What are studded tires?

winter rubber

A studded tire is a winter tire designed for snow and ice that has metal studs embedded in the tire. The idea is that the metal studs dig into the snow and/or ice to give better traction, handling, and braking.

Are studded tires legal in Wyoming?

Yes. Wyoming is one of the few State in the U.S. where studded tires are legal without restrictions. The only other States where studded tires are unrestricted are; Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Wyoming Title 31

“315956.  Tires; restriction of travel under hazardous conditions; penalties.

C (iii)  Pneumatic tires having studs designed to improve traction without materially injuring the surface of the highway. Pneumatic tires having studs must be approved by the superintendent.”


Advantages of tires with studs

In icy conditions, even AWD (All Wheel Drive) or 4WD (4×4 or Wheel Drive) vehicles have a difficult time. Sure they have ABS which will pump the brakes and aid in stopping, however, sometimes it’s inevitable that in solid ice the vehicle will continue to slide. The metal studs placed in studded tires will somewhat penetrate ice and hard packed snow, allowing for much better grip, handling and stopping.

Disadvantages of studded tires

Due to the metal studs placed in the tire, road noise is going to be a lot worse. You can’t use them all year round. Driving on paved roads without snow and ice will wear down the studs. Studs may come loose and fall out. Some studded tires may cause road damage, although some tire manufacturers are no creating studs that reduce road wear and are less noisy.

Do you really need winter tires with studs?

In ice and snow, having studded tires could be the difference between holding your breath on the way to work or having a relatively normal drive. If the roads are kept plowed or are mostly wet, then a good non-studded winter tire might be a better option.

Studs can also be placed in brand new tires.

For more information on snow tires, check out our article, “Do I need Winter Tires in Wyoming/Nebraska”

You might also like, Winter Vehicle Care Tips.

This Mini has some!