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Performance Tires and Why You Need Them

Performance Tires and Why You Need Them

Tires come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know they also come in different varieties depending on what you’re doing with them? Of course you did, that’s why you’re here reading this, right? 

You may have seen “winter” tires or “all season” tires, but today we’re going to be taking a look at “performance” tires and why your speed wagon would be better off with a set.  

What Are Performance Tires?

You might be looking at all the options online at RentAWheel.com and see some tires with the “performance” tag on them and wonder what makes them so special, well let’s dig in to that. 

Performance tires are specifically designed for, you guessed it, better performance than all-season.

They have advantages over their all-season counterparts in several qualities and situations, including:

  • More grip while turning at high speeds.

  • Resistance to hydroplaning, even in heavy rain.

  • More responsive experience for the driver.

  • Typically higher speed ratings. 

Overall, performance tires are for the driver looking for a more exciting driving experience and not someone satisfied with just casually getting from point A to B. 

What Makes Performance Tires More Exciting?

What’s the magic behind these tires that makes them so much more interesting to drive on? We’re so glad you asked. 

To keep it simple, these tires have more tire on the ground than all-season. The grooves and wheel well design allow for a larger amount of rubber at any given time on the pavement, which means you have more rubber holding you down as you’re taking corners at a legal and safe speed. 

Also, the actual rubber formula for the tires is much more rigid than other types of tires which makes them actually stickier, keeping you moving in the direction you want to be going. 

So, when you’re looking online at a pair of Nexen N’Fera performance tires, rest assured that the design and material of them not only looks pretty sick, those elements are also working diligently to keep you and your dream machine driving at top performance. 

You might also notice while looking at the Nexen’s that we refer to them as Performance, Summer

”Performance, Summer Tires?”

You might notice while looking at the Nexen’s that we refer to them as Performance, Summer. And maybe before reading this you thought, “Well, Performance tires and Summer tires are the same, just named differently sometimes.”

Surprise! This is actually not the case. (But thankfully you’re reading this article because you’re excited to learn, and don’t mind being wrong about something every now and then. We won’t tell.)

Performance tires are considered a category of tire, and within that category are sub-options, mostly just two: 

  • Performance, Summer.

  • Performance, All-Season.

Performance, All-Season, might sound like the way to go. You get the best of both worlds: The high-grip stickiness of the performance tires mixed with the reliability of all-season traction for when the weather starts to get cold. 

However, we would caution you to always take a look at something if it claims to be “all-in-one.” Performance tires are designed for a specific purpose- Performance. All-Season tires are great for a casual driver, because that’s what they’re for- Casual driving. 

What happens when you make a tire that tries to be good at performance driving and casual driving, two things that are basically opposites?

You get a tire that’s not really as good as it can be at either. And while they can get the job done, it won’t really be done<

If you want to get Performance tires, it’s better to just pull out the stops and get full-blooded Performance, Summer tires. 

What to Know Before Buying Performance Tires

As with anything that boosts the performance qualities of your car, there are some qualities that may be reduced and some compromises to be made. Whether they’re worth it is up to the driver, and if you’re looking to increase your sick rides performance on the road then they most likely will be. 

But here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about Performance tires. 

There’s a Reason They’re Called Summer Tires

Most cars drive off the lot with All-Season tires on, and for most people they work great. Most places, especially here in the U.S., experience different types of weather and seasons. 

While All-Season tires aren’t the best in all conditions, they get the job done. They won’t have the high end qualities of Summer Performance tires, or the big knobs and extreme traction of Winter tires. But the convenience of not having to switch out your tires at the end of the season is something that people value. 

That being said, the reason Performance, Summer tires are called Performance, Summer is because they really don’t like to be whipped around in the snow. Any amount of snow actually. 

The thin tread depth designs don’t exactly grip well in slick conditions like snow or ice, and the rigid rubber material the tires are made of actually tends to get brittle in cold temperatures, leading to faster wear down. 

Take a look at these Pirelli Cinturato tires, you can tell that the tread design is much thinner and shallower than other all-season options. 

While these tires would certainly do extremely well flying down the road in the summer, it’s not hard to imagine why they might struggle a bit once the snowflakes start falling down. 

If You Can’t Use Performance Tires In The Winter, What Do You Do?

The solution is pretty simple: You have two sets of tires, one for the winter, and one for the rest of the year. 

Yes, this inconvenient truth may be enough to scare more casual drivers away from Performance tires. 

However, the inconvenience of switching your tires out is a twice a year event, which really isn’t that bad. 

We actually suggest having a set of winter tires on their own set of rims, which means you don’t have to take a trip to the shop to get your tires switched out. This means all you need is to know how to change a tire. 

Although you would be more than welcome to bring your separate set of tires in to your local Rent-A-Wheel location where our expert tire technicians can swap your tires out fast and easy for a small fee. 

Performance Tires Can Be An Investment

One last thing to keep in mind when considering performance tires is the cost. 

Looking at them online they may not seem any more expensive than a standard set of All-Season tires, but in this case the number to look for is the suggested mileage. 

Performance tires go hard and they go fast- and unfortunately they tend to wear down a little fast too. Not over-dramatically, but Performance tires have noticeably lower expected mileage numbers than their All-Season standard counter parts. 

This means you might be replacing your tires a little more frequently than normal. 

And we can probably assume that if you’re the type of driver interested in Performance tires, you probably like to drive around a bit more than the average driver.

At least you could tell yourself you wouldn’t be swapping out tires as fast as NASCAR drivers, every couple of laps? Makes swapping out Performance tires every couple of years sound not so bad. 


So Performance tires are sort of a big decision. They increase your cars, well, performance in several ways by giving your car much more grip on the road while turning, better braking power and and an overall more exciting experience for the driver. 

But they do have their drawbacks, Performance tires aren’t meant to be driven all year unless you live somewhere where it’s perpetually summer. And they might set you back a few more dollars than standard tires. 

So who should really be looking into Performance tires? We’d say any driver that knows that they want their car to be hitting the road as hard as it can. The pros outweigh the cons if you’re the type of driver that takes pride and joy in every moment behind the wheel. 

And, with the flexible payment plans that we offer at RentAWheel.com, it’s never been easier to find a set of Performance tires that will fit you car perfectly, and fit your wallet size comfortably. Our team of professional wheel experts can have you set up and ready to hit the road in no time, just visit our website.

We can also get you set up with an affordable set of winter tires and wheels so that when the snow starts falling and your summer tires are ready for a little hibernation, you’ll be ready.