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What Are Touring Tires?

by Andrew Cockerham

Buying a new set of tires isn't usually fun, and all those different tire types don't help. What's so special about a touring tire, for example? Touring tires are very similar to standard tires, but with a few upgrades.


The open road at sunset

Touring tires are designed to provide a smoother ride than standard tires on the open road, and provide better control and handling.


Probably not touring tires, but they do provide good handling

Touring tires have a lower profile and wider tread than standard tires. These features are what give the tire its greater stability.


A road covered with light snow

Touring tires vary most significantly in tread design. The first common type is the summer tread, designed for dry roads and responsive handling at high speeds. These should not be driven on snowy or icy roads, however. For these winter conditions, the best touring type is an all-season tread. This type trades some performance for better traction control on light snow.

Time Frame

You can expect touring tires to last approximately as long as their standard counterparts. The exact mileage varies widely by manufacturer. Naturally, more expensive tires will generally give you more use than cheaper tires.


If you expect to be driving in heavy ice or snow, even an all-season touring tire will be insufficient. Invest in a set of proper traction tires designed for these conditions.

About the Author

Andrew Cockerham is a world traveler and perpetual student with He has been writing since 1999. His work has appeared in "The Gadfly," an annual literary journal, and "Spectrum." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Walla Walla University.

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Photo Credits

  • Image by, courtesy of Steve Snodgrass