Snow Tires: The Difference Between Studded and Studless - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Snow Tires: The Difference Between Studded and Studless

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More people are opting to buy studless tires. More people are opting to buy studless tires.

NBC RIGHT NOW - Studded tires and studless tires have similar purposes, but Performance Tire in Richland said more people buy studless tires have are better for the roads. 

"A lot of people are getting more of the studless tires because they are conscientious of our environment and tax payer dollars and all of that," said Chris Cline with Perfection Tire in Richland.

Studded tires have a directional tread pattern with studs in them.  Perfection Tire in Richland said studded tires are great for icy conditions, but for places like the Lower Columbia Basin where there is not a lot of ice, studs can be hard on the roads.

"They've been flirting with outlawing studs for years and some states have outlawed studs," said Cline.

There are few main differences between the two types of snow tires.  The studless tires have a special rubber compound with a directional tread design and the rubber stays softer.  Perfection Tire said they almost act like a suction cup in the snowy conditions.

Studded tires are better at breaking up the ice.  They do not have as much technology in them as the studless, but they are more cost efficient.

Perfection Tires said not having snow tires in general could make things a little more difficult if snow is on the ground. 

"The rubber gets really hard.  It's more like running on plastic on the road than rubber, which is why you want to take off your all-season tires or your performance tires because they get really hard when it gets really cold," said Cline.

For drivers who do decide to get snow tires, whether they are studded or studless, it is required to get them on all four wheels.  If drivers plan to use the tires they already have, Perfection Tires said drivers should continue to use caution if bad weather conditions happen. 

"Take a look at your tires, even if you do have a good all-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, or all-season, just make sure you have plenty of tread and give yourself plenty of time to react to the road conditions," said Cline. 

To tell if your tires are traction tires, Perfection Tire said there will be a triangle and a snowflake on the sidewall as an indication that your tire has traction.