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Rain tires are a special type of tires that are widely used worldwide in wet weather due to their unique design structure that makes them suitable and better adapted for their application than any other tires.
Although, there are some things to consider when you buy a rain tire like the speed of the car, the weight, power of the car, and the lifespan of the tire, but don’t worry about that if you’re confused because we’re going to explain everything in this article.
|Best For Sport Cars||Yokohama Advan Sport AS|
|Best Quality||General AltiMAX RT43 Radial Tire|
|Best Stability||Michelin Premier A/S|
|Best For Rainy Weather||Bridgestone Blizzak WS80|
|Best Durability||Michelin Primacy MXV4|
How do rain tires work?
As we mentioned in the beginning, they have a special design which allows them to adapt to wet weather conditions. In order for the tire to displace the water between the ground and the rubber on the tire, a tire has to be molded, or rather cut with patterned grooves in them, thus, if the water is not displaced, hydroplaning will occur which means that the rubber doesn’t get in contact with the ground. Now, these patterns will displace as much water as they can, however, take in mind that not all groove patterns have the same design since they mostly depend on what conditions you’re driving the car, and on the car itself.
Apart from grooves, there are also rubber rain tires which are the most preferred ones due to their price, and because they are durable to withstand for years to come. However, there is a drawback which is worth mentioning. Because they are made from soft rubber compounds, they are not really recommended to be used on dry surfaces because it will result in deterioration of the tire. To be more precise, they contain different chemicals which allow the tire to be sticky to the track when it is hot, however, rubber rain tires help the car to have a more firm grip in slippery conditions, which means that they deliver the most safety compared to the other types.
What’s also important to mention is that tires also come in different sizes while some all smaller in diameter, some are bigger. In other words, the size affects the wheel to whether spin faster, or slower, while some tires are also narrower, so the guideline is, the smaller the tire, the smaller the chances of hydroplaning.
Taking all of this into consideration, you should know by now that choosing the best tires for rain conditions is not really an easy task. There are also cases where you get confused because some think that all-season tires perform better on rain, some others will say that a summer tire will perform better on rain, well, you can say both of the statements are true, but it is not really as straightforward as it sounds because it all depends on what time of the year rain has occurred. For instance, it is okay to say that a summer tire will perform better on rainy conditions, but when the weather is warm, however, if you were to use summer tires in cold weather conditions when it is raining, they would quickly disappoint and lose their abilities.
To get all this confusion out of your mind, we did a list of top 7 tires for rain. We will explain everything in detail, how they perform in different weather conditions, and why they are the best option for rainy weather conditions.
The 5 Best Tires For Rain
Do you remember the abovementioned all-season tires? Well, the Advan Sport AS are known as all-season tires, which are mainly used for wet weather conditions, nonetheless, they surprisingly perform fantastically in dry conditions as well.
They are widely being used as sports car tires, due to their value for money, and they are the most affordable ones out of the most while offering more than the other competitors on the market. In terms of construction, the Advan Sport AS is made from advanced polymers, which means that the tire is strong and durable in the summer, while it also performs well in cold weather conditions for superior wet and winter grip.
What I like most about this tire is the asymmetric tread pattern, if you didn’t know, such patterns help the tire to perform in both wet, and dry conditions exceptionally good, while they are also great for snow. Advan Sports is compatible with can perfectly accommodate different sports cars, which we mentioned in the beginning, sports sedans, SUVs, etc, etc..
During our research, we were able to find some reviews from customers which purchased the tire, where they stated that the tire offers precision and responsiveness above all, while from our experience, we also tested it on snow, and the tire was perfectly capable of tracking light snow, all due to the advanced compound just as the manufacturer states, so you won’t have to worry about changing tires every now and then, because the Advan Sport AS can accommodate you for many years to come.
We also mentioned hydroplaning, and when does this effect occur, well, to get to the guideline of the topic, the Advan Sport AS tires are also capable of keeping the vehicle stable in heavy rain conditions, which is something every car owner should look for in a tire.
Moreover, the Advan Sport AS tires also offer significant durability, however, you shouldn’t compare these tires with touring ones, because these come at a way cheaper price, but nonetheless, they provide excellent value for the money, which is also why we recommend them to anyone who doesn’t want to spend a whole fortune on tires.
General Tire is a well-known brand in cars industry which has been producing quality tires for over a decade now, and due to many successful products, this company has managed to stay on top of the chain for a long time. They offer their tires at a lower price point, however, their products can surely be compared with the most premium ones, thus, this means that they have mainly focused the mass market, and the average budget buyer.
In this case, we have decided to list the AltiMAX RT43 which is one of the most popular models of General Tire due to its compatibility for drivers in the compact and midsize segment due to the affordable price, just like we mentioned above, the remarkable durability that it offers, and the good traction in both wet weather conditions, and dry weather conditions.
If you’re wondering what makes this tire good for both, dry and wet weather, well, it is its unique design and construction. It is made with Twin Cushion Silica Tread Compound which is one of the most popular options that allows the tire to have great traction during all seasons, and a smooth ride. Actually, despite the popular opinion that this tire can’t compare with the premium ones, I find the AltiMAX RT43 pretty good, quiet and smooth and it definitely deserves a place with the best grand-touring tires.
Speaking of all-season traction, from our experience, we can safely say that the AltiMAX RT43 has decent performance on dry pavement, good performance on wet conditions, excellent traction, significant handling and above all, it is hydroplaning-resistant, which is the most important element to look for in a rain tire.
However, there’s a drawback, we don’t recommend you use this tire on snow, because it doesn’t provide enough traction in such circumstances, but as for rain tires, you won’t find a tire that can do better than the AltiMAX RT43, and for the price you pay, it’s definitely a bang for the buck.
Moreover, there is one other good element that this tire possesses, and it’s its durability. The AltiMAX RT43 features a Low Surface Abrasion Technology construction which extends the lifespan of the tire, while also preventing surface abrasion and distortion.
All and all, this is a worldwide favorite tire which has proven to be reliable and great for rain terrains, so, if you’ve been looking for something similar, then this is your answer.
If you remember correctly, we mentioned grand-touring tires as they are the most premium ones you can find due to their unique construction and design that makes them suitable for every weather condition, while also being exceptionally good for rainy weather.
Michelin Premier A/S is widely recognized mostly due to the EverGrip technology, which is a state of the art allowing the expanding rain grooves to widen and emerging grooves. Typically, when the tire is new, they are particularly hidden, which means that they open as the tire wears and you’ve been using it for a long time, so that’s a great feature to have because not only that it extends the lifespan of the tire, but it also makes the tire maintain traction even after you’ve been using it for years. The guideline is, Michelini Premier A/S are long-term tires specifically made for wet conditions.
To get more into the specifics, Michelin Premier A/S includes high-traction rubber compound which is great for security, since they help for a firm, sturdier grip during wet weather.
Remember those oil and chemicals that we mentioned during the introduction, well, you’ll be happy to know that the Michelin is also made of silica and sunflower oil, which when combined together, they provide a flexible, strong blend which will allow the tire to have exceptionally good track power in whichever weather conditions you’re in.
However, it’s important to mention that the Michelin Premier A/S is not designed for use in heavy winter, but for light snow, it will provide a smooth and comfortable drive and significant stopping power, which is also possible only because of the EverGrip technology and the oils/chemicals compounds that we mentioned earlier.
What’s is also great is that not only the outer structure of the tire plays a role, but the inner structure as well which is made from twin steel belts with a polyester body that aids in making the tire stronger and providing easy handling even in extreme wet weather conditions.
In terms of noise, the Michelin Premier A/S has Comfort Control Technology which aims to deliver a smooth ride, prevent road noise from forming and reduce vibrations. However, if you don’t maintain your tires well, after 3-4 years of use, you’re still going to hear some noise, which is why we recommend to keep them properly balanced and drive as carefully as you can to get the most performance out of the Michelin Premier A/S.
If the country that you live in gets a lot of rain, it is important to invest in a set of tires that will provide adequate performance and traction for the weather conditions.
Driving in wet and winter weather conditions without proper tires increases your risk of having an accident due to the loss of traction and overall control of the car, not to mention about aquaplaning and driving on ice.
For that purpose Bridgestone’s Blizzak WS80 delivers excellent performance, thanks to its amazing technology used in the compound and grooves, let’s take a closer look.
The manufacturer has utilized many new technologies on this tire, but the most important is its new Multicell compound, which features small voids in the tread of the tire, which is the size of about more than half of the total tread depth.
On top of that, the new compound has a hydrophilic coating that makes the voids draw more water. Like all the top-end winter tires, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 as well employs microscopic bites on its compound to add more grip to the tire on ice and snow. The company has also changed the footprint of the tire to more evenly dispense pressure and the weight of the car, ensuring a better grip on wet asphalt.
The sipping pattern is also very impressive in this tire, as it utilizes a zig-zag sipping pattern that has an internal 3D topology, ensuring that the tire won’t suffer from flexing and decrease wear at the same time.
The tread blocks are also angled at 45-degrees, improving overall grip, however, it specializes in snow and icy conditions, the manufacturer has also employed some smaller shoulder blocks that block the biting and by twenty percent and overall grip by 10 percent, and on top of that the lateral stability is also improved significantly.
The everyday performance of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 delivers, so it is not just stats and technical jargon, as accelerating and braking on ice is much more stable than other winter tires and the lateral snow grip was top of the class.
You won’t notice any squishiness from this tire regardless of the weather conditions, smooth sailing from here on.
For the last in our list, we have yet another Michelin product, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 which is great for people who live in areas where the weather changes drastically every now and then.
Just like our 3rd listed Michelin tire, this one is also a touring tire which is exceptionally good in rainy weather and it provides remarkable comfort while reducing road noise and vibrations to the maximum. From our experience, this is the best all-season tire that you can find, which has a relatively higher price than the most, nonetheless, it’s definitely worth it, which is also our editor’s top pick all-season tire for rain, wet, and dry weather conditions.
To get more into the specifics, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 has notched shoulders, while to make it perfect for rainy conditions, the manufacturer has included independent intermediate blocks and continuous center ribs.
It has proved to be great, based on customers reviews who already purchased the tire, in which they state that the Michelin Primacy is able to provide the driver excellent level of control in the corners, short braking distances, and high-traction even when accelerating. Similar to most all-season rain tires, the Michelin Primacy is also hydroplaning-resistant which also adds more convenience to the level of control.
We compared the Michelin Primacy with all the premium touring all seasonal tires out there, and you’ll be surprised to know that this tire can score more than any other tire, not only for rainy weather but in all the other categories. To add more to this, the Michelin Primacy can track well in snow also, however, we mostly recommend you to use these tires in light snow, not because it’s not as suitable as a winter tire for snow, but it will last you more if you are careful on how you drive it, on what conditions you drive it, and how you take care of it.
Oil and chemicals are also a part of this tire, which add an extra safety point to the tire, allowing the user to have a firm and sturdy grip while preventing the tires from slipping even in extreme wet weather conditions.
To finish up, for the quality and all the other features that you get in return, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 is the most reliable and premium choice on the market today.
What type of tires are best for rain driving?
Depending on the season, the type of tires for rain can vary. For instance, for both light and heavy rain, but when the weather is warmer during spring or summer, summer tires are a great choice, however, for colder weather with rain, all-season tires are the most recommended ones, while if you live somewhere in extremely wet weather conditions, you might even want to consider winter tires for more safety.
If you’re wondering why you can’t use summer tires during cold weather, well, they are designed for warm weather conditions, thus, their structure becomes too stiff, resulting in traction-loss. Although, in this list, we’ve only included all-season tires and tires which are specifically made for rain, which perform great in both cold and warm weather conditions. So, if you thought that you’d have to purchase different tires for all seasons, you’ll be relieved to know that the included products are great for all-seasons, except in heavy-snow, for that, you might want to consider winter tires with a compound specifically designed for snow.
All and all, always make sure that before you purchase a tire, you do some research and see which one performs well according to the weather in the area you live, because you don’t want to end up with winter tires during a summer or spring rainy weather, because you’d end up having a noisy ride.
Should I use winter tires if it only rains in the winter?
There are those areas where during the winter, there is only rain without no snow. Well, I live in such an area where snow rarely occurs, which is why from my experience, I recommend you use all-season tires, yes, it’s an unpopular opinion to use all-season tires during cold weather conditions, but hear me out. If you didn’t know, winter tires can be very loud if there is no snow, because their compound is mainly designed for high-tracking, and if this tire touches to surface when it’s raining, when you make your right or left turns, you will end up hearing a disturbing noise from the tires, which you may have already heard of from the other cars.
Thus, an all-season tire will be just fine if you live in an area where it only rains during the winter because they have chemicals and oils included which ensure a firm and sturdy grip, while giving great handling, short breaks, and remarkable flexibility.
However, you can still use winter tires for more security, but I prefer to use all-season tires because I find it more comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are summer tires good for rain?
A: A summer tire will perform well on dry roads, while some of them will perform great also in rainy weather conditions. However, we don’t recommend them during freezing temperatures, because they are mainly designed for hot weather, for cold and extreme wet weather, not so much.
Q: Do all-season tires wear out faster?
A: Well, yes and no, because it all depends on what weather conditions you use them the most, how you take care of them, and of course, what brand they are because there are those affordable all-season tires which come at a lower price point, and there are those premium ones which come at a more expensive price, but have more value for the money, and are way much durable. An example of a durable all-season tire is the Michelin Primacy, which is included in this list.
Q: Are rain tires good for snow?
A: People often misunderstand the difference between an all-season tire and a winter tire. From the article, you should’ve spotted the difference between them by now, since all-season tires are perfect for wet roads and slippery trails and rainy weather conditions, while they are not as much for heavy-winter and snow. On the other hand, winter tires have a different design and construction, while having a unique compound which is specifically made to do high-tracking, and performing great in cold and heavy-winter conditions.
For this article, we spent hours and hours of research to find the top 5 best rain tires on the market today, as there are too many, you can’t really decide which one is better than the other. However, based on durability, performance, tracking, and price, we tried to list the ones that are the most reliable and favorite worldwide tires out of the most on the mass market today.
If you read the whole article, then you probably know by now how rain tires work, which tires are most compatible with rain, and some other important stuff that we mentioned. To narrow the list down, our two most favorite tires for rain and our editors pick are the Michelin Primacy MXV4 and the Michelin Premier A/S. You can’t really blame us for being a fan of Michelin, they simply deliver high-quality tires which have great value for the money, and above all, they provide the most durability and longevity out of the most competitors out there.
You may have also noticed that in this list, all-season tires rank as the best, and are mentioned more often compared to standard tires. If you want to see more of those, then you should probably check out our full article on “Best All-Season Tires”, where you can find a full all-season tire buying guide and detailed reviews on each product.
Moreover, we hope this article was helpful to you, and if you have any questions regarding this topic, then make sure you contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.