What Is a Low Profile Tire?

by Denise Sullivan

Low profile tires look sporty and provide crisp handling. They are most common on sports cars and other performance vehicles.

Low Profile Tire

A low profile tire is one with a narrow sidewall. Low profile tires have a low aspect ratio, which is a measurement of the tire's sidewall height compared to its tread width.

Aspect Ratio

To find a tire's aspect ratio, look on the sidewall. If a tire is size P225/50R16, for example, the aspect ratio is 50 (the second number in the series). This means the sidewall height is 50 percent of the tire's tread width. Low profile tires usually have aspect ratios below 50.


Low profile tires feature stiff sidewalls for greater cornering response and crisp handling.


Because of the short, stiff sidewalls, low profile tires do not offer as smooth a ride as tires with higher aspect ratios.


Low profile tires look more appealing, especially on cars or trucks where custom wheels have been installed.

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