When the temperature falls below +7C, rubber can stiffen up and make traction and braking more difficult.
But winter tires are the safest option because they’re made of special compounds to improve traction, stopping and handling when temperatures dip.
Winter tires are also covered with grooves and small channels that move water and slush away to the sides, and tiny slits called sipes, which create extra biting edges on snow and ice. This helps the tires maintain contact with the road. All season tires, despite their name, are not designed for use in these conditions.
When choosing a winter tire, make sure it has the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol on its sidewall.
If you live in a Canadian city, chances are the roads you drive on in winter are often covered in slush and salty water rather than ice and snow.
While dedicated winter tires offer the best winter traction and are the top choice if you do a lot of winter driving, another option is all weather tires -- not to be confused with all season tires. All weather tires are versatile. They provide good winter traction and can be used year round.
Plus, being able to keep the same tires on your vehicle year round means there’s no need to find storage space for a second set.
All weather tires also have the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol on their sidewall to show they are rated for winter driving.
What size do you need?
Your new tires should be the same size as the tires your vehicle came with -- unless you’re interested in a sportier look and feel. To find out what the standard size of tires is for your vehicle, look in the owner’s manual or on the doorjamb. You can also check the sidewall of your current tires, or use our handy Tire Size Calculator.
Tires & Wheels
Tires & wheels package
If you want to change the look of your car – or if you’ll be changing your tires seasonally -- you may want to buy a tires and wheels package from Canadian Tire. Having wheels on both your winter and all season tires will save you money every time you need to switch. Build your tires & wheels package.
If you’ve narrowed down your choices to either winter tires or all weather tires, you can take a look at how they’ve been rated in our tough tire tests. We test our winter-rated tires for dry and wet handling, ice and snow, gas mileage and comfort -- on closed tracks with unbiased experts. The ratings help you compare tires based on the weather conditions you’ll be driving in so you can find the tires that are best for your car or truck. See our winter tire ratings.