What are the Best Summer Tires?

June 1st, 2016

During the summer months, at the peak of travel season for much of the United States, you will probably be spending extra time in your vehicle as you explore new destinations or return to your favorite summertime spots. To get the kind of ride you like best on longer trips, it is important to equip your car with tires that will deliver the driving performance you want.

For most people, that means sticking with all-season radial tires. As the name suggests, all-season tires are designed to deliver good handling, braking and traction in most types of weather, wet or dry, hot or cold. With the exception of the chilliest winter months, when snow tires are recommended, all-season tires are the convenient choice you and your car or truck can depend on throughout most of the year.

However, if you are looking for an easy, effective way to improve the overall responsiveness of your vehicle on the roads during the year's hottest months, you may want to consider summer tires. Also known as high-performance tires, summer tires have the following characteristics:

  • Made of softer rubber so they grip the road better.
  • Designed specifically for higher temperatures.
  • Manufactured with tread that ranges from orbital grooves to complex directional patterns.

Summer tires give you superior handling at a time when driving is, without question, the most fun. But, with safety in mind, you will need to make sure your summer tires are the right width for the conditions you're most likely to encounter. Tires that are too wide may hydroplane on wet roads. Plus, because they are softer and more "grippy," summer tires tend to wear out faster than all-season tires.

Of course, whether you choose summer tires or all-season tires, proper tire maintenance is a must. Make sure your tires are:

  • Properly inflated and aligned.
  • In balance and rotated according to manufacturer's specifications.