Many people ask if it's worthwhile to put on a set of winter tires. The answer is yes! It's a proven fact that winter tires provide the best traction on the treacherous Canadian winter roads. It only takes one season driving on winter tires to prove their worth.
If you dig your fingernails into a winter tire you will notice it's much softer than an all season. This is because it is designed to flex more, gripping the road even when it's snowy and icy. Every year, millions of dollars are spent in research and development to improve winter tires.
If you look closely at a top brand winter tire, you will notice that the tread forms a V pattern. This is done to allow snow to leave the tread so that the tires can provide maximum grip on the road.
Sipes are the little squiggly lines that you see in tire treads. Think of the tire tread as a hand gripping snow. The sipes would be the finger tips gripping ice. They provide more surface area to really grab hold of the ice and minimize slipping and sliding. While all season tires also have sipes, winter tires generally have more sipes to provide much better traction.
When the temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius is when the gripping power of a good winter tire really takes hold. As a general rule of thumb, when Thanksgiving rolls around you should be thinking about putting on your winter tires.