Best Snow Tires for Subaru Forester

The popularity of the Subaru Forester continues to boom, finding itself near the head of the pack in the compact SUV market. This is not only because it’s an incredibly reliable vehicle but also because it has a number of features that appeal to the masses, including a spacious interior, a vast array of safety features, incredible fuel economy, and some great technology and programming capabilities.

It’s especially well received in areas where weather may not be the most cooperative, especially in winter, due to its standard all-wheel drive feature, which offers greater responsiveness and steering stability. Still, navigating any vehicle in snowy weather can be difficult, and if you live in a place with rough winters, you definitely need to consider finding the best snow tires for your Subaru Forester.

Here’s a Quick Look of Our 12 Best Snow Tires for Subaru Forester

What to Look for in Snow Tires for Subaru Forester

Snow tires, sometimes referred to as winter tires, are created specifically with features that are uniquely designed to perform in snow and ice. There are two types of snow tires, studded and studless. A studless snow tire has tread with biting edges, which aid in maintaining traction on snow and ice. In a studded tire, the metal or rubber studs are embedded into the tire’s tread and dig in aggressively to snowy and frozen roads.

However, studded tires are not ideal for use when there is no ice on the road, as the studs can actually cause road damage. Choosing which type of tires you need for your Subaru Forester will depend on how often your roads actually freeze.

Moscow, Russia - March 1st, 2014: Moscow Subaru Forester club championship. This stage was located in Moscow, on the frozen pond track. The track was build by club members. Woman driving her silver Subaru Forester on ice track, car sliding on the ice, snow. Panning shot. Moscow Forester Club championship is regular event which organized every winter.

Snow tires have softer tread than all season tires, so they aren’t designed for use year-round and should be put on in late fall and taken off in early spring. This is because they are designed not just for snow but also for lower temperatures, remaining softer as the temperature drops. When you look for snow tires for your Subaru Forester, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to purchase all four tires, and you may want to consider a second set of rims, which will make installation and removal of your snow tires easier.

You’ll want to choose tires that are reasonably priced but that also provide you incredible performance and reliability. Having a budget in mind will help you narrow down your choices so that you aren’t overspending or stretching your budget too tight. You’ll find that snow tires run about the same range of price as all season tires, to give you a better idea.

Another consideration as you shop for snow tires is the year and trim of your Subaru Forester. This will determine the size of your tires. In many cases, the Forester uses 225/55R18 tires, so that’s what we’ll be looking at here. However, you should check your tires to make sure, since there are other sizes used on various trims and across model years. The right size tire is needed in order to fit and perform well.

One last thing you might want to keep in mind is the comfort level of the tires. While snow tires aren’t generally designed to create a comfortable ride – or to reduce noise level – you may prefer to look at tires that potentially incorporate some form of noise reduction or vibration control so that your daily commute through the snow is as smooth and quiet as possible.

Top 12 Best Snow Tires for a Subaru Forester

To help you get started, we’ve gathered a list of some of the best snow tires for the Subaru Forester.

1. Yokohama Iceguard G075 Tires

Yokohama Iceguard G075 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 13/32”
  • Max Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Yokohama Iceguard G075 Tires are designed specifically for crossovers, SUVs, Jeeps, and light trucks for maximum traction based on advanced technology. They are configured for optimal performance in cold temperatures, giving you reliability in winter in wet, slushy, snowy, icy, and even dry conditions. The tread patterns use a wide center rib to help maintain greater contact with the road even in hard packed snow. It is crafted from high density compounds for greater block stability as well as longevity of the tire.

The circumferential grooves are zigzagged in a way that evacuates water while also creating gripping edges that give you more grip in snow and ice. Another great factor is that this brand is known for being ecologically focused on environmentally, human, and socially friendly solutions.

PROS

  • Great eco-friendly construction
  • Directional pattern aids in stability
  • Excellent performance in all winter conditions

CONS

  • None

2. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Tires

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 12/32”
  • Max Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Tires are studless tires for all types of vehicles, which offer confidence in steering responsiveness and overall control throughout the winter in all conditions. This is aided by the symmetric tread pattern, which also keeps tread wear even and longer lasting. Full depth edge patterns and interlocking sipes improve performance throughout the life of the tire.

A greater contact area with more block edges than the previous version of this tire creates not only better traction in icy weather but also keeps braking distances shorter in any slippery conditions, including rain and slush. Advanced technology allows for better removal of the thin layer of water on top of the ice that makes it more slippery so your tires get a better grip on the underlying ice, which is enhanced through the use of silica in the tread compound.

PROS

  • Great, even tread wear for more reliability
  • Comfortable ride for snow tires
  • Excellent performance in dry, wet, and snowy winter weather

CONS

  • Might feel rough in dry conditions

3. Continental Vikingcontact 7 Tires

Continental Vikingcontact 7 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 10/32”
  • Max Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

Continental Vikingcontact 7 Tires has been optimized to perform throughout the winter, regardless of the weather type, making it well balanced for wet, slushy, snowy, icy, and even dry conditions. The tread compound is highly advanced, using canola oil for continued flexibility even in the bitter cold, so your tires can adapt to the conditions.  The compound also includes active grip silica to enhance braking and grip in wet weather. A network of grooves cuts a straight path through water without fear of hydroplaning, and an optimized void ratio keeps an ideal amount of rubber in contact with the road, so you even get greater high-speed control. The sipes vary in thickness, and all create biting edges, though some are wider and configured as snow pockets, so you get better snow on snow traction.

PROS

  • Configured to create snow on snow traction
  • Exceptional handling even at higher speeds
  • Flexible even in extreme cold for greater performance and longer life

CONS

  • Tread may wear quickly, especially in extreme conditions

4. Michelin X-Ice XI3 Tires

Michelin X-Ice XI3 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 10.5/32”
  • Max Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

Michelin X-Ice XI3 Tires are another example of great studless performance, ideal for drivers of compact SUVs like the Subaru Forester. You get predictable handling in all winter conditions, as well as improved traction. The construction of the tire reduces rolling resistance, so you have reduced fuel consumption compared to several snow tires you could use, as well as lower CO2 emissions from your vehicle, making it environmentally friendly.

The tread compound is based in silica, which keeps tires flexible at lower temperatures to aid in the ability to pack snow and ice, giving you greater traction. A combination of micro pumps and variable angle sipes improve overall traction, while directional tread evacuates water and keeps your heading more stable. Improved shoulder block stability keeps stiffness for better and more even tread wear over time.

PROS

  • Comfortable ride for a snow tire
  • Improved tread wear performance compared to similar tires
  • Incredible performance especially in water and slush

CONS

  • Feels bumpy in dry weather

5. Cooper Discoverer True North Tires

Cooper Discoverer True North Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 11/32”
  • Max Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Cooper Discoverer True North Tires prioritize traction in winter conditions, confident handling, and responsive steering with a specialized winter focused tread compound and carefully tested molding. The tires meet the industry requirements for severe snow service, so you can rest assured they will perform well no matter the weather during the winter months.

They have a high silica content to keep them softer and more flexible in cold weather, with wide tread blocks on the outboard shoulders for lateral grip in dry weather and a high void ratio in the middle and inboard shoulder for better traction in wet weather. The center groove around the circumference works with lateral notches to remove water and slush so you avoid the dangers of hydroplaning. High sipe density gives you greater confidence even in deep snow and on ice. The internal structure is balanced for durability and comfort in your ride.

PROS

  • Great, long tread life
  • Excellent traction in slushy and wet conditions
  • Well priced for a snow tire

CONS

  • Not as functional in deep snow and ice as studded tires

6. Dunlop Winter Maxx WM02 Tires

Dunlop Winter Maxx WM02 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 11/32”
  • Max Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

Dunlop Winter Maxx WM02 Tires provide confident traction and braking in all winter conditions, giving you reassurance in your overall safety. The asymmetrical tread pattern and broader profile of the tire than its previous version give even pressure distribution for better handling as well as longer wear.

The asymmetric tread pattern gives greater performance in inclement weather, with wide circumferential grooves and lateral notches providing water and slush evacuation that keeps you on the road without hydroplaning. The sipe density improves biting edges for additional traction in snow and ice. Internal construction includes polyamide reinforcement to enhance overall handling, as well as improve performance at higher speeds, so you don’t have to crawl through snow and slush.

PROS

  • Incredibly smooth and quiet for a snow tire
  • Durable with long tread life and even wear
  • Excellent traction in snow and slush

CONS

  • None

7. General Altimax Arctic 12 Tires

General Altimax Arctic 12 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 12/32”
  • Max Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

General Altimax Arctic 12 Tires are well rated by drivers of crossovers and compact SUVs like the Subaru Forester for use in traditional winter conditions, ranking well for traction across all types of weather. Highly directional tread patterns blend with an arrow shaped rigid central rib to keep your driving on center and provide exceptional steering responsiveness regardless of slush, ice, and snow on the road.

The tread contour has been optimized to properly distribute pressure over the entire footprint of the tire, which gives you more surface contact with the road and reduces any uneven tread wear. The high void angled grooves work with lateral notches to plow through water and slush without hydroplaning, while andled tread blocks have been strategically located, alone with serrated sipes, to create the ideal biting edges so you get exceptional traction in slippery and icy conditions.

PROS

  • Excellent even and long tread wear properties
  • Well suited for wet, slushy, icy, and snowy conditions
  • Well priced for snow tires

CONS

  • Not rated as highly for comfort and quiet

8. Firestone Winterforce 2 Tires

Firestone Winterforce 2 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 12/32”
  • Max Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Firestone Winterforce 2 Tires are not studded but are studable, so they are rated for adding studs in severe snow and ice seasons. They are ideally suited to coupes, sedans, minivans, and SUVs and provide traction in all wintry conditions. They utilize a special compound for cold weather, combined with a directional tread pattern and deep circumferential grooves that work to push water and slush away, so you don’t have to worry about hydroplaning in severe weather conditions.

Meanwhile, the contact patch and thousands of biting edges keep contact with the road and provide traction in snow and ice. The internal structure of the tire is crafted to ensure strength as well as improved ride quality. Your security is paramount, with these tires meeting the industry requirements for severe snow service.

PROS

  • Top notch wet performance and hydroplaning resistance
  • Excellent traction in snow and ice
  • Great price point for those on a budget

CONS

  • Fast tread wear

9. Goodyear Wintercommand Tires

Goodyear Wintercommand Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 13/32”
  • Max Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

Goodyear Wintercommand Tires are so well designed for crossovers and SUVs like the Subaru Forester that some have even purchased a set for plow trucks and heavy-duty vehicles. These tires use a compound designed to maximize traction and flexibility in winter weather and cold temperatures.

The molding gives you a directional tread pattern with deep grooves on the circumference and wide lateral notches with open shoulders. This channels slush and water out of the path of the contact patch for greater traction and resistance to hydroplaning. The high density of sipes that are full depth and zigzagged give you the biting edges you need to get ideal grip in snow and ice.

PROS

  • Reliable steering responsiveness in all conditions
  • Excellent on highway and city streets
  • Great on hills and at cornering in adverse conditions

CONS

  • May be slippery when changing lanes

10. Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 Tires

Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 10/32”
  • Max Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 Tires is ideally suited for drivers of sports cars, coupes, and performance sedans and SUVs, meaning you’ll get great service out of them on your Subaru Forester. They look good while also offering improved handling and mobility with excellent traction in winter conditions.

The cold weather tread compound has a directional pattern that helps with heading and traction, as well as hydroplaning resistance, in wet and slushy conditions, creating confident grip and better braking. You have multiple speed ratings, so you can get enhanced speed control even in winter, based on the 3D sipes and other features that increase traction and steering response, as well as cornering ability. These tires remain attractive while still meeting the industry requirements for severe snow service.

PROS

  • Great aesthetic without compromising winter performance
  • Excellent traction and braking in slick environments
  • Great through deep snow

CONS

  • May feel too soft if temperatures rise above 40˚F

11. Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 Tires

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 9.5/32”
  • Max Pressure: 50 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 Tires are ideal for more enthusiastic drivers who prefer to maintain high performance in snow and ice, with higher speeds and more difficult terrain. The directional tread pattern features high sipe density and broad shoulder blocks, as well as a wide central groove. These work together to create overall stability, reliable cornering, and hydroplaning resistance in all winter weather types, including slush, ice, and snow.

In addition, the undertread helps reduce rolling resistance so you get better fuel economy, even in winter. The two-ply polyester casing is meant to increase comfort while also keeping tires durable, with extra reinforcement for high speed stability and better steering responsiveness.

PROS

  • Ideal performance in snow, even on inclined and difficult terrain
  • Exceptional steering responsiveness
  • Extremely quiet and comfortable for snow tires

CONS

  • A bit pricey

12. Vredestein Wintrac Pro Tires

Vredestein Wintrac Pro Tires
  • Size: 225/55R18
  • Tread Depth: 10/32”
  • Max Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year, First 2/32” of wear

Vredestein Wintrac Pro Tires are great for high powered crossovers and SUVs, including the Forester, with maximum grip in all winter conditions and incredible control and steering response, combined with improved traction in adverse weather. The technologically advanced design incorporates features that reassure you in cold, ice, snow, and slush while also providing an attractive appearance.

The footprint was engineered in a way that you get incredible steering responsiveness, with broad shoulders that give you more lateral grip and improved cornering, even at high speeds. A directional tread pattern that is enhanced with silica and resin increases braking performance in inclement weather while also providing improved traction all the way around. These efficiently evacuate water for reduced hydroplaning danger, and high angle sipes improve driving in snow and ice.

PROS

  • Excellent response at high speeds for spirited drivers
  • Great style combined with performance
  • Ideally priced for the budget conscious

CONS

  • Some may feel these are overly stylized

Conclusion

Snow tires are ideal for replacing your all-season tires in environments where you expect harsh winters with lots of snow and ice. Getting snow tires for your Subaru Forester doesn’t mean you have to give up style or comfort, and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to assure your safety while driving in inclement weather. Take the time to assure you choose the right size tire for your Subaru Forester, and you’ll want to determine if there’s a need for studded tires or not, based on the type of winter weather you expect. In the end, there are plenty of options suited to your particular needs, if you just do a little research.