We’re in it. The time is now. The scary time. That time of year when it’s just a little too cold for summer tires, but just a little too warm for winter tires. You know that one is way better than the other in the cold, but it’s so much more than a tread pattern. Here’s Engineering Explained on why.

It’s not just about making sure your tire can claw its way through the snow, but making sure the rubber itself can perform in low temperatures. Summer tire rubber gets stiff and hard in cold weather, while the formulation of the compound in winter tires is much different, and it actually gets softer the colder it gets:

This is why I just stick to tank treads year-round.