As Canadians, we understand the necessity of winter tires in our climate. There are many factors to consider when buying snow tires: traction, tread, durability, price, and more. The unpredictable snow storms, black ice, and slippery roads can make your daily commute tricky, and sometimes downright treacherous – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Wondering which are the best winter tires for 2024? We’ve compiled a list of some of this season’s best options for your vehicle, by type.

Considerations when shopping for the best tires

If you’re considering purchasing new or used winter tires, it’s one of those purchases where quality really counts. It is important to purchase high-quality types, taking into consideration price, the tire’s rating, and performance to ensure you get the traction you need for the driving you do:

  • Install all four tires: Be sure to purchase four tires and ensure they are the same make and model.
  • Size matters: Ensure the tires are the correct size – tire size is embossed on the tire’s side.
  • Price tag: The cost varies, but on average, they range from $120-$200 per tire, based on the size and make.
  • Consider your wheels: Consider purchasing separate rims for your tires. This makes the transition easier and prolongs their life.
  • Trust the pros: Have your winter tires installed by a professional, especially if your vehicle has ABS brakes, all-wheel drive, or tire pressure sensors.

Top-rated winter tires

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 R5 & 10

Nokian is one of the best winter tire manufacturers in the world, partly because of its northern location. The company is based in Finland and is the only tire manufacturer in the world with its own winter tire testing facility. As EV and hybrid cars become more popular across the country, Nokian has risen to the challenge by creating winter tire models explicitly with EVs in mind. The unique tread design is also smaller, meaning significantly less noise in the vehicle and a more comfortable ride. Arctic Grip Crystals embedded into the tire also start to emerge as the tire is worn down, giving extra grip and control well into the tire’s life. In addition, the Finnish manufacturer has recently created a completely stud less version of its winter tires.

Michelin Cross-Climate2 & X-Ice Snow

Like the Nokian tires, Michelin Cross-Climate2 delivers a quiet ride. It is efficient and grippy on lightly snow-covered roads and provides good control on icy or wet pavement. The latest generation Michelin X-Ice Snow tire is designed to fit a variety of vehicle types: SUVs, crossovers, premium/performance cars, passenger cars, and minivans. Its V-shaped tread pattern offers maximum grip power, whether driving on wet, snowy, or icy roads. It also carries a 60,000-kilometre Treadwear Limited Warranty. If you regularly drive in heavily snow-covered icy regions, you’ll be pleased with its performance.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90and LM

Designed for cars and minivans, these tires feature cutting-edge innovations. The exclusive Multicell compound technology contains biting particles to improve surface grip to prevent skidding in freezing rain. The Blizzak WS90 is suitable for the majority of cars, SUVs, and MPVs. However, there are variants, including the LM001 and 005 for deeper snow, the LM32 with wider tread for luxury vehicles, and the DM-V2 for larger SUVs. In all cases, they have proved highly effective in all conditions, and are exceptionally quiet on the road.

Pirelli Winter Ice Zero FR

These tires have been specially developed for the extreme winter conditions of Canada and the Nordic countries. It is perfect for driving with complete safety in deep snow. Pirellis feature Run Flat technology, which allows you to get to a safe place to replace your flat tire. Whether you drive a compact or mid-size sedan, a premium sedan, a truck, or an SUV, you’ll love this tire!

Winter tires grip to snow, slush, and ice because their design, with deeper grooves and edges, optimizes traction. Their treads should stay flexible below -45 degrees Celsius. 

Pirelli Sottozero III

If you own a performance car that you’d like to drive in winter, look to Pirelli’s Italian products, specifically the Sottozero range. There are some models in this product range specifically designed for certain types of sportier and muscular cars.

Continental Viking Contact 7 and XTRM

Once again, these tires are highly recommendable, if only for their grip in snow and on icy roads. For owners of compact utility vehicles, cars, and minivans, the design of these tires is meant to perform in Scandinavian and Canadian winters. The tread grooves allow snow to get into the tracks. This creates snow-on-snow traction that keeps you from sliding on the road. In addition, they provide very high aquaplaning resistance and have great performance on slush. The Viking also performs very well on noise tests, making it one of the quietest tires on the market.

Toyo Observe GSi6

These tires will allow you to drive in the worst winter conditions thanks to the Microbit studless technology. This high-performance tire can be used on passenger cars, sports cars as well as certain models of trucks and utility vehicles. They’ll provide you with exceptional handling performance in snow and ice, as well as on cold and wet roads.

BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI

These tires are specially made to ensure not only totally safe acceleration and braking, but these tires also provide optimal grip on snow and ice. The locking 3D active sipe technology within this BFGoodrich tire is suitable for all types of vehicles. They are known to increase stability for unspoiled handling.

Yokohama iceGUARD IG53

One of Canada’s top-performing tires for extreme winter conditions, the Yokohama ice GUARD IG53 offers maximum performance in snow to keep the car steady all the way down the road. Made for passenger cars and minivans.

Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra

These Goodyear tires are designed with new technology in the tire compounds and tread patterns. These tires utilize a Cryo-Adaptive compound that ensures an extra flexible tire that doesn’t harden in cold, wet conditions. Goodyear also employed Block Cuts and Adaptive SlipGrip technology in the tread. This brings traction on slushy roads to a new level. This winter tire was made for drivers of sedans, minivans, crossovers, and SUVs looking for winter traction in snow and ice, combined with wet and clear road traction in colder temperatures.

Budget-friendly winter tires

Motomaster Winter Edge II

The Motomaster Winter Edge II is a tire offered by one of the country’s leading tire retailers, Canadian Tire. This Motomaster tire was designed and tested by South Korean giant Hankook, and Motomaster wants it to be considered a “Tier 1” tire, in the same general category as the Michelin X-Ice and Bridgestone Blizzak products. The Winter Edge II is available in 46 sizes for 14- to 20-inch rims on cars, SUVs, and crossovers, with speed ratings of T (190 km/h or 118 m/h maximum sustained speed) and H (210 km/h or 130 m/h maximum sustained speed), which should suit some 70 percent of winter vehicles in Canada.

Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3

Incredible value for money, these tires can maintain excellent grip, even when driving over snow and ice. These tires are suitable for passenger vehiclesTiger Paw Ice & Snow 3 boasts excellent grip in extremely cold temperaturesgreat traction while driving in deep snow, and carry a very low risk of hydroplaning.

General Tire’s Altimax Arctic 12

Made with the latest General Tire technologies, these tires offer exceptional handling and steering response. This includes an interlocking center rib combined with straight sipes. With sizes ranging from 14 to 19 inches, they are suitable for passenger vehicles. Featuring an exceptional response to dry driving and handling with wet traction performance and resistance to hydroplaning. These tires offer excellent traction and braking capability, all with an extended tread life.

Firestone Winterforce 2

Designed for your sedan, coupe, family car or minivan, you’ll be covered for maneuvering through with heavy snow, slush, ice or water. Offering exceptional traction, even on ice, these long-lasting performance tires will give you protection, winter after winter. An outstanding value for low cost!

The life of your tire will vary depending on how much you drive, the road conditions in your area, and how you care for your tires -you should be able to get four or five seasons out of your winter tires if they are changed and stored each year correctly.

Best winter tires: Are they worth it?

By and large, the fact remains that it is recommended to stick with the bigger, well-known brands. When shopping for winter tires, there are three points to remember as winter approaches:

  1. Beware of brands with strange names that have just appeared. Better to wait and let them prove themselves.
  2. A winter tire is a compromise. Some models can be very effective on certain makes and models of cars. Others…less so. But no matter what, if you go with a recommended quality tire, chances are you’ll be satisfied.
  3. When you’re in a vehicle (of any size), your life and that of your passengers rests on four points of contact, each barely larger than the palm of your hand!

Good quality tires that are reasonably priced are of course the first to sell out. So, if you are mindful of what you are spending these days, be sure to consult our list of the best winter tires above and reach out to one of our isure representatives to learn more about the discount offered for owning them.

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