If you want to be safe while driving in winter weather, snow socks are important to have to improve traction to your wheels. These relatively new driving accessories are easier to put on than snow chains, and are important to have in your winter driving kit.
What are snow socks for tires and how do you use them? Here is everything you need to know.
What are Snow Socks?
Before deciding you need to buy a set of snow socks, you need to know what they are, how they work and when to use them. Otherwise, you might be wasting money on items you don’t need. Be sure to see my helpful comparison of snow socks vs. snow chains.
Driving in snow socks is very similar to driving with snow chains. They are a contraption that fits over your tires to increase traction on snowy and icy roads.
However, snow socks are made from a strong textile with an elastic ridge instead of chains with a ratcheting system. The primary material used in manufacturing snow socks is polyester fiber. This polyester material is highly absorbent and soaks up moisture from the road while also increasing traction due to its structure.
Snow socks generally cover the wheel’s entire tread, with some also covering the hub cap to stop snow from building up on the rim.
Before applying snow socks to your car tires, you should always check the user manual to ensure it is safe to do so. Snow socks tend to work especially well on vehicles with anti-braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability programs (ESP).
How To Fit Snow Socks
Fitting snow socks to your tires is easy. It is not much different than fitting snow chains to your tires.
Before doing anything, you will need to check what kind of transmission your car is. You need to apply snow socks to all your drive wheels. So, if you have a 4X4, you will need to put snow socks on all four wheels.
- Snow socks are available for pick-up trucks and cars. There are several sizes available, so ensure you pick up the right size to fit your tires. Don’t worry if you have low-profile tires—most snow socks will fit regardless.
- Park your car and put on the handbrake. Stretch the elastic edge over the width of your tire. In order to fit the snow socks around the tires, you will need to drive forward or backward a couple of feet to expose the rest of the tire so you can fit it on correctly.
- You’ll find applying snow socks is must less difficult than snow chains. Once you have successfully fit your snow socks on the tires, you will need to reduce your driving speeds to between 20 and 30mph. Otherwise, you will lose traction at higher speeds.
Best Snow Socks
Snow socks are becoming increasingly popular, as they tend to be cheaper than most snow chains. Here are a few of the best brands that we recommend.
Isse Shark C90062 Snow Socks
The Isse Shark C90062 Snow Socks are among the most popular on the market. These snow socks claim to work better than snow chains and feature metal studs for additional grip.
Isse Shark snow socks are perfect for a variety of different vehicles, including minivans and SUVs. With no large ridges, these snow socks give a smooth ride and do not cause damage to a car like some snow chains.
One downside of these snow socks is they do not cover hub caps like some other brands on the market. The max speed limit for Isse Shark snow socks is 30mph.
AutoSock Snow Socks
These no-fuss snow socks have excellent reviews for their straightforward use and reliability. AutoSock Snow Socks are approved by the TUV SUD for use on most vehicle classes. You can use them on cars with alloy rims, making them preferable to snow chains for some drivers.
Designed in Norway, these snow socks are easy to fit during a snowstorm. They are also machine washable, which means you can easily clean them after using them in slushy snow and salt.
See this comparison between AutoSock, ISSE Snow Shock and Michelin Easy Grip:
Jshanmei Snow Socks
Inexpensive and effective, Jshanmei Snow Socks are ideal if you are shopping on a budget. These snow socks come in a range of different sizes, including sizes that will fit SUVs.
The Jshanmei Snow Socks cover part of the tire rim and feature additional support cables to ensure they last longer than standard snow socks. Made from 100% polyester fibers, these snow socks provide better traction than most other brands. They also meet the Society of Automotive Engineers (S.A.E) class “S” clearance requirement, so you know they work well on tires with low clearance.
Like most snow socks, Jshanmei Snow Socks are machine washable for easy cleaning.
For more winter weather tips, check out these articles:
- How to Remove Snow Without a Shovel
- How to Remove Ice and Snow from Your Windshield
- How to Remove Snow from Composite Decking or Balcony