Posted August 17, 2015 - 08:10 PM
We had been running various AT tires on my wife's Xterra since new but I decided to pick up a set of studless ice tires a few years ago as she's originally from OK and not a native snow driver. I figured every little bit of safety would be a good idea for her. After a good bit of research and a screamin' deal on a discontinued size tire, I ended up with Continental Extreme Winter Contact snows. It is nothing short of AMAZING what a difference the newer generations of studless snows can make. I have nothing but praise for these tires. I will say, though that modern snows are now splintering off into more specialized catagories. Most of the "studless" tires focus heavily on packed snow and ice use but give up some deep snow performance. The studable snows tend to be better in the deep snow but not as good on the packed stuff unless studded. You have to pick for whatever conditions you encounter more often. The good thing is, the tread compounds have improved dramatically in the last decade or so, even on the low end snows. Just about ANY snow tire is going to be better than the best all season.