Eric Page - September 19, 2017
No one wants to admit that they made a four figure mistake and purchased a lousy set of mud tires. That's why when choosing tires for off-road performance you can't always rely on friends, online forums or the clerk at the local auto parts store. You need to do your homework and ask yourself what type of terrain do you plan to frequent - will it be mud, rock or snow?
Mud tires are designed to give you maximum traction (M/T) in the... you guessed it... mud. Advances in tread design allow modern mud tires to excel when climbing rocks, plowing through snow or zipping through loose gravel on a random backwoods trail. The combination of the softer rubber compounds and the wide gaps between the large lugs on the mud tire allow it bite into almost anything it can get its lugs edges around.
Tread designs are the backbone of a mud tire and vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. Look for mud tires that perform well for their intended use and offer longer wear and reduced road noise with highway travel.
Below are a few of our favorite mud tires on the market that perform well in a variety of conditions. We have a penchant for today's large, chunky and aggressive tread pattern designs.
The BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM is BFGoodrich's maximum traction light truck radial designed for 4WD enthusiasts who want a more aggressive tire that delivers all-around bite through dry loose dirt, light mud, sand, and light to moderate rock climbing while maintaining good manners on the street. Extremely popular among pickup and sport utility vehicle driving enthusiasts, it has won many accolades including being named one of the 10 most influential off-road products according to Jeep Enthusiast magazine.
The Maxxis MT-762 Bighorn is a radial construction tire with a championship winning history. It offers a wide footprint that provides better shock absorption and traction through dirt, mud, rock, sand and snow terrains. The Bighorn is manufactured with extra large staggered shoulder lugs that help to protect the rim and sidewalls from unnecessary cuts and abrasions. Raised white letters on the sidewall give it a sharp look.
Designed for lifted Jeep and full-sized pickups applications, the Toyo Open Country M/T is an all-around light truck radial that exceeds the competition when pushed through mud, snow or over rocks while still being tame on the street. It offers solid on-road performance, extra ground clearance and a comfortable, quiet ride that is perfect for the weekend warrior who desires an attractive tire that can handle moderate to tough terrain.
Hugely popular, the Super Swamper TSL/Bogger is a street legal mud tire that is D.O.T. approved and garners raves from it many users, especially rock crawlers who say the Bogger performs very well "on the rock". Its huge lugs resemble the paddles of a riverboat and perform in much the same way propelling the vehicle forward through the mud, sand and snow. Often used as a second set of tires at weekend offroads events by weekend warriors and professionals alike.
The Firestone Destination M/T is a full traction-depth tire featuring an aggressive tread pattern and reinforced construction for wet, dry, mud and off-road traction. A heavy-duty construction helps to protect it in the most extreme terrains and a high void helps to clear debris from the tread. The Firestone Destination M/T is the first Firestone light truck tire with exclusive UNI-T technology to advance wet handling and braking. With deep skid lugs, 3 body ply construction, over-the-shoulder tread/lug design and a rim guard, the Destination M/T is as tough and durable as it looks.