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Winter Tires...Studded or Studless?

You live in the Anchorage, AK area and you know how tough the weather can be here in the winter. The wind, the blowing, drifting snow, the black ice and everything that goes with it – but our obligations don’t stop when the weather gets bad. We still have to get to work, school, the store and our other commitments, and just tough it out.

You can at least up your chances of getting through it safely with a good set of winter tires.

If you’re old enough, you might remember the heavy, clunky, noisy “snow tires” or “mud grips” that you might find on a Buick wagon a generation ago. Today’s winter tires are a whole lot different; improvements in design and materials have resulted in winter tires that rival the best all-season tires in terms of noise levels, handling, road manners, ride quality and noise levels. 

Studded Tires

Metal studs are embedded within the tread of the tires. The metal studs dig into the ice and provide the traction needed to get through the ice and snow.

On ice, there’s not really any good solution for traction and safety, but studded tires can at least give you a fighting chance. At Alignment Center and Alaska Car & Truck, we carry a variety of studded tires in our inventory and can install or remove studs when the time comes. It’s worth remembering, though, that recent improvements in tire design and rubber formulations have resulted in tires that rival the performance of studded tires…without the studs. Innovations like sipes (thousands of tiny slits that dig into snow and ice like teeth) and deeper tread grooves give a real advantage on ice, without the damage to pavement surfaces that comes from metal studs.

At Alignment Center and Alaska Car & Truck in Anchorage, AK, we carry a great selection of winter tires from Michelin, Nokian, Goodyear, Uniroyal and more, all designed to stand up to the difficult driving conditions that go along with an Alaska winter. Just remember that winter tires are truly seasonal, and that their softer rubber formulations will wear quickly in temperatures above 40 degrees. Are you ready for winter driving? Make an appointment with us at Alignment Center and Alaska Car & Truck for a set of winter tires for your vehicle! 

Studless Tires

Improvements in the rubber compounds of modern studless winter tires have made them more capable of handling some of winter's most extreme driving situations. The modern, studless tires have more flexibility due to advances in the rubber compounding industry. Today's studless tires have deeper treads and tiny slits in the tread pattern which act like teeth biting into the snow.

Let's take a look at this brief video which explains "snow tires" using the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 tire.