When the lure of going off-road calls, you need to make sure you have the right grip on your ATV otherwise you are going to end up in the skids. And for rough, loose and muddy terrain, mud grip tires are the only way to go.
OK, they are not the quietest or even the easiest to drive but for a smooth, awesome off-road ride when the adventure adrenaline kicks in, these mud grip bad boys are the ones to rely on.
To prevent you from becoming a real stick in the mud, check out our guide to the best mud tires out there and you’ll soon be off-roading like there’s no tomorrow.
The Best Mud Tire
Goodyear have a top reputation and thanks to their use of cutting-edge technology when it comes to their tires, it’s easy to see why. Performance and quality are their buzz-words and, for these all-terrain mud tires, value comes into the equation too.
Suitable for pretty much all type of-terrain, both wet and dry, the aggressive tread pattern of the Goodyear Wrangler Radial makes it a sound choice for mud, as well as light to medium snow and slippery surfaces. The large tread blocks also create a really stable footprint, that boosts performance and stability, providing more confident handling when the going gets tough. These mud grip tires are effective at self-cleaning, thanks to the decent sized lugs and wide-enough voids, and the walls are sufficiently thick to give a decent level of protection against wear and potential puncture. Although the load capability might not be on par with more expensive mud tires, these are a good all-round tire that will take you out for off-road adventures all year round and are also built to be used on the street. A worthy contender for the best mud tires tag.
All-season tire for SUVs
Large tread blocks help deliver a stable footprint
Maximum load – 2028 pounds
Deep lugs and wide voids for great grip on the mud and light snow
Comes with a one-year warranty
- Model Wrangler Radial
- Weight 27.6 pounds
The Falken Wildpeak is one cool customer, designed to tackle rough terrain adventures, even in low temperature and extreme weather conditions. Using heat diffuser technology, the Wildpeak mud grip tires is able to keep its cool even when the off-road temperature is rising by cleverly dissipating heat in the lower sidewall to protect the internal tire. This also means you get a consistent performance and stability, even when towing or carrying heavy loads.
And when it comes to mud and loose surface conditions, the Falken MT tires also step up, thanks to the interlocked shoulders to resist wear and the rigid tread blocks that take ramps and drops in their stride. The decent sized lugs and voids help to prevent excessive dirt build up and when on the road, the ride is surprisingly quiet. They may be at times a little off with their handling of really deep snow, but they will get you through and, as a solid all-year, all-mud tire, they are going to always give you their best. And, for the price (less than $150) we think that’s enough to keep you off-road sweet.
All-terrain, any weather tires with ‘rugged capability’
Heat diffuser technology protects the inner tire
3D canyon sipe tech interlocks the shoulders to resist wear
Rigid tread pattern combined with silica enhances overall stability and performance
Aggressive sidewall protects against sharp objects and increases traction
- Model Wildpeak AT3W
- Weight 46.5 pounds
As all-season MT tires trucks and SUVs, these mud-terrain radial tires from BFGoodrich are a good mid-priced option. First up, they are stough cookies, with their Tri-Guard 3-ply polyester carcass giving superior protection against damage and puncture as you put your vehicle through its off-road paces. You also get a large footprint with these all-terrain mud tires that gives excellent stability and traction.
The high-void tread design is effective in clearing away debris and mud to prevent the tires over-clogging. We also really like the way these tires cling to rocks, deep dirt and slick surfaces to give you an off-road ride you have been looking for. And if you like a strong meaty styling to your SUV’s ‘footwear’ then the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain TA KM will certainly not disappoint. Offering an excellent all-round performance and more than capable of standing up to rough conditions, these are mud grip tires we really like.
All-season tire for light trucks and SUVs
High-void tread design with large footprint for superior traction
Tri-Gard 3-ply polyester tire carcass protects against punctures
Computer-designed tread pattern reduces road noise
Six-year Standard Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty
- Model Mud-Terrain T/A KM
- Weight 46.5 pounds
With a spec that would rival a more expensive mud and all-terrain tire, the Hankook DynaPro comes in as our Best value tire for more reasons than just price. Yes, you are getting a sturdy tire for less than $90 but you are also getting a pretty impressive performance in both the dry and the wet.
The Hankook DynaPro are large, good looking and cheap mud tires, that provide surprisingly impressive traction on a range of off-road conditions, including snow, ice, loose mud and dirt tracks. And for the price, they have been built to last, with thick side walls and a wraparound tread to guard against cuts, bruises and improve puncture resistance. The size of what are easily one of our best mud tires also means you get a large footprint, which in turn improves the grip and tiered side grooves noticeably improve the rough surface handling. You will definitely feel this as you turn and corner with confidence. Users also report how quiet these aggressive bad boys are on the road, despite their size and how smooth the overall ride is. If you don’t have money to burn but still want performance and a half-decent life span out of your off-road mud grip tires, then make sure you check out the DynaPro.
Excellent traction on snow, ice tracks and dirt paths a
Wraparound tread guards against cuts, bruises and impact breaks
Thick sidewall rubber gauge minimizes impact damage
Broader footprint to increase grip to extend tread life
Tiered side grooves for improved handling
- Model DynaPro ATM RF10
- Weight 31.9 pounds
For all-round, all-terrain tires, the Discoverer 115t from Cooper ticks all the boxes. The price is mid-range, but you are getting quality and reputation plus the performance both on and off the highway cannot be disputed. These handsome Cooper mud tires will add some gravitas to your off-roader, light truck or SUV and are flexible enough to perform well out in the wilds as well as dealing with the urban challenges of the ordinary road.
But just how well do they step up as specific mud grip tires? Pretty darn good, we say. They are superbly aggressive, giving you super-sticky traction in the mud and wet. The Discoverer 115t has a five rib design that means you can pretty much throw your truck at most types of terrain and benefit from the stability the tough tire design provides. Plus, you get a broken center rib for improved soft surface traction without any loss in handling. Add in a silica-based tread that also helps to protect the tire wall from cuts, bruises and potential punctures and you have no need to hold your off-roading back. These mud grip tires can be a tad noisy but it’s a worthwhile sacrifice for the sheer enjoyment of the off-road ride. For adventure in mud, wet, rocks and shifting surfaces, you want these sold, tough and dare we say it, brave mud tires on your side!
All-terrain tire for light trucks, SUVs and cross-overs
Five-rib design with silica-based tread
Improved traction in mud and wet as well as highway
Broken center rib for improved soft surface traction
Dual-draft element walls combat stone retention
- BrandCooper Tire
- Model Discoverer A/T3
- Weight 41 pounds
A step-up from our best value pick, the Hankook DynaPro ATM Off-Road tire offers a 7-8% wider footprint for even better road contact and traction. You will pay around $30 more per tire but DynaPro ATM Off-Road could well be your next upgrade. As a dedicated off-road tire, you can sit back and enjoy the multi-terrain ride, confident in the superior handling and grip. The traction means the DynaPro Off-Road can take extreme conditions in its aggressive tread stride, from mud and loose surfaces, to dirt paths, snow and ice tracks.
There’s a sturdy, no-nonsense look about these off-road mud grip tires that is totally reassuring. The wraparound tread is formidable and boosts the tire’s overall resistance to abrasions and punctures. The lugs are big and there’s the large void areas you would expect, bringing a solid stability to the tire’s performance. Add to this the deep two-step sipes for increased traction in the wet and tiered side grooves for smooth handling and easier turns, with what feels like minimal effort and you have a cracking off-road tire at a cracking price. For sheer handling and stability when driving your light truck or SUV off-road, you can’t go wrong with the Hankook DynaPro.
All-terrain tire for light truck, van and SUV
Wraparound tread for increased puncture resistance
Deep two-step sipes for increased wet road performance
Tired tread groves for greater control on corners
7-8% wider footprint increases road contact and traction
- Model Dynapro Atm Rf10
- Weight 38.6 pounds
There is a very distinct look to these mud terrain radial tires from Federal, but these large and well-priced tires are much more than just a ‘pretty face’. The aggressive tread design with its mix of lug size and shapes has one goal – to provide superior traction in a range of mud and loose dirt conditions.
And they live up to expectations, gripping on for dear life while giving you an awesome, smooth ride. Best suited to mud and dirt rather than colder or more extreme weather conditions, the Federal Couragia is also able to look after itself, thanks to the spaced out voids for effective self-cleaning as you eat up the off-road terrain. There’s also a tough 3-ply wall design to the tires as well as a protected upper shoulder to help them to resist chips, abrasions and punctures. And finally, the ‘Sloped Radius Gradient’ – or SRG – block design increases tire stiffness and ultimately boosts overall performance when serious off-road action calls. They are on the heavier side of our best mud tires review so are much happier on the adventure trail, but these tires do perform well on the open road, for when its time to get back to normal ‘on-road’ life – for a while at least.
Aggressive tread design for a range of off-road mud and loose dirt conditions
Large lugs and spaced out void for effective mud ‘clean out’
Protection block on upper should to reduce impact and damage
Unique block edge design for consistent performance
Tough 3 ply tire wall for off-road protection
- Model Couragia M/T
- Weight 50.7 pounds
The innovative design of the BFGoodrich All-Terrain not only catches the eye with its flat lines but also ups the ante on their KM All-Terrain by spreading out the load and creating a tire wall that cuts through rugged ground. These solid tires are towards the top end of our best mud tires review budget, but it seems you do get what you pay for.
The tread design spreads out the stress of an unpredictable terrain to create a smooth and controlled ride while the tough sidewall rubber is stiff enough to protect against any splits or abrasions under off-road pressure, The rubber is also specially formulated to reduce chips, making these the ideal tires for mud and gravel road surfaces. As a self-cleaning mud grip tire, the raised bars in the should tread also work to help release any compacted mud, stones or snow.
Tough sidewall rubber to protect against splits and bruises
Tread design to evenly spread stress of the terrain
Protruding sidewall blocks for increased mud, snow and rock traction
Raised bars in shoulder tread to release compacted mud
Serrated shoulder design for greater maneuverability in soft ground conditions
- Model All-Terrain T/A KO2
- Weight 57.4 pounds
Bringing together the principles of two of its most popular tires, the Trail Grappler combines the gnarly off-road performance of Nitto Mud Grappler with the smooth on-road comfort of the Nitto Terra Grappler. The result is a premium performance all-terrain tire that can justify its premium price tag. These are good looking tires, with a quality design tempered by the rugged vibe any serious off-roader would expect and work with both trucks and SUVs.
Performance, handling and traction are the mission objectives for these premium mud grip tires and overall, it is mission accomplished rather than impossible for the Trail Grappler. These are very aggressive tires when you are off-roading, sucking up to the surface as you tear up the terrain without losing any handling or control. There’s a D-tapered edge to the tread for an improved surface ‘bite’ and there’s also a seriously deep center sipe for optimum traction and to also help prevent the dreaded hydro-planning in wet and muddy conditions. And the tread’s large lugs and nicely wide void areas help to weed out the mud and stones and keep the tire surface clean and rolling smooth. They are the heaviest tires in our best mud tires review, but that 10-ply tire wall doesn’t come light and the stability and strength as well as the ‘self-protection’ of these mud grip tires could well be your deal breaker. And for when the off-roading day is done and you head for home, Nitto claim these wonder tires are up to 36% quieter than their Mud Grappler. Impressive.
Combined performance of the mud-grappler with the comfort of an on-road tire
D-tapered groove tread gives more biting edge when off-roading
Deep center sipe for increased traction and to prevent hydroplaning
Reinforced shoulder groove for improved performance on all terrains
Wide voids and large lugs reject stones and help to clear out mud
- Model Trail Grappler M/T
- Weight 79.4 pounds
We don’t think there could be a more appropriate name for a mud tire, as the Cordovan Mud Claw literally sinks its tire talons into the soft ground and almost refuses to let go! These excellent mud grip tires can also work across a range of multi-terrains, making them a versatile choice for all your off-roading needs, while still being quiet and smooth enough to take you back onto the highway. But loose dirt and deep mud is where these aggressive tires are happiest, meaning you should be too!
The tread pattern is a mud tire classic, but the lugs are large and deep, with well-spaced voids to prevent clogging and to create a self-cleaning action as you drive through the mud mire. The tires are built to last too, with a three-ply stiff rubber wall to assist control and handling while resisting knocks, scuffs and potential punctures. And, despite their size, strength and aggressive looks, the Mud Claw also manage to give you a smooth, controlled ride, with minimal vibration over rough ground. If you are looking for new mud tires for your off-roader, then seriously consider getting your hands on these mud-loving beauties. The Mud Claw MT tire is best suited to mid to full-sized pick-ups, Jeeps and SUVs.
Deep, aggressive, self-cleaning tread
Staggered shoulder blocks and tread lugs
3-ply sidewall construction
Stiff rubber build for control and traction
Fits mid/full-size pickups, Jeeps and SUVs
- Model Mud Claw Radial M/T
- Weight 45 pounds
Best Mud Tires Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying Mud Tires
Finding the right mud tires is essential for enjoying your off-road ride and the last thing you want is to get stuck when making your final choice. To help you glide through the mud grip tire process, here are the main things you need to consider.
What do you need your new tires for? There are a variety of tire designs to handle off-road conditions, from light to desert to serious mud crawling and so before you pick your new tires, make sure they are the ones you are going to get real use out of. If your off-road driving is pure soil/mud /rock adventure, then specific mud grip tires are going to serve you well. The aggressiveness of the mud terrain will also dictate the type of mud tire you should buy. But if you are mixing the terrain up or spend most of your time on conventional roads with the odd blast off-road, then all-terrain tires may well be your thing.
Always have an idea of how much you are willing or able to spend on your new mud tires - and stick to it. Good mud tires are not cheap, and you need four – five if you are going to swap out your spare.
The aggressive tread patterns of mud tires means that they can handle heavier loads, while thicker patterns are more resistant to punctures and give a smooth, off-road ride. As a guide, the minimum thickness for a mud tire is six ply and the thickest are 10. Also, mud tires are made from rubber for grip on slippery roads but is a material that can wear quickly, so look for a tire which is made from a stiffer rubber to get a longer life out of your off-road rides.
- Side walls
With the amount of off-road abuse your mud tires will need to take, make sure you opt for a tire with thick side walls to protect against punctures and also survive repeat towing and hauling. As a guide, the minimum thickness for a mud tire is six ply and the thickest are 10.
- Lugs and void area
For your mud tire to be really effective, you need to consider the lugs and voids. What you are wanting your new mud grip tires to do is create traction and also prevent mud build up. Large, deep lugs will provide nicely aggressive traction on loose terrain while wide voids between the lugs will work to fling away water, rocks, and debris and prevent your tires getting clogged up.
Mud tires tend to be louder and rougher on the road compared to other tires although they are starting to become more comfortable. Check out reviews of your chosen mud tires to see how smooth the on-road ride will be.
Why Mud Tires?
For off-roaders who want to up the adventure, mud tires can give a smooth and uninterrupted ride on loose soil, mud or sand. Specifically designed to drive over loose and unstable surfaces, mud grip tires have large tread blocks and wide, deep voids so that the tire can get the best purchase on off-road surfaces. The voids then help the tire to clear mud, gravel and debris as it spins so you have a fresh surface to grip.
With all-terrain tires you lose some of this traction, however unlike mud tires, all-terrain are better in the wet, snow or icy conditions. Mud tires also tend to be heavier, harsher and noisier on the ride.
Tips to Keep in Mind
To get the best ride out of your new mud tires, there are some key tips that will help to boost your off-road adventure:
- Think ahead
Try to consider the type of road turbulence you are likely to experience on your next off-road adventure. This way you can have a good idea as to how aggressive your mud tires need to be to keep that all-important traction. Planning ahead to ensure you have the right tires is going to save you hassle and repairs in the long run
- Check the load range
Know the weight your mud tires are capable of carrying, so check out the markings on the sidewalls of the tires. The load range will matter the rougher the terrain you are planning to off-road on, as the higher the range, the stronger the grip and the better the overall performance.
- Know your tires’ limitations
Mud tires are not perfect and come with certain shortfalls when it comes to performance. While they can power over rough terrain like there’s no tomorrow but on the street, they are simply not very efficient and they also do not offer good wet road traction. Be prepared to swap out your tires if you are going on to the highway – this way you get to keep your drive safe and your mud tires lasting longer.
Best Mud Tires FAQ:
Q: Are mud tires street-friendly?
A: Mud tires are not all-terrain tires and when it comes to urban driving, they have very poor grip on the street. Designed to create more traction on mud or dirt surfaces, mud grip tires simply can’t cut in on man-made roads. In fact, in many areas of the US, mud tires are not even road legal. If you want to go from dirt to street, you are better off opting for tires that are built for all-terrain.
Q: Are mud tires good for winter?
A: Pure mud tires are not a fan of ice or snow as they can’t get the traction they need to keep a good grip. Hybrid mud and snow tires (marked with a M+S on the side) work better for winter conditions but with only low or moderate levels of snow and ice. In very low temperatures, the tires can get stiff, meaning you lose effectiveness when braking or cornering.
For safe and fun driving throughout the depth of a cold winter, you are best to opt for full-on winter tires if your typical driving conditions involve very cold temperatures and lots of snow.
Q: Are mud tires durable and long-lasting?
A: How durable your mud grip tires are will vary from brand to brand but as a general rule of thumb, it will also depend on your driving style and the road conditions. In short, the rougher the terrain (and your driving!), the quicker the tread will wear. But you can expect up to 40,000 miles from a good set of mud tires.
Our Top Pick
For price, quality and all-round performance, the Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire easily slides into our Best Choice title. With the Goodyear credentials and a wallet-friendly price, you get a lot for your off-road investment. Suitable for most terrains, both wet and dry, the tread gives a smooth ride over loose surfaces without getting bogged down and you get decent handling and performance for your money. For general off-roading with your SUV or 4x4 you’ll have some fun adventures with these mud grip tires, before heading back onto the road for home.
- 12 Tire Buying Tips, How Stuff Works