When the white stuff starts to fall, you need to take action. For many drivers, installing winter tires is the right choice. For others, using tire chains is better. However, you might actually benefit from something else – tire socks. They’re much more common in the UK than in the US, but they’re becoming more widely available.

Tire socks work in a similar way to tire chains, but they’re made of fabric, rather than metal. This makes them a good choice for situations where the snow’s not too deep (where chains might not really be needed, but extra traction is beneficial). They slip on over the tire and are tightened in place with ties.

Here is some more information regarding snow socks:

  • Size: You’ll definitely need to make sure that the tire socks you choose are sized to fit your tires. If you’re not entirely sure what size tires you have, check the sidewall on the tire, or the placard on the inside of the driver’s door. It should look like this: P2350/60R16. Never use a tire sock that’s not sized for your tires.

  • Sets: For most people, a set of two is all that’s needed. However, if you have all-wheel drive, you can purchase them in sets of four as well. (Note that sets of two install on the drive tires, not the non-drive tires. That would be the front wheels on a front-wheel drive car and the rear wheels on a rear-wheel drive car).

  • Approved for your state: Just like tire chains, tire socks cannot be used in some states. Make sure you check your laws to determine if they’re legal to use or not.

A set of tire socks can offer improved traction in winter driving.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy Good Quality Tire Snow Socks and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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