by Joshua Thomas
In most off-road terrains, you will encounter muddy conditions and these are usually very sticky because the soft ground might be deep. For this reason, you need proper tires to help propel you out of such situations and mud tires are the best for this.
Mud tires are fitted with deep and specially shaped treads that bite better onto slippery surfaces so as to give better grip. If you need such, here are the best mud tires to consider buying.
As you buy a mud tire for your car, you will notice markings on the sidewall and these are not decorative. They contain information about the tire's:
If you consider a tire marked P235/75R15 105S, this implies the following.
P indicates this is a passenger car tire. A tire marked LT means it is for a light truck, ST is for special trailers and T is for a temporary tire, which is the one found in the trunk.
This tire's width is 235, which means it measures 235mm from sidewall to sidewall.
Aspect ratio indicates the ratio of the tire's height to its width. In this case, it is given as 75, which means the tire's height is 75% of 235mm, giving you 176.25mm.
For the construction, R implies this is a radial tire, and this type is built with fabric cords placed at a 90˚ angle to the centerline. Radial tires are generally considered as the best type as compared to the rest because of their strength, durability, and better traction.
D stands for Diagonal, which means the tire has a bias-ply construction. In this, the fabric cords layers run diagonally at 30-45˚ angles from the tread's centerline.
Belted Bias is indicated as B and this combines diagonal ply construction with fiberglass belts placed under the treads for enhanced traction.
The tire's rim diameter is indicated by 15 (inches).
The load index and speed rating form the last section of the marking. In this case, 105S is the marking and 105 implies the tire can carry up to 2039 pounds in weight.
Lastly, the tire's speed rating is indicated as S, which means the tire can handle rolling stress up to 112 mph, and you should not exceed this.
1. Goodyear 795698918 (Best Overall)
2. Mastercraft 90000020202
3. Milestar 22228003
4. Goodyear 312007027
5. BFGoodrich 37047
6. General Tire 15483090000
7. Accelera 1200031850
Goodyear's 795698918 has affordability as its main advantage and with this, you get an aggressive tread design that is ideal for tackling muddy conditions. These treads are arranged in large tread blocks that enhance handling and control in a wide variety of sticky situations.
The tire also an innovative anti-hydroplane technology, which ensures that no water builds up under the treads. This results in a firm grip and prevents slipping.
Other features include a durable, heavy-duty reinforced rubber construction, which is resistant to punctures and damages from the harsh off-road environment, and the ability to run flat when punctured. On the downside, the tire comes as a single piece with no rim attached.
This mud tire is quite expensive but it has the features to show for it. For starters, it has circumferential grooves for channeling water away from the treads, and this results in better grip because maximum contact is maintained between the rubber and the surface below.
The tire also has an optimized tread design pattern that enhances traction in muddy, snowy and other slippery conditions. This makes it one of the best mud-and-snow tires because you get very responsive handling in all these conditions.
An aggressive and deep side-biting design adds onto the tire's strong traction while scallops provide a scooping effect on mud for better propulsion.
Other features include wide grooves that self-clean so as not to lose grip, durable abrasion-resistant construction and siping for enhanced traction on wet surfaces.
Milestar's 22228003 is characterized by a high void tread design that increases traction on muddy surfaces because it is engineered to have aggressive biting edges.
Additionally, these edges are self-cleaning, which means they maintain a firm grip because the aggressiveness is maintained.
Another important performance feature is the off-center, staggered tread block design, which enhances traction off-road while also improving on-road handling.
Other features include a sturdy 3-ply sidewall construction that is protective against punctures and other damages while stone ejectors help to prevent stone drilling for longevity and durability.
However, the tire has a relatively low Q speed rating, which limits the top speed to 99 mph. This is still quite high though, especially considering the muddy off-road terrain use.
With Tractive Groove technology, Goodyear's 312007027 is made up of highly angled center tread blocks, which combine forces with zigzag microgrooves to give you better traction in snow and deep mud.
This gripping capability is further enhanced using multiple biting edges while the self-cleaning shoulder blocks ensure the treads remain free of mud and debris so as to maintain consistent traction.
The tire also features a rim protector that keeps the rim from deforming in case you hit the curb. Other features include reduced road noise due to the highly angled center blocks and a treadwear indicator for showing you the level of tread wear over time.
On the downside, the tire has a relatively low Q speed rating, limiting its top speed to 99 mph, and it comes without a rim attached.
As you drive along muddy roads, you never get to know what lies underneath the surface. BFGoodrich's 37047 is built to have linear flex zones, which allow the tire to bend and conform to any obstacle underneath the mud in aired-down driving, which helps in providing more grip.
Despite this, the unit is designed to produce less road-noise, which means you get better manners on-road and good performance off-road.
More features include a super-tough sidewall compound that is puncture-resistant, and this is further enhanced using a 3-ply construction, which resists cuts and bruises for improved durability.
You also get a 90,000 km treadwear warranty (roughly 55,920 miles) and raised white letter markings. However, no rim is included with the single tire.
Tires with a shallow tread depth are the quietest on road and this one has a shallow 10 thirty_seconds_inches depth, which makes it very silent. This is enhanced by a highly-engineered acoustics design and combined, these result in a quiet, comfortable ride.
For off-road, muddy surfaces, the tire is equipped with a 5-row tread pattern, which provides multiple traction edges for superb grip in all weather conditions. It actually meets the severe snow service requirements of the RAC and RMA, making it ideal for snow and mud.
Other features include an aggressive self-cleaning tread pattern and a treadwear indicator for showing you when its time to do a replacement. On the downside, the shallow tread depth makes this tire inferior on off-road conditions as compared to the ones with deeper treads.
Accelera's 1200031850 is quite affordable and it is designed to have self-cleaning staggered edge tread blocks, which maintain a clean and grippy footprint for good traction in mud and snow.
These treads form a deep-groove design, which improves the tire's off-road performance, especially on loose, soft and uneven terrain, while also improving on steering responsiveness and stability.
Other features include stone ejectors on the tread blocks, which prevent stone drilling, staggered edge tread blocks that are highly durable and wear evenly, a 35,000-mile treadwear warranty and strong 6-ply construction that is very durable.
On the downside, you only get a single tire per set and with no rim attached.
For you to have an easy time driving in muddy conditions, you must buy the ideal off-road tires. In order to pick the best one, these are the factors to consider.
The first thing that you need to consider is your driving conditions. Even though these tires are meant for off-road, muddy use, they have some slight differences in their design and construction.
If your driving conditions are very muddy, rocky or full of soft, sinking soil, then you need very grippy tires, which are characterized by aggressive tread patterns that are deep and are made using advanced compounds for wear resistance.
However, if you spend most of the time driving on road and a few times on light muddy surfaces, then you'll be better off buying a mud tire with shallower treads for reduced road-noise, but is still capable of tackling light muddy surfaces.
It is not always wise to overspend in getting the most expensive tire because it might not meet the requirements you want. Even though most of the costly units have a high-quality build, the important things to consider are your requirements.
After you narrow it down to the tires that meet your needs, pick the one that you are most comfortable with in terms of price.
Pure mud tires are the best for muddy terrain because they are specifically designed for that job. The rubber used in their construction plus the tread design is not usually ideal for road use and in some states, it is illegal to use mud tires on tarmac.
Additionally, such tires are also not good on snow because the rubber used gets stiff in low temperatures, which then negatively affects handling by losing braking and cornering effectiveness.
These are basically all-terrain tires and they should be the go-to option if you want muddy tires that you can use on the road.
They might not be as tough as pure mud tires when you go off-road because of their shallower tread depth and probably less aggressive design, but they afford you the versatility of street driving in a comfortable and less noisy way.
Lastly, hybrid mud and snow tires (usually indicated as M + S or M&S on the side) provide the link between these two very common and very sticky terrains.
Though they are a compromise between the pure mud tires and pure winter tires, they are still useful in light snow conditions, though in extreme cold, the rubber might get stiff, thereby worsening the car's handling capabilities.
These tires are ideal if you live in areas where winter season is not too cold and the roads are not that bad during the rainy season.
For mud tires, you need to ensure that the lugs and voids are good enough for the job. Ideally, the lugs should be deep enough for enhancing traction while the voids should be wide enough to prevent mud, rocks, and debris from sticking.
They should allow water to flow through easily instead and this way, the tire will maintain an aggressive bite that will be very effective at providing the required traction to get you out of sticky, muddy roads.
Going hand-in-hand with the lug and void area factor, the more aggressive the tread pattern, the better the tire when it comes to extremely muddy situations.
Additionally, aggressive tread patterns can handle heavier loads while the thicker ones are more resistant to puncturing and other kinds of damages.
Generally, mud tires have thicknesses that range from 3 - 10-ply, with the thickest being 10 and the thicker the better.
Another thing to check about the treads is that they should be made of a stiff rubber compound for wear resistance so that they last longer.
Since off-road driving pushes tires to the extremes, this immense pressure means that the best off-road tires should have thick sidewalls for puncture resistance and also for holding the tire in place without bending so long as there is pressure inside.
This thickness is also measured in ply and the greater the number (usually 10), the better.
Kanati Trail Hog A/T-4 All-Terrain Radial Tire-37X12.50R17LT 124Q LRE 10-Ply - Walmart Link
KANATI MUD HOG M/T LT265/70R17 LRE 121Q Mud-Terrain Light Truck Tire Only - Walmart Link
Road One Cavalry M/T Mud Tire RL1195 285 75 16 LT285/75R16, E Load Rated - Walmart Link
Forceum M/T 08 Plus Mud Tire - LT235/75R15 104/101Q C (6 Ply) - Walmart Link
Road One Cavalry M/T Mud Tire RL1196 265 70 17 265/70/R17, E Load Rated - Walmart Link
Road One Cavalry M/T Mud Tire RL1264 31 10.50 15 31x10.50-15, C Load Rated - Walmart Link
Achilles Desert Hawk X-MT All-Terrain Radial Tire - 32X11.50R15 113Q - Walmart Link
Kanati Trail Hog A/T-4 All-Terrain Radial Tire-37X12.50R17LT 124Q LRE 10-Ply - eBay Link
KANATI MUD HOG M/T LT265/70R17 LRE 121Q Mud-Terrain Light Truck Tire Only - eBay Link
Road One Cavalry M/T Mud Tire RL1195 285 75 16 LT285/75R16, E Load Rated - eBay Link
Forceum M/T 08 Plus Mud Tire - LT235/75R15 104/101Q C (6 Ply) - eBay Link
Road One Cavalry M/T Mud Tire RL1196 265 70 17 265/70/R17, E Load Rated - eBay Link
Road One Cavalry M/T Mud Tire RL1264 31 10.50 15 31x10.50-15, C Load Rated - eBay Link
Achilles Desert Hawk X-MT All-Terrain Radial Tire - 32X11.50R15 113Q - eBay Link
As you can see, getting the most ideal mud tire can be very challenging if you don't know what to look for. This is because there are pure mud tires and hybrids, all of which are suitable for different kinds of terrains.
That said, having gone through the review and buying guide above, you will be in a better position to pick the best mud tire that is suitable for your car and your driving conditions.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.