Drivers looking for adventure need to keep reading to learn more about the best tires for bad roads. They are the best way to ensure maximum performance.

As a driver, you can get much more out of your vehicle when driving on bad roads by using the right tires. We recommend the Michelin Defender LTX M/S, BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2, and Toyo Open Country A/T2 as the three best tires for bad roads.

Bad roads not only make it extremely difficult to drive with accuracy, but they can cause tires to wear down much quicker too. ​​Bad roads can be tough to travel on, so it's important to choose the best tires for bad roads. A good set of tires can help you get through bad conditions with no damage.

Every tire recommended in this guide has been tested on a track under difficult conditions to analyze how it would perform. Industry experts have gathered data and research to create an accurate guide detailing the best tires for bad roads. Keep reading to find out which tire you should upgrade to today.

Best Tires For Bad Roads
Michelin Defender LTX M/SMichelin Defender LTX M/SMichelin Defender LTX M/SMichelin Defender LTX M/S

Michelin Defender LTX M/S

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This tire is available at these retailers:

BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2

BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2

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This tire is available at these retailers:

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Rated 4.6/5

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Toyo Open Country A/T IIToyo Open Country A/T IIToyo Open Country A/T IIToyo Open Country A/T II

Toyo Open Country A/T II

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This tire is available at these retailers:

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Rated 4.4/5

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General Grabber HTS60General Grabber HTS60General Grabber HTS60General Grabber HTS60

General Grabber HTS60

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Continental TerrainContact A/TContinental TerrainContact A/TContinental TerrainContact A/TContinental TerrainContact A/T

Continental TerrainContact A/T

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Firestone Transforce AT2Firestone Transforce AT2Firestone Transforce AT2Firestone Transforce AT2

Firestone Transforce AT2

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Kumho Road Venture A/T 51Kumho Road Venture A/T 51Kumho Road Venture A/T 51Kumho Road Venture A/T 51

Kumho Road Venture A/T 51

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Falken Wildpeak A/T3WFalken Wildpeak A/T3WFalken Wildpeak A/T3WFalken Wildpeak A/T3W

Falken Wildpeak A/T3W

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Atturo Trail Blade A/TAtturo Trail Blade A/TAtturo Trail Blade A/TAtturo Trail Blade A/T

Atturo Trail Blade A/T

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3

Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3

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This tire is available at these retailers:

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Rated 4.7/5

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Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with KevlarGoodyear Wrangler MT/R with KevlarGoodyear Wrangler MT/R with KevlarGoodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar

Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar

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This tire is available at these retailers:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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12 Best Tires For Bad Roads

When it comes to driving on bad roads, tires are important because they provide traction - the force that pushes your vehicle forward and helps you move around obstacles with ease. However, there are other factors such as shock absorption and road noise that influence how good a tire is at providing traction too.

Bad roads are a huge annoyance. The most common advice is to go for a tire with a lot of tread and pressure for bad roads.

Tire manufacturers have come a long way over the years and now offer some incredible off-road and all-terrain tires. They are designed to perform in adverse conditions with minimal wear and tear.

Most people in the US buy their tires from tire retailers and they may not know which tire will provide the best performance on which type of road. For that reason, we have compiled a list of the best tires for bad roads.

1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S

Michelin Defender LTX M/S tire is a high-performance all-season tire that is designed for drivers who are facing bad roads. The tire has a unique tread pattern that can provide some great traction on the snow, ice, mud, and sand.

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S tire can adjust to different terrains and road conditions. It can adjust in such a way that it becomes a good performer on bad roads. The design of the tire makes it versatile enough to accommodate drivers in trucks and SUVs driving on difficult surfaces.

Michelin made it a primary focus to enhance the contact patch on this tire to create more even driving. This increases road traction and tire durability to create a more reliable, long-lasting tire. The upgraded tire design also creates better short-distance braking on difficult roads and off-road surfaces.

The MaxTouch Construction makes this design so reliable on bad roads. There are circumferential grooves in the design for better hydroplaning resistance and more accurate driving on wet roads. The full-depth sipes create more road grip in snow and ice too.

Michelin also provides one of the best warranty policies with 70,000 miles in coverage for tire wear to ensure you get the most from your tire.

Pros:

  • Reliable all-season traction.
  • Excellent warranty coverage.
  • Long-lasting tread life.
  • Wider contact patch to handle difficult roads with more comfort.

Cons:

  • Expensive tire.
  • Weak braking on dry roads.

2. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 all-terrain tire is a good choice for drivers who want to take their car to places they may not have been before. This ranks as one of our top tire selections for bad roads.

The T/A KO2 all-terrain tire has a distinctive tread pattern that is designed specifically for driving on unpaved roads, like dirt, sand, mud, and gravel. The tread pattern is made up of deep channels that are designed to distribute the weight of the vehicle over a larger surface area while keeping high traction at any speed.

This tire is specially designed for use in harsh conditions. The advanced tread pattern provides a confident grip in wet conditions while the aggressive contact patch reduces rolling resistance for improved fuel economy.

BFGoodrich offers many different types of tires that are suitable for various terrains, weather patterns, performance needs, and budget constraints. However, the T/A KO2 is unique due to the extra-strength rubber sidewall compound. This compound provides double the strength of any predecessor tire to avoid flats and punctures.

This tire is advertised to deliver 10% more traction on mud and 19% more traction on snow compared to any previous BFGoodrich tire. You can drive with confidence knowing you have this product installed on your vehicle.  

Pros:

  • Extremely powerful design with tough treads.
  • Off-road driving is impressive.
  • Handles snow and mud with precision.
  • Solid tread life.

Cons:

  • Expensive pricing.

3. Toyo Open Country A/T2

Toyo has a reputation for producing tires that can handle all types of terrain, from snow to sand, mud, and rocky trails. The company’s Open Country A/T2 is an all-terrain tire designed to maximize performance on the most difficult surfaces.

The Toyo Open Country A/T2 all-terrain tire was developed to provide drivers with a reliable option for driving in less than ideal conditions such as rain and snow, wet and muddy conditions, and soft terrain.

Toyo does an excellent job combining on-road comfort with off-road performance. Drivers can expect maximum comfort when riding on highways and pavement due to the open tread blocks. These blocks add more cornering ability, handling accuracy, and improve braking distances to ensure you drive with precision.

Off-road performance is aided by deeper tread grooves that allow for more traction despite the changing surfaces. The thicker sidewall allows for this tire to handle rocks and stones without creating a puncture or flat tire.

The durability of this tire is another impressive feature. Toyo even predicts that this tire gives 40% more tread life than any predecessor tire.

Toyo embraces the popularity of this tire with many sizes available ranging between 15” to 22” with plenty of LT sizes too.

Pros:

  • 65,000-mile tread life warranty.
  • Cornering and handling are accurate.
  • Extra strength rubber sidewall.
  • Excellent braking on slick surfaces.

Cons:

  • Tires can get noisy at higher speeds.

4. General Grabber HTS60

The General Grabber HTS60 all-season tire provides safe and reliable traction. It can be used on both wet and dry roads for flawless grip, as well as on unpaved terrain for moderate traction and performance.

The HTS60 has a built-in cut and chip design that can withstand harsh conditions without any problem. It also has excellent dry traction on snow and mud, wet traction in rain and slushy conditions, as well as a high-speed capability on dry roads. 

The HTS60 has a tread pattern made with DuraGen Technology to provide good traction and more reliable durability on snow and bad roads while offering enhanced comfort. The tire also features an all-season tread pattern that is designed to be used in wet and dry weather conditions.

Wet weather and wintry conditions can be handled due to the circumferential grooves and set of sipes. The rubber meets the slippery surface and uses both of these features to release biting edges for better grip and provide more accurate hydroplaning resistance for drivers.

If you are worried about comfort, General uses Comfort Balance Technology to add another layer to act as a sound barrier on this tire. It ensures the ride is smoother with minimal road noise to disrupt the cabin of your vehicle.

Pros:

  • Reliable long-lasting tread life.
  • 65,000-mile limited warranty.
  • Excellent braking capabilities.
  • Plenty of traction on all types of roads.
  • Top-notch hydroplaning resistance.

Cons:

  • Steering responsiveness during highway driving could be more accurate.

5. Continental TerrainContact A/T

The Continental TerrainContact A/T is best suited for those who live in areas with unpaved or gravel roads.

The tire has a deep tread that provides great traction on bad roads and its asymmetrical design makes it easy for handling bad weather conditions and rocky paths. It is also designed to be puncture-resistant, provide high levels of shock absorption, and have longer tread life.

Continental designed the TerrainContact A/T with +Silane technology to offer more traction on bad roads and in wet conditions. It works together with TractionPlus technology to make the tread pattern more open so the larger tread blocks can create more accurate road contact.

This tire also features siping and ComfortRide technology to provide better traction, biting edges in snow and a smoother riding experience. All of these added features make driving more enjoyable while tackling bad weather conditions.

The traction grooves and full-depth sipes have been upgraded to add extra bite particles and increase the depth of the grooves for more difficult conditions like heavy mud or snow. Drivers can feel confident riding because of the way this aggressive pattern latches onto the pavement for driving accuracy.

This tire comes in plenty of sizes ranging between 16-22” in rim diameter along with an above-average all-terrain tire warranty making it an all-around excellent tire choice.  

Pros:

  • Best-in-class tread life for the all-terrain tire category.
  • Minimal road noise on the traditional pavement.
  • ComfortRide technology.
  • Available in both LT and non-LT sizes.
  • 60,000-mile warranty.

Cons:

  • Not the best option for mud.

6. Firestone Transforce AT2

Firestone's Firestone Transforce AT2 all-terrain tire has been designed for drivers who find themselves in extreme conditions. The new tire is made with a deeper tread that provides more driving strength and added comfort on difficult terrains.

This tire features durable sidewalls and a bold tread pattern with aggressive biting edges for excellent grip on all roads. The Transforce AT2 also has a smart construction that means it can last longer than its predecessors while still remaining lightweight.

The Transforce AT2 tire is designed for use in challenging terrains. It's wider than other tires, which allows it to provide increased stability over a range of surfaces including sand, snow, mud, and gravel. These features make it a popular choice for off-road vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.

Wet traction is aided by circumferential grooves, multi-sipes, and added lateral grooves. All three features work together to ensure this tire is always operating with traction and handling ability in mind.

Pros:

  • Handles heavy loads well.
  • Light terrain and mud terrain can be handled well.
  • Dry pavement accuracy.
  • Added sipes for improved winter driving.

Cons:

  • Tread life could be better.

7. Kumho Road Venture AT51

The Kumho Road Venture AT51 all-terrain tire was designed with a focus on how bad roads can affect the performance of your vehicle. The Kumho Road Venture AT51 features a tread design that not only provides grip on the road but also has a mud and snow grip pattern, which makes it perfect for bad weather.

This all-terrain tire has a tread pattern that is designed to decrease the risk of hydroplaning in wet or icy conditions. The tire has been designed to work well with any type of terrain, from the roads to dirt and gravel. In addition, the design includes an aggressive outer shoulder with small grip grooves for improved handling on slippery surfaces.

The tread is a dual silica compound to maximize traction and off-road performance while maintaining comfort and durability. Kumho even put a full set of circumferential grooves into this design to enhance wet traction even more.

The tread blocks on this tire are tapered so they can clean themselves out while driving. In the mud, treads tend to get dirty and messy but on this tire, they will clean as you drive. This means you can stay driving at the highest level as long as possible.

Kumho also put an emphasis on making sure this tire was both comfortable and quiet on the pavement. The symmetric pattern and variable pitch blocks were designed together to make it happen. Drivers can expect a quiet, comfortable riding experience.  

Pros:

  • Reliable comfort.
  • Excellent value in pricing.
  • Solid treadwear.
  • Plenty of support in wintry and wet conditions.

Cons:

  • Deep mud and snow can be tough.

8. Falken Wildpeak A/T3W

The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W is a great all-terrain tire that provides great performance in most conditions and can handle tougher terrain than other tires. These tires have a unique tread design that allows them to be used on both loose surfaces and more demanding terrain.

This tire is designed for those who are looking for a high-quality tire with excellent performance that will make driving easier in most conditions. It offers superior grip over other tires, which makes it perfect for those who want to go off-road or rough terrain.

The Wildpeak A/T3W really is one of the best tread compound tires on the market today. The low rolling resistance also makes it an excellent option for drivers who want to save fuel and maintain optimal fuel efficiency while driving.

Falken includes a set of heat diffusers in the tire to make it more flexible when driving. This allows the tire to handle a tougher terrain without the concern for punctures or damages from external objects like stones and rocks.

The treads are also made deeper to handle thick snow and mud with better accuracy compared to other competing tires on the market. These treads eliminate the risk for hydroplaning and create better rubber to surface contact on many different road surfaces.  

Pros:

  • Reliable tread life.
  • Handles winter conditions like deep snow with ease.
  • Plenty of dry traction handling.
  • Excellent braking and handling off-road.

Cons:

  • Road noise on highways can be extreme.

9. Cooper Discoverer AT3

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 all-terrain tire is designed for the toughest terrain. It has a tough and durable tread design that is effective on all terrains, with a wide contact patch to make more accurate contact with roads.

The performance of the Cooper Discoverer AT3 all-terrain tire is carried by its cordless radial construction and jumbo tread blocks that provide maximum traction. The tread design also incorporates a multi-directional siping pattern to help improve water evacuation and grip in muddy conditions.

The five ribbed tread design works with the center rib to improve off-road stability, traction, and overall driving stability. The center rib is wider and can operate with more balance for the tire to stay centered.

 

There are also aggressive shoulder blocks to ensure cornering is precise with maximum safety for drivers. This tire can operate in snow, mud, and traditional pavement while providing reliable cornering support.

This tire can be found in sizes between 15” and 20” in rim diameter for a variety of different vehicles. There are plenty of LT sizes available too. The warranty is a 55,000-mile guarantee for drivers.  

Pros:

  • Self-cleaning ability for muddy driving.
  • Excellent road traction, both dry and wet surfaces.
  • Handles deep mud with accuracy.

Cons:

  • Expensive tire.
  • Noisy on the pavement.

10. Atturo Trail Blade A/T

The Trail Blade A/T tire from Atturo is an off-road tire that provides better traction on wet and dry roads. This tire provides better traction on wet and dry roads, as well as a longer tread life than other off-road tires. It also has an aggressive tread design which provides more grip in poor weather conditions such as snow.

The tires are constructed with a silica compound for superior grip in wet conditions, a coarse tread pattern for extra traction in snow, and deep grooves to help keep debris out of the way when driving in mud. The Trail Blade comes with a nylon belt that makes it durable but lightweight too.

The Atturo Trail Blade A/T uses sidewall puncture protection and rim protection for extra support. There is even an extra layer of rubber under the tread to help protect the wheel rim from flat spots caused by rocks in the road.

The cut and chip-resistant compound on this tire allows for more aggressive driving, especially off-road. The 3-ply sidewall minimizes the risk of experiencing a flat tire from a rock or external debris.

Atturo provides a traditional limited tread life warranty with 50,000 miles in coverage on this tire.  

Pros:

  • Widely available tire.
  • 50,000-mile warranty.
  • Excellent pavement performance.
  • Low pricing.
  • Off-road driving is best in class.

Cons:

  • Deep mud and deep snow can cause the tire to struggle at times.

11.  Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2

The Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2 has made its way into many car owners’ garages. This is because it is a quality tire, specifically designed for driving on bad roads, such as off-road driving or when snow and ice mix with your everyday road conditions.

The new Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2 tire has been designed with a low profile to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency as well as providing aggressive tread patterns to ensure consistent grip. This tire is suitable for all-around use, including light trucks, SUVs, and car use.

The tread design is a combination of all-season and all-terrain treads to make a dual-layer rubber that can handle a variety of conditions. Bridgestone aims to add more traction and durability without sacrificing tire strength with this design.  

There are many different grooves on this tire too. The circumferential grooves and lateral grooves are helpful to eliminate water flow and improve hydroplaning resistance. There are also open shoulder blocks with inside notches to ensure driving accuracy.

This tire comes widely available in many sizes with a 50,000-mile limited tread life warranty too.

Pros:

  • Plenty of steering and handling responsiveness.
  • Dry traction is flawless.
  • Excellent braking on wet surfaces.
  • Semi-stealth tread block technology for better water evacuation.

Cons:

  • Below average tread life.

12. Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar​

The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar Tire is a dependable tire that can provide you with the traction and performance you need on challenging terrain. This all-season tire offers great traction and mileage in wet, dry, and snowy conditions. The wide tread design provides a good balance between road grip and treadwear.

The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R With Kevlar​ tire is a tire designed for those who are looking to go off-road. The tire has a tread design that is specifically designed to handle unfavorable conditions like snow, mud, and sand.

This tire is made with a silica compound to create a more aggressive pattern that can target difficult roads with precision and strength. Silica handles winter conditions better and works off-road well too.

Goodyear even uses a mud-flow geometry in this tire design. It enhances the tread design to allow the tire to clean itself better while driving so cutting through mud and snow does not slow you down.

Pros:

  • Kevlar creates 35% more cut and puncture resistance.
  • Cornering on dry pavement is extremely precise.
  • Comfortable driving.
  • Wrap around tread design for added strength.

Cons:

  • Road noise can be a problem at high speeds.

What to Consider When Looking For Tires For Bad Roads

The road surface conditions can have a big impact on tire performance. Tires could be better suited for rough surfaces or smooth surfaces as they are designed differently.

When looking for new tires, it is important to assess the driving conditions and the speed at which you will be traveling. In addition, the weight of your vehicle should also be taken into consideration. The type of tire you want should depend on your driving style too - if you drive slower than average or drive in heavy traffic more often.

Bad roads and driving on them can cause expensive damage to your vehicle. This is why it is important to find new tires that will be able to handle bad roads. The type of rubber tire that you need should also depend on how much money you want to spend on your car’s current replacement tires.

You should consider the tire type before purchase to be sure it can handle winter conditions and off-road driving. These are the two most common types of bad roads that drivers are faced with. It is even more important to find the right tire if you intend to drive on bad roads like gravel, dirt, and mud because tire damage is more common.

Other factors include the max load of your vehicle, rim size, and weather conditions. All three factors determine exactly the type of tire that will best fit your vehicle.

Can You Drive Off-Road With A Sedan?

Off-road driving is a popular activity for many drivers, and many people will test their cars on the trail. When you are driving your car in off-road terrain, it’s impossible to know what’s going on around you. You can’t see any obstacles or other cars in the distance, so as a result, there is a risk of getting into an accident.

The answer to this question would be yes if you're driving a sedan. While they have good traction and suspension that can handle off-roading, sedans don't have the weight and power needed for long trips across rough terrain.

While an all-terrain tire could help, performance would still be well below average and because of the low level of a sedan, you run the risk of damaging your vehicle when driving over rough terrains.

It may seem like a fun activity to take your sedan out for an off-road drive, but we advise against it. The risk is too high for serious damage to your vehicle. If you want to try off-road driving, we suggest an upgrade to an SUV, truck, or crossover better suited to handle rocky and uneven terrains.  

Do All-Season Tires Drive Well On Bad Roads?

All-season tires are designed to provide moderate traction on wet and dry roads. However, not all roads are made equal and some bad/rough roads can lead to a difference in the performance of the all-season tires compared to summer, winter, and all-terrain tires.

All-season tires are designed to handle wet, snowy, icy, and even dry conditions. They have a tread pattern that grips the surface of the road and provides traction even when roads are wet and slippery.

When it comes to driving on bad roads, all-season tires offer more grip than summer or winter ones as they have a wider footprint which allows them to grip the ground better regardless of the weather conditions.

However, all-season tires are not the ideal option for off-road driving on muddy or gravel terrains. They tend to slip more because of the contact patch design and they cannot brake with maximum precision and accuracy.

You can expect to receive reliable traction in all four seasons with an all-season tire on pavement, but performance will start to decrease and treads will wear down faster if you drive these tires off-road.

How Fast Can You Drive On Bad Roads?

Driving on bad roads is risky and can affect car performance. The car will not be able to accelerate as fast as on good roads and the brakes will be less effective.

The speed of a car depends on many factors, such as the wheel size, weight, and engine size of the vehicle. For example, most midsize cars can go up to 150 miles per hour when driving on a good road.

On rough or bumpy roads, it is hard for cars to maintain speed because they have friction with the ground which causes them to slow down. However, there are some things you can do to manage these situations that make driving more efficient and safe for drivers

This is not an easy question to answer. The speed on bad roads depends on the type of car you are driving, your experience, and the state of the road.

In general, most drivers travel at a speed of 25 - 45 mph on bad roads.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

Read More About Charles Redding