Mud Tires VS. All-Terrain Tires
Author: Alexi Rafferty
December 24, 2020
We get asked all the time, what the difference is between Mud Tires and All-Terrain Tires. Today we are laying it all out for you and explaining when and why you would buy each of these tires with our recommendations. Read below to learn more! For reference, a hybrid tire will be the in-between of a Mud and an All-Terrain tire. Taking properties from both to create a mixture of each in a tire. This is why hybrids are oftentimes referred to as AT/MTs because it is the hybrid of both.
Table of Contents
Are you ready to take your truck off the beaten path and into the unknown? Or maybe you just want to look cool? Today we are running through what a Mud Tire is, who wants it and why you should or should not get one.
Mud Tires have very aggressive and heavy blocked tread designs. They will have deep tread voids and huge tread blocks. This will help evacuate mud and other muck. They will also have big sidewall lugs and biting edges to contribute to grab the terrain too.
Because of this construction, they will be very loud on the road. They are specifically made for only off-road and are not necessarily conducive for on-road driving. They will still work on-road but are not ideal.
Mud Tires will generally be larger tires, this will help with creating more surface area and again get you out of those sticky situations. Most will be beadlock, LT, and high-flotation compatible options.
Mud Tires generally have little to no siping on them. Siping is the little cuts in a tire that helps grip on the road, especially in the rain. Again, these are not made for on-road so they generally have no siping making them less safe on-road especially in wet conditions.
We know that when you go off-roading you air down your tires. Why do we do this? To gain more traction. Mud Tires took this idea of airing down and copied it in their own way. This is done with a softer compound.
A Mud Tire will be softer to touch than an all-terrain tire which will be much harder. This again is bad for on-road driving because you will wear down Mud Tires much faster than any other tires on the road and need to swap them out for new ones much faster.
That being said, they will be the most ideal and safest for off-road terrain. Just because they are softer does not mean that they are tough though. The top layer of a Mud Tire is optimized for cut, chip, and picture resistance and most are multi-ply layer construction because of this.
As stated above, Mud Tires will be amazing off-road. They will keep you safe and get you out of any sticky situation that you may run into off-road. You will have traction and the ability to get through difficult conditions.
On the road, they will lower your mpg, they won’t last long, they are noisy and won’t be great in wet and cold conditions. If you are running Mud Tires and use them on and off-road, they will generally last about 40,000 miles and many do not come with a warranty.
Mud Tires will generally be the most expensive tires on the market. Especially as the sizes get larger and larger the prices will go up and up with those large sizes that enthusiasts will be looking for. Really great quality Mud Tires will cost a pretty penny, so you want to be sure that it is the tire that you want.
Those who buy Mud Tires are usually avid off-roading or overlanding enthusiasts. However, now it is becoming incredibly popular for people with show trucks to buy Mud Tires too. Why would they do that? You may ask.
Well apart from making their mall crawler even more useless, it’s because of the aggressive design. They stand out from other tires. Mud Tires look unique and exciting, unlike many other tire designs.
The best traction off-road
Resistant to chips and cuts
A reliable and safe choice for off-roading
Short tread life
Poor traction in rain and snow
Poor fuel efficiency
Usually don’t have a warranty
The more casual off-roading friend to the Mud Tire. Let’s get into what an All-Terrain tire is.
Tread designs for All-Terrain Tires vary quite a bit. They aren’t quite so cut and dry as Mud Tires are. They essentially are a toned-down Mud Tire. All-Terrain Tires have deep tread voids, but not as deep as a Mud Tire. They will have smaller tread blocks than a Mud Tire but still larger than an all-season for example.
They still will have biting edges and large sidewall lugs, but again just not as aggressive as a Mud Tire.
This will make them quieter and perform better on the road. A lot of times they will have siping too, making them perform better in the rain as well. The sidewall height will be up to you as you purchase but again many will keep a larger sidewall unless being used for show trucks.
The compound of an All-Terrain Tire will not be nearly as soft as a Mud Tire. Again this is to make it last longer, get better mpg, and perform better on-road. These will also have a multi-ply construction to prevent chips and cuts.
An All-Terrain Tire works great off-road. However, if you find yourself in a really tough situation off-road they will not be the most ideal. If you go into intense off-roading areas, then an all-terrain may not be for you. However, on-road they will have far better traction in rain and snow.
They will last longer and usually have a warranty of some sort. They will have cut and chip resistance. Finally, they will have better fuel efficiency than a Mud Tire.
Though it is important to note that this is solely based on a comparison to a mud tire; if you are strictly looking for an on-road tire then maybe look into all-season, highway, or even winter tires depending on the situation that you generally find yourself in. They won’t be the very best option always on-road or always off-road but they will be a great choice for both.
All-Terrain Tires won’t be the cheapest tires in the world, but they will be less expensive than Mud Tires usually. Again this depends on sizing, quality, and brand. But for a general rule, they will usually cost less than a Mud Tire.
The rule of thumb for an off-roading enthusiast is that if you drive more on-road than off-road, go for an All-Terrain Tire. If you drive more off-road than on-road then go for a Mud Tire. These also have been seen on show trucks too.
Traction in snow, rain, and off-road
Longer lifespan and warranties
Not made for extreme off-roading
Loud on the pavement (but quieter than Mud Tires)
This has been our guide to all things Mud and All-Terrain Tires. We hope it was helpful for you in your decision-making process. And remember like always when you get a wheel and tire package you will save money on that package, get free shipping and free mounting and balancing as well on that package. We also offer as low as 0% APR financing.