Tire Tread Patterns & Their Uses

Tire Tread Patterns

When it comes to tire shopping, it can be a little overwhelming. When purchasing tires there are things to look at such as the tire tread patterns. There are symmetrical, directional, and asymmetrical. 

Symmetrical tread patterns are the most common tread patterns for tires. These tires are best suitable for passenger car tires but not recommended for high performance use. Tires with symmetrical tread patterns have continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire face of the tread. These tires are known to drive smooth, high directional stability, and low rolling resistance. They are also quiet, long lasting, and fuel efficient. However, they are less adaptable to changing road conditions on the road. The pattern delivers grip on dry road however they will no be as effective in wet conditions as other tires. 

A directional tire pattern is designed to roll forward in one direction only. The "V" shaped grooves are more capable of resisting hydroplaning at high speeds. Directional tread is extra traction which provides excellent handling in mud or snow. Good all-season or winter tires are likely to have a directional tread pattern. We also recommend putting these on high-performance vehicles. Keep in mind that tire rotations are little bit more challenging because the tires can only be rotated from the front of the car to the back. The pattern will be oriented in the wrong direction when putting on a wheel on the other side of the vehicle. This would then cause the tire to be the wrong direction and the tread of the tire would be useless.

Asymmetric patterns feature two separate tread designs. One on the inner half and another on the outer half of the tire. The inner tire tread is responsible for water displacement and protection against hydroplaning. The outer tire tread provides high grip when cornering and driving on surfaces, and quieter interior noise. This combination makes these tires popular for ultra-high-performance cars. Keep the tire rotation in mind as well, indicators on the sidewall will guide correct fitting. 

When purchasing new tires, avoid mixing different sizes, shapes, and brand of tire on the vehicle. Bob's Main Street Auto & Towing can get most makes and models of tires. Give us a call to discuss tire options for your vehicle! 


Auto Blog