Best Tires for Florida (and Other Hot Climates)

December 14, 2017

The best tires for Florida driving boost your car’s performance, increase safety, and reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Do you have the right tires equipped for your family?

What are the best tires for Florida?

Though the Instagram-worthy weather of the Sunshine State brings down loads of snowbirds for the winter, Florida is also infamous for its dangerous driving conditions during rainy season.

Between May and November, Florida drivers may experience dry, warm, sunny weather and torrential downpours and flash flooding all in the same day.

Are the tires on your family’s vehicle equipped to prevent an accident in inclement weather?

The Best Tires for Florida Heat and Rain

The best tires for Florida driving should be rated high for predominantly hot, humid weather. They must also have excellent wet traction, or the tire’s ability to hold on to the roads when driving through rain. 

A few choices for the best tires for Florida include:

Passenger Tires If You’re On a Tight Budget

Passenger tires are the most affordable type of tires you can outfit your vehicle with, but they’re not the best tires for hot climates. 

If you’re comfortable sacrificing handling, stopping power, and performance, their high profile will give you a smooth ride and you’ll get longer wear out of them than others on this list.

Touring Tires If You Don’t Drive Much

Touring tires are a bit more expensive than passenger tires and offer better performance and ride quality due to their sporty lower profile and wider tread area.

Though touring tires come in a variety of speed ratings, only a few of them have summer treads available. Most touring tires are simply all-season treads, which don’t provide the deeper treads necessary for Florida driving.  

Performance Tires, High Performance Tires, and Ultra High Performance Tires

Performance tires beef up road traction for low-speed driving, such as tires for vans, classic cars, street trucks, etc.

High performance tires boast even better road traction and excel at higher speed driving. Despite their sleek, low profile design, high performance tires have a softer tread compound and distinct lateral grooves at high angles to combat hydroplaning.

If you have a sports car or sporty sedan, high performance tires may help you prevent an accident in the rain if your commute takes you on I-95 or the Florida Turnpike. 

Ultra high performance tires are typically standard on super high end performance cars. With the lowest tire profile, they deliver the highest amount of control and handling for drivers in bad weather.

Their tread designs work well in both hot, dry conditions and on rainy, wet roads so they’re a perfect choice if you have a luxury sports car.

Terrain Tires

Terrain tires on many trucks and SUVs in Florida have deep treads which allow vehicles to gain traction in dirt and wet mud. As long as your terrain tires are approved for road use (i.e., they’re not mud tires), these may be a great option during times of high rainfall.

Summer Tires: The Best Tires for Hot Climates

Summer tires may be the best choice for Florida drivers since they’re specifically designed with both hot and rainy weather in mind.

As the best tires for Florida, summer tires have:

Deeper treads than other tires on this list (with the exception of terrain tires). Deeper treads allow water on the road to quickly move away from your tires.

Tires with worn treads and those with shallow treads are much more likely to lose their grip on the road and hydroplane. That’s why tread depth is one of the best indicators of your tire’s safety.

Better hydroplaning resistance. Summer tires have unique tread patterns with lateral, longitudinal, and circumferential grooves, which displace water as your tires drive through wet areas.

These tread patterns should make it feel as if you’re driving on dry pavement even if you’re sloshing through deep puddles.

A softer, sticky tire compound, also known as tread rubber, which grips the pavement during both dry and damp weather. Stickier and softer compounds increase traction on the road and adapt to warmer weather.

You can’t use this type of compound on all-season tires because it hardens when the temperature gets below freezing.

And that’s just one reason why all-season tires are the worst for Florida drivers.

Why All-Season Tires are NOT the Best Tires for Florida Driving

You may think all-season, all performance, or all-weather tires are perfect for Florida’s unpredictable dry and wet weather combo, but quite the opposite is true.

All-season tires attempt to cover all types of driving situations — from dry to wet to snow — but don’t solve the biggest issues plaguing any of them.

For example, all-weather tires have a tread pattern and tire compound better suited for light traction in the snow. But these are still not as strong as those found on winter tires.

And this tread pattern and compound also rank very low on damp-road grip compared to summer tires, making them a waste for someone in Florida too.

All-season tires don’t offer the outstanding qualities tires made specifically for winter or summer climates offer. They’re a compromise you should avoid.

As Florida roads never get icy or snowy, using all season tires means you’ll be missing out on tires which actually work better for Florida’s diverse driving conditions. If you want to learn more about the best tires for any conditions, use this resource.

Have the Best Summer Tires Installed By the Pros

Don’t wait until the daily thunderstorms strike to upgrade the tires on your family’s car. 

To figure out which summer tires your vehicle needs, check the door jamb on the driver’s side for a sticker with all the specs about proper tire load, inflation, and tire size. Or let our knowledgeable tire technicians help you find the best tires for your car.

Just call The Palm Beach Garage at 561-223-3984 today to schedule an appointment for a tire inspection and installation now.