All About Tire Tread Designs

Tires come in all shapes and sizes, and patterns too!  The tire makers design each tire model to a different driving style and performance level. Their focus is not only on performance but on efficiency too.  In general, there are four types of tires, from summer tires to winter tires and economy vehicles to all-terrain adventurers. Which should you opt for? Depending on your daily driving needs and style, the type of pattern you want can make your vehicle handle better and more fuel friendly.  Many thanks to the folks at Palestine Chrysler of Carthage for their guidance when crafting this article.


Unidirectional tires are designed to roll in just one direction. They are good for use on roads that are rain-slick, snowed upon, or icy, as unidirectional tires expertly displace water, a feature that prevents hydroplaning and slips.  One issue to note is that since they are designed to roll in just one direction, they can only be rotated from front to back on one side of vehicle.


Directional tires are categorized by a subtle lateral V-design that displaces water for aquaplaning protection coupled with a block pattern that gives nice dry-road grip and traction.  The V-pattern is less exaggerated than asymmetrical designs, as they expect you to drive more slowly since these tend to be sold on more heavy-weight vehicles. Their blocky design gives them high traction, catering best to heavy duty use.


These tires can be usually identified by their same repeating pattern on the tire. Symmetrical tires are long lasting and run across pavement smoothly and without as much noise as other tires, and so they’re most popular on passenger cars to support comfortable daily commuting.  As oppossed to unidirectional tires, symmetrical tires can be rotated to any wheel location on a vehicle. This gives an upper hand in utility and budget-friendliness.


Most popular on sports cars and performance-bred vehicles, the asymmetrical pattern is a hybrid style of the above two types of designs for the best handling and stability around corners at higher speeds.  Typically, the interior of the tire will feature moisture wicking arrowed design for good wet or iced road surface traction, while the outside will have large tread blocks more akin to the symmetrical design for good dry-road performance, as they give maximum road contact.  They’re versatile in rotation options, but have indicators to which side is “outside only” and “inside only”.

Choosing the best tire and tread for your car can impact your driving stability, and how your car should handle in terms of noise and efficiency.  Each tread offers their own advantage, whether its longevity of the tire, higher performance speeds, or heavy weight handling. In this article we have just scratched the surface of tire technology. You will find tons more information around the web!

I decided against the 9 - 5 grind so I can travel around the world and share my journey. Love people, music, writing and enjoying life. Share your thoughts.