What Are Highway Tires? + Other Common FAQs

When you’re shopping for tires, all of the different types of tires can be rather confusing. Choosing the best option for you can be confusing and complicated.

One of these many types of tires around is highway tires which are commonly available for SUVs and trucks. For all you need to know about these tires, keep reading!

What Are Highway Tires?

Highway tires are designed for driving on the highway and can result in a smoother and quieter ride.  However, highway tires are not very capable of driving off-road with much success. Additionally, those that spend much time in urban areas are more likely to purchase these tires since they spend most of their time on pavement.

To learn more about whether or not highway tires are worth it and how they stack up against other types, keep on reading!

What’s the Difference Between Touring and Highway Tires?

While the differences between these two types of tires may seem subtle, there are significant differences. For the most part, you cannot use these tires interchangeably in the least.

Touring tires are designed for a particular type of vehicle that is designed to offer a smooth and comfortable ride. In any case, luxury cars fit into this “passenger touring” category.

Generally, touring tires deliver a comfortable ride and respond well in all seasons. Furthermore, they have more responsive handling and a higher speed rating than most other tires. In many cases, they have an asymmetrical tread pattern.

In many ways, highway tires are different. Typically, these tires are designed to handle the heavier loads of a truck or SUV. However, they also provide a very smooth ride on pavement – which is their main purpose.

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In fact, these tires are named for the fact that they perform very well on the highway.

Furthermore, highway tires also have a different tread than touring tires. It may be asymmetrical, but not necessarily.

Both of these tires are designed for all seasons, but that’s basically where their sameness stops.

Can Highway Tires Go Off-Road?

Can Highway Tires Go Off-Road?

Technically, any tire can go off-road. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for going off-road.

While you may be able to go off-road, these tires are not the best choice for off-roading.

Instead, these tires do not provide great performance on gravel, sand, dirt, or mud. In fact, their inability to perform off-road is one of the major downsides of these tires.

If you need to go off-road in an emergency, these tires are often suitable. However, don’t plan on going off-road regularly with these tires. It simply won’t work out well.

Instead, you’ll want to look at mud tires, all-terrain, or something similar.

Which is Better: All-Terrain or Highway Tires?

As the name suggests, highway tires are built solely for the highway.

Simply put, they are designed to provide a smooth ride while on the pavement. In fact, they provide one of the nicest rides on the pavement around.

Often, these tires focus on even wear while on the highway. For this reason, they are made with very durable compounds and tread patterns.

On the other hand, all-terrain tires are designed to be functional on and off-road. They often have a blockier tread and more voids.

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Simply put, these features help the tire function off-road, but they do lead to a bumpier ride on the highway.

However, the difference is often not significantly noticeable when compared to highway tires.

With that said, these tires are mostly designed to handle light off-road conditions. They are not mud tires, after all. Therefore, for serious off-roading, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Based on this information, neither of these tires is better than the other. As the name suggests, highway tires are best for the highway. However, all-terrain tires have some off-road capabilities.

In the end, it mostly depends on where you’re planning on driving.

What Tires Are Best for Highway Driving?

What Tires Are Best for Highway Driving?

For the most part, highway tires are considered the best option for driving on the highway.

After all, that’s literally why they are made. Unlike other tires, that’s their sole purpose.

However, that doesn’t mean that highway tires are the best option. All-terrain tires are also sometimes a good option, for example.

While these tires can also go on the highway, they can also do some off-roading, which is why they are a very common tire.

If you’re just driving on the highway, though, the highway tires are often the best option.

Many people enjoy the versatility of the all-terrain tires, though. In the end, it depends on what you’re looking for.

In suburban or rural areas, it may be in your best interest to invest in all-terrain tires just in case you have to drive through slightly muddy conditions. Otherwise, there is little need for the extra off-road capabilities.

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Are All-Terrain and Highway Tires the Same?

No. These types of tires may be pretty similar, but they are quite different.

For instance, all-terrain tires are specifically designed for the highway and off-roading at the same time. Alternatively, highway tires are only designed for the highway.

Therefore, the uses of these tires are quite different. All-terrain tires are the more popular option, largely because they are versatile.

With that said, highway tires are often used by those in urban areas which will likely never leave the pavement.

To know more, you can also see our posts on how long do all-terrain tires last, if tires affect gas mileage, and what are G-rated tires.


Highway tires were designed to drive on the highway, as their name suggests. For the most part, these tires are primarily for driving on pavement and nothing else.

For instance, they have little tread to provide maximum comfort on the highway, though this tread won’t help if you have to drive through mud or something similar.

Furthermore, these tires are made to be as durable as possible when driving on pavement.

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