Not all off-road tires are created equal. If you spend a lot of time off-roading, you know a good set of mud tires is an absolute necessity to keep yourself and your vehicle as safe as possible. But there are so many options on the market right now, it can be hard to know which are the best mud tires for you.
This comprehensive guide is intended to help you pick out the very best off-road or mud tires for your vehicle. We have selected six of the very best options available in 2019 and will review each of them in detail below.
Bear in mind, while these are all great mud tires, some models might have better or worse features than others, depending on the kind of off-road driving you like to do.
At the bottom of this article, we have also included a few handy tips to help you decide which tires will be the best for you.
At a Glance:
- (Our Top Recommended) Falken Wildpeak AT3W All-Terrain Radial Tire: a great off-road tire for any conditions, well designed for a safe, smooth ride and long-term use.
- Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire: a solid, versatile tire for use year-round. Handles great on snow and ice, good for on or off-road conditions.
- Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Traction Radial Tire: flashy, powerful mud tire for casual to more serious off-road driving.
- Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 Tire: year-round tire for use on any terrain. Great performance on snow, ice, and slick surfaces.
- Cordovan – Mud Claw Radial: a heavy-duty all-terrain tire specifically designed for thick mud.
- BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Radial Tire: superior all-terrain tire with intelligent design, built for long-lasting durability and a smooth ride.
The Best Mud Tire on the Market 2019
1. Falken Wildpeak AT3W All-Terrain Radial Tire (Our Top Recommended)
Kicking off our list is a high-end tire designed for superior off-road performance in any conditions. The Falken Wildpeak is an awesome all-terrain tire for serious off-roaders.
- Heat diffuser technology – dissipates heat to keep inner tire cool
- Any-weather capability
- 3D Canyon sipe technology – resists wear and increases stability
- Rugged tread design improves stability
- Resists stones and debris from getting caught in treads
- Upper sidewall and offset shoulder blocks provide extra traction and protect the tire
The Falken Wildpeak is a serious, extra tough mud tire. It provides rugged traction and stability on any road conditions, as well as in any weather conditions.
Heat diffuser technology dissipates heat on the outside of the tire on tough roads. This protects the inner tire components, so that the tire as a whole has a longer lifespan, and adds to vehicle stability. This feature is especially useful for towing heavy loads – heat in the inner tire can lead to a less stable ride.
The tread blocks on this tire are tough and rigid, designed to give the tire superior grip on any surface, weather bumpy, slick or uneven. The pattern of the tread also prevents little gravel and stone bits from getting caught between the blocks, which adds to the long-term, rugged performance of the tire.
Despite its all-weather build, the Falken Wildpeak actually does not perform as well in snow as others. Its performance in mud, sand or sharp rocks, though, is unmatched. We would recommend this tire for anyone who does serious off-road driving in generally warmer conditions.
2. Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire
Goodyear is a well-reputed tire brand, and this radial tire is one of their best for off-road performance. At a mid-range price, it’s a great tire for use in almost any conditions, all year round.
- All-terrain use
- Tread designed for firm grip on rocky or uneven terrain
- Digs deep into mud without sticking
- Great snow traction
- Puncture-resistant technology and durable build for longer lifespan
- Year-round use – never have to change your tires as the weather changes
This Wrangler Radial tire is a great option for all-around solid performance. While other tires may have slightly more rugged capabilities for serious off-road conditions, this Goodyear model excels in its versatility. It works equally well on pavement, snow, mud, and sand – and it will last for a long time through any conditions.
The aggressive tread of this tire is designed to have a tough grip on slick or soft surfaces. It will dig into mud or soft snow to push you through without sticking; anyone who has ever been stuck in a snowbank or puddle will know how critical that feature is. The tread, along with thick sidewalls, is also puncture-resistant, so you don’t need to be nervous while taking it over sharp rocks or bumps.
While maybe not as heavy-duty as other off-road options, the Wrangler Radial tire is a great option for someone who wants to drive year-round, on or off road, and never have to worry about their tires failing them. Its superior snow performance also gives some peace of mind to drivers in colder or mountain environments.
3. Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Traction Radial Tire
This is a great tire for general performance or rugged off-roading. It provides amazing traction on wet surfaces, is designed for a perfectly smooth ride on bumpy roads, and it has a great look – giving your vehicle serious off-road appearance as well as performance.
- 5-rib, all-terrain design
- Broken center rib provides traction in soft surfaces
- Silica-based tread compound – ideal for wet, slick surfaces
- Designed for cut and chip resistance – a smoother ride on rocky, gravely or loose terrain
- Dual draft tread and element sidewalls prevent rocks from getting stuck or drilling into tires
- Puncture-resistant, durable build
The Cooper Discoverer is a super modern, high-end tire. It comes at a slightly higher price than some other models, but its performance is well worth the price tag.
The 5-rib design of the tread allows it to grip any surface. It has a broken center rib – which means that the line of trend running down the center of the tire is broken into smaller tread blocks. This provides extra grip on slick or wet surfaces. It also prevents rocks from getting stuck in or puncturing the tires.
The Discoverer tire will perform well in any conditions, but it excels compared to others in gritty or gravely roads. Cut and chip resistance means that you can turn sharply over loose rocks or sand without sliding or losing control of your vehicle. Its silica-based compound also makes it great for wet or muddy roads. Basically, it is built not to let you slip on any surface.
We would definitely recommend this tire for off-road drivers in any conditions. It is a little noisy – an expected feature of heavy-duty mud tires – and it is also a little expensive, so if you aren’t going to put its all-terrain capabilities to the test, it might be a bit too much. But if you are looking for the best off-road performance on the market, this is about as close as you can get.
4. Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 Tire
Another solid mid-range option, the Hankook DynaPro is a sturdy tire with great grip on slippery surfaces. This is a good choice for wet, snowy or icy conditions, on or off-road.
- Wraparound tread – looks and performs great
- Two-step sipes for puncture resistance and added stability
- Ideal for wet or icy conditions
- Extra broad footprint for wider, more stable grip
- Tiered side grooves help with smooth turning on slick surfaces
- Super durable, built to last
Whether you are off-roading, driving in the snow or just driving on an ordinary day, this Hankook radial tire will keep your vehicle sturdy and stable. Hankook is another well-trusted tire brand, and this tire stands up well to the overall quality of their products.
This tire is one of the best mid-range options for slick, wet surfaces. Its wide footprint and wraparound tread gives it 7-8% better grip than other tires of similar price range. Tiered grooves at the sides of the tires help for smooth, controlled turning, preventing you from sliding out on ice or in puddles.
This Hankook tire does not come with the same aggressive tread as other, more rugged off-road tires, but it does offer superior performance in mud, snow or other slick surfaces. This is a great option for someone who does more casual off-road driving, or someone who lives in a cold environment and just wants to be able to get around safely.
5. Cordovan – Mud Claw Radial
The Mud Claw – an awesome name for an awesome, heavy-duty mud tire. The Cordovan Mud Claw is a very modern, rugged tire designed specifically for mud and wet conditions. It has incredible grip and looks great on your vehicle.
- Jagged tread pattern tears through mud and dirt
- Sturdy, designed for heavy load-bearing
- Smooth ride and high level of control
- All-terrain, but best in thick mud
- Quieter than other heavy-duty mud tires
- Modern design and durable build
This Cordovan tire is aptly-named. Its rigged, jagged tread is designed to literally tear through thick mud and loose surfaces like a claw. Perfect for towing, it can bear heavy loads and delivers an incredibly smooth, comfortable ride compared to other mud tires.
One of the best features of this tire is that, despite its power in off-road conditions, it is actually smoother and quieter than other tires when it gets onto hard paved roads. This is great for off-roaders – who may have gotten used to the extra noise of all-terrain tires.
Like a lot of other options on the market, the mud claw is designed for all road and weather conditions, so you should never have to change your tires throughout the year. Unlike other options, though, this tire is specifically designed for mud. Have a muddy drive when it rains? Or just like tearing around through mud flats when you get the chance? This is one of the very best mud tires out there – it guarantees a smooth, controlled ride and will never get you stuck.
6. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Radial Tire
A sturdy, durable all-terrain tire, this model from BFGoodrich is one of the best for heavy trucks and SUVs. It has superior grip and is super durable, ensuring long-lasting, heavy-duty quality in all terrains and weather conditions.
- CoreGuard technology – thick sidewall and tread design resists tears, chips and punctures
- Specially formulated rubber on the treads for durability
- Advanced footprint shape evenly distributes stress for a smoother ride
- Interlocking tread blocks resist and eject lodged rocks and debris
- Raised shoulder treads eject caught mud
- Great traction and control on deep mud or snow
- Quality tested on racetracks
Last but certainly not least on our list of top mud tires is this super heavy-duty, all-terrain radial tire from BFGoodrich. They have taken their tire design tested out on race tracks and adapted it to create the ideal mud tire – this thing does not come cheap, but takes the prize in intelligent, luxurious tire design.
The interlocking tread design on this tire gives it a broad footprint with extra grip on soft surfaces, while at the same time preventing punctures, chips and cracks. It actually ejects any little rocks or pebbles it picks up from the tread, ensuring a long life and superior grip for as long as you use it. Extra-thick rubber on the tread and shoulders adds to this lasting durability.
The raised shoulders on the tire also work to resist and eject lodged mud and degree. They help to give you sturdy grip and firm control when you make sharp turns on soft surfaces. Like some other heavy-duty tires, this might not be the best choice if you are someone looking for everyday quality in mild to severe weather conditions – but if you want superior quality and full assurance that you won’t get stuck wherever you go (honestly – these tires wouldn’t get stuck anywhere, whether they were driving through the North Pole or the Sahara) then the BFGoodrich All-Terrain will not let you down.
How to Choose
Now that you have had a look at some of the top mud tires on the market, how can you decide which is the best for your needs?
Essentially, it all comes down to what features you really need, and what you are willing to compromise on. A tire that performs great in the mud will not always be the best on paved streets, and vice versa. There is no one-tire-fits all option; what matters most is what is going to work best for your life and your everyday routine.
With that in mind, here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best set of mud tires for your vehicle.
Mud Tires Vs. Street Tires
A lot of the tires we reviewed on this list boast incredible performance both on and off-road. While that might be true, you should keep in mind that when a tire performs great in thick mud, its on-road performance is going to be compromised, at least somewhat.
Serious mud tires are built for deep-digging traction and a smooth ride on a rough surface. When you put those features on pavement, you won’t have quite the same traction and control as with ordinary street tires – especially when the road gets wet.
A mud tire that advertises all-terrain performance is a good option for someone trying to compromise between the two. If you do a lot of serious off-roading, though, you may want to consider changing your tires for ordinary street use.
Alternatively, if you are looking for tires for a strictly off-road vehicle, don’t bother with a hybrid option. Go for the tires that are designed to work best on mud, gravel and unpaved surfaces – they will provide the best protection against getting stuck and the smoothest off-road ride.
Mud Vs. Snow Performance
This is a guide to buying the best mud tires, but it is important to consider a tire’s performance in heavy snow or ice conditions, too.
For the most part, your mud tires will work fairly well in deep snow. Similar to mud, snow requires aggressive traction that can dig in deep and push forward without getting stuck. A broader footprint on the tread and an “aggressive” or jagged, rigid tread pattern will help you through thick snow as well as it does through mud.
That said, if you are dealing with snow, you are most likely also dealing with ice – and that is a different story. Mud tires will not necessarily have a great grip on icy roads. On an icy highway or country road, we would recommend chains or all-weather tires – not just tires designed for mud performance.
Mud Tires For Towing
For towing a heavy load off-road or through mud, you want to make sure your mud tires have a high load range. The load range, generally shown on the sidewalls of the tires, is a measure of how much weight the tire is designed to hold. The higher the load range, the better the tire will perform with a heavy load.
A higher load range is a good sign that you will have a sturdy grip with that tire, improving your control and preventing sliding – which is crucial when you are towing. Most mud tires have a fairly high load range just as a part of their design, but if you are looking for tires specifically for towing, keep an eye out for the model with the highest load range. It will serve you better with a trailer in tow.
Key Features of a Mud Tire
So, what exactly makes a mud tire a mud tire?
There are a few features universal to all mud tires that make them stand out as having great performance in mud and off-road conditions. These are some things you will want to look out for when shopping for your mud tires – if any of these areas are lacking, you won’t have the best quality off-road performance.
The tread patterns of a mud tire ought to be aggressive – meaning they have jagged, unique patterns and deep rifts between ribs or tread blocks for superior grip.
The minimum thickness of tread, for a tire to qualify as a mud tire, is 6-ply. Some go up to 8 or even 10-play. The deeper the ply, the more likely the tread is to eject mud and stones as you drive. The less matter gets caught in the treads the more they are going to maintain their traction. A deep tread also works to prevent puncture from sharp rocks or sticks.
Like the tread, the thicker the sidewalls of your mud tires, the better. A 3-ply or more rubber sidewall will resist puncture, protect the interior of the tire and lead to a longer life overall.
You should expect your mud tires to encounter sharp points and obstacles all over, not just under the tread. For that reason, a thick sidewall, preferably with shoulder tread, will stand up best.
As mentioned above, mud tires take abuse on more than just the tread. You’ll want the tread pattern on your tires to wrap around the shoulder. This gives the tire a broader footprint and ensures your grip in a tight turn.
Some mud tires even have elevated tread on the shoulders for increased control and turning power.
You don’t have to be a hardcore off-roader to appreciate the rugged durability of a good set of mud tires. They are great for anyone who works or plays outdoors, giving you control and traction on any surface, no matter how soft, gritty or slick.
Some mud tires can be pretty pricey, but there are plenty of options out there that will perform great on or off-road without breaking the bank. Now that you have had the opportunity to consider some of the top tires on the market this year, we encouraged you to consider your own needs and purchase the set of mud tires that are going to work best for you.