Now, I’m really no expert in different tires for different weather as my home gets no snow and even on the coldest of days it rearly gets colder then 5 degres celcius, but as part of my work I started looking into it and I am happy to share as always.
Lets start with the obvius-
Mud tires – the kind used by SUV’s to handle muddy terain – lots of big protruding elements and channels between to grip the mud and let it run through. Not unlike a tractor tire.
Summer tires – built to best perform in hot, dry or wet inviroments.
Winter tires – built for cold temperatures and wet & snowy road conditions. By changing the materials that makes the tire (mainly the tread) they give better (grip) performance with temperatures below 7 deg. c even in dry conditions – normal tires will stiff up and the tread won’t comply as well with the road and give less friction. By changing the tread design we get better grip on snowy roads so the channels will lock in snow (snow sticks to snow – like a snow ball) and the added sips (small “kracks”) helps grasp snow and ice.
All season – aptly named, they are a compromise between summer and winter tires but are infiriar to both in terms of temperature and grip.
Studded / Arctic – About the same as winter only with added metal studs embedded in the rubber. When of good quality the studs will outlive(!) the rubber and as such are illegal in some countries because they damage the pavement and not viceversa. They out perform winter tires on snowy and icy roads but especially on slick ice where they drive into the ice to get grasp. Snow chains on winter tires sometimes also help in such situations.
Studded winter tire
If you live in a cold place (not to mention with snow and ice) changing the tires as the weather does could be imperative. Much data and comparisons are on the web, I put in 2 I found very good.