Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

98 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I posted this question in another thread of mine, but I think it got lost amongst all my ramblings about what tire I should, here is the question again:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of directional tread patterns on tires?

I did a quick internet search and found this info:
Advantages of directional tread patterns are good driving force and braking performance. In particular directional patterns provide good water dispersal for greater stability on wet roads.
I imagine there are more advantages, and probably some disadvantages, right? The only disadvantages I could think of are that directional tires can only be swapped front to back (without remounting/balancing, of course), but I think I read somewhere that AWD vehicles should only have tires rotated front to back (no swapping sides, in other words), so that's not a disadvantage in terms of Subaru's. The only other thing I could think of is that they probably don't offer as much traction in reverse, since the tread will be going the opposite way it was designed for. But, again, how often am I going to need a lot of traction while going in reverse? :rolleyes: So, basically, I couldn't think of any legitimate disadvantages.

So, what are the disadvantages, and are there any other advantages that weren't mentioned?

Thanks for the info,

Superb Moderator, ,
6,184 Posts
Directional tread is usually found on high performance tires. When I mean high performance, I mean not all-season. Like summer only tires. And when you rotate them, like you noticed, they have to stay on the same side of the car (ie. rotate front to rear or vice versa) If you look at some tires like on the Tire Rack's website, you'll find out that most or all of the directional type tires are not true all-seasons.
That is what I have learned. I had a set of directional Falkens years ago on my Dodge Omni GLH and I could not move in one inch of snow-literally. They were summer only, or for dry/wet only-no slush/snow. Brian

· Founder
2021 Outback Limited 2.5L - 🍦The Ice Cream Man🍦
5,606 Posts
Ski4Ever said:
OK, so what about the tread on the Nokian WR, which is supposedly a great tire in the snow, but also has directional tread?

Matt (I'm beginning to hate tires...grrr...hehe)
Well I think Brian meant to say that MOST directional tires are not all-season tires or not true all-season tires. I say most because useage of indefinate words should almost never be used in any case. Directional tires may not be a standard for all-season tires, etc but the Nokian WR's have been proven as great all-season tires so thats that.

And all this and all that being said, directional tires are a good fit on any Subaru and in some cases any AWD vehicle. I say this because Subaru recommends front to rear, same side tire rotations and that is recommended for most AWD cars as well.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts