires prepared for a big winter chill. 

Are All Weather Tires The Best Option For Everyone?

This answer depends on where you live and how you drive. If you live in a part of the country that doesn’t see much snow, All Season tires are a wonderful option. 

Even if you only see a little snow in the winter, All Season will probably still get you where you need to go. 

If you and your car see a good amount of snow every winter, you should probably switch to tires specifically designed for the snow and ice. All Weather tires would make your life easier. 

Why Wouldn’t I Just Switch to All Weather Tires Now?

As incredible as All Weather tires sound, they do have a few drawbacks

For starters, All Weather tires aren’t common in the States… yet. Because European manufacturers are developing these All Weather tires, many U.S. suppliers don’t have them in stock. 

Luckily, that doesn’t include Rent A Wheel. On our online store, you’ll find eight different types of All Weather tires. That’s plenty to peruse and find the right fit for your vehicle. This process is made even easier when you talk with one of our tire fitting experts through our online chat service. 

Another thing to keep in mind is your specific tire needs. As we mentioned, All Weather tires are great for people that live in snowy areas and don’t want to switch out their tires every time the seasons change. If this sounds like you, the Michelin Agilis CrossClimate tires might be a great option. These are excellently rated All Weather beasts that only cost $60 a month.


All Weather tires, All Season tires, Winter tires, Performance tires… Decisions, decisions. What rubber can help you hit the road? 

It depends on when and where you’re driving. If you live somewhere that gets a good chunk of snow every winter or you road trip across the mountains every Christmas, All Weather tires would fit your lifestyle well. 

IF you don’t see that much snow and you need tires that will last a little longer in a variety of conditions, All Season is going to be your best bet. 

Maybe you love changing your tires twice a year and want the best tires you can have each season, even if it requires a little more effort. In that case, get a pair of Winter tires and a pair of Performance (AKA, summer) tires. 

No matter how you cut it, Rent A Wheel has the best available options. With our online Visualizer and team of professional tire technicians, it’s never been easier to find the right set of tires for your dream machine. 

If you’re looking for the most affordable option and two sets of tires sounds like too much of an investment, we’ve got you covered there as well. With Rent A Wheel’s flexible payment plans, we make sure that you walk away with the best possible tires you can afford at the best possible price. 

We’ll even install your tires for free at a local Rent A Wheel shop, and for a small fee, we’ll help you switch them out with your winter tires when the time comes. 



All-Weather Tires Review | Consumer Reports

The difference between all-weather and all-season tires| Driving

All Season versus All Weather Tires | Tire Buyer