Best Summer Tires 2021: Review & Buying Guide

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The summer season is a season that brings warmth, dry roads, and the need for summer tires. It is somewhat hard to make the best choices regardless of what you are shopping for. It is the same with tires. However, you can always make the best choice by looking at your priorities and needs, as well as the tire’s characteristics.

Summer tires are made to offer agility and speed with a design that boosts high performance. The improved braking, better handling, and quick responsiveness at corners are some of the features you will find in an industry standard summer tire.

If you are looking for the best summer tires for your vehicles, you have come to the right place as we have listed the best summer tires you will find in the market. These summer tires are great for all types of cars, even the most powerful sports cars. These summer tires are built to give you the best control in warm conditions. 

Most Affordable

Federal-595-Evo_lg_super

Federal 595 EVO

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Editor's Pick

continental extremecontact sport

Continental ExtremeContact

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Best UHP

nitto nt555 g2

Nitto NT555 G2

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#1

Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport

bridgestone potenza re760

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The Bridgestone Potenza RE670 Sport delivers excellent dry and wet road performances. This model has very good braking power and the cornering is also great. Even though it has a low profile, the RE760 Sport delivers a comfortable ride and doesn’t have the extreme road noise that other tires in its category are known for.

Even more tantalizing in the RE670 Sport, is the long-lasting tread life. The Potential RE760 has a design that maximizes the sporty driving desire when accelerating in high-end luxury cars. Bridgestone built this tire to deliver as one of the best high-performance tires and it does this by offering excellent tire response in dry and wet conditions.

#2

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

michelin pilot sport 4s

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The Pilot Super Sport is a part of Michelin’s Max Performance Tire range and it delivers on its promise. It has a status as one of the best high-performance summer tires. This is because it was initially launched as the OEM for most of the exclusive high-performance cars in the market.

The Pilot Super Sport offers excellent cornering grip and it delivers a performance that ranks among the best in its class. To add to that, the wet and dry traction is outstanding, and the ride comfort is as impressive as the other features. What makes it better is the 30,000-mile warranty that it has, a number that is uncommon among tires in its class.

The Pilot Super Sport was designed to boost the performance of whatever vehicle they are mounted too, and it delivers exclusive handling, durability, and great traction.

#3

Michelin Pilot Super Sport

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The Pilot Super Sport is a part of Michelin’s Max Performance Tire range and it delivers on its promise. It has a status as one of the best high-performance summer tires. This is because it was initially launched as the OEM for most of the exclusive high-performance cars in the market.

The Pilot Super Sport offers excellent cornering grip and it delivers a performance that ranks among the best in its class. To add to that, the wet and dry traction is outstanding, and the ride comfort is as impressive as the other features. What makes it better is the 30,000-mile warranty that it has, a number that is uncommon among tires in its class.

The Pilot Super Sport was designed to boost the performance of whatever vehicle they are mounted to, and it delivers exclusive handling, durability, and great traction.

#4

Continental ExtremeContact Sport

continental extremecontact sport

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Continental built the ExtremeContact Sport to give maximum performance in summer for powerful sports cars, luxury vehicles, and high-performing sedans. This summer tire was built using the top technology from Continental, as the company used two-ply sidewall to deliver top strength and outstanding performance in the ExtremeContact Sport.

The new Continental ExtremeContact Sport was released in 2017, and it improves on the ExtremeContact DW to deliver outstanding handling and excellent traction, particularly on wet terrains. It is rated as one of the best summer tires for wet grip. With an excellent tread life and good cornering grip as a result of the use of the latest technology and enhanced features, the ExtremeContact Sport delivers on its promises.

#5

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

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The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 is a summer tire built for ultra-high performance vehicles. It stands out in the delivery of top performance during the summer period. It was built to perform well in warm, dry, and wet conditions. The Potenza S-04 Pole Position is one of the best available right now for all-around performance.

It offers an all-round performance with outstanding cornering grip and precision steering. Bridgestone engineered this to be among the rather quiet UHP tires in the market.

The Potenza S-04 Pole Position is one of the top high-performance summer tires around right now.

#6

Firestone Firehawk Indy 500

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The Firehawk Indy 500 has proven to be one of the best ultra high performance summer tires in its class since its release in 2016. It has an aggressive nice-looking tread pattern and gives a top performance on dry & wet roads. It was built for serious driving fanatics. It has racing-inspired technology and the way it is engineered, it has superior handling and traction.  It also has excellent acceleration and braking.

Powerful sedans, sports cars, and sports cars all have a thing in common – they all have needed a high performance, endurable summer tires. The Firehawk Indy 500 merits its spot among the high rated UHP tires. It was designed for maximum performance in both moderate and high temperatures. Firestone used the latest tire production technology in making the Firehawk Indy 500.

#7

BFGoodrich G-Force Sport Comp 2

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The G-Force Sport Comp 2 has a tread compound that has a great cornering grip that is as sticky as glue. This summer tire from BFGoodrich delivers high performance in the season. This tire delivers high steering control and a great feel, as well as firm traction on dry and wet surfaces. The new g-Force Sport Comp 2 also is a tire with good value as it comes at a low price.

Tire-manufacturing companies need to produce high performing tires as the latest muscle cars are gradually coming with extra powerful engines. BFGoodrich has raised their game and matched the powerful engines with the G-Force Sport Comp.

#8

Nitto NT555 G2

nitto nt555 g2

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The NT555 G2 surpasses its predecessors for performance, as it offers better handling, traction, and braking. The NT555 G2 from Nitto is their gift for spirited drivers. In the past few years, Nitto has created a name for its brand through the high-performance tire lineup, and as it stands, the NT555 G2 might be the best UHP tire in the market.

Nitto put their focus on increasing braking, traction, and cornering grip in the NT555 G2 and this is evident.  For drivers that need staggered fitments, the NT555 is among the top UHP tires that can deliver this.

#9

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

bridgestone potenza re-11

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The Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 offers wet and dry traction by deploying the latest technology that has been used in Grand Prix 2 and Formula 1 race tires. The 3-D seamless Stealth technology offers enhanced cornering grip which boosts driving pleasure for performance vehicle drivers.

The ride comfort and tread life is better than what we expected, which helps the tire’s popularity among driving fanatics. The Potenza RE-11 is a super-high performance tire and one of the best high-performance summer tires in the world built for driving enthusiasts and energetic drivers who love to drive high-performance vehicles.

The Potenza RE-11 was built to provide such high-speed drivers with more comfort and control when driving through corners and better grip.

#10

Federal 595 EVO

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The 595 Evo from Federal is on this list of best summer tires due to the excellent performance it delivers, and its budget-friendly price. In our opinion, it is the best budget-friendly UHP summer tire that you can find in the current market. Its cornering grip is at the level of the premium summer tires in the market, and the steering is highly responsive and quick.

When it comes to price to performance comparison, the 595 Evo offers excellent value. It is undoubtedly one of the best high-performance tires in the market. The 595 Evo is the leading ultra-high performance tire made for summertime by Federal. It was produced with top technology to deliver a great driving experience when drivers are at the highest speeds.

Best Summer Tires: Buying Guide

All-Season vs. Summer Tires: What's the difference?

A lot of drivers do not understand the difference between all-season tires and summer tires. However, the purpose for which both are built are quite different and they are meant to serve in different conditions. Each has a unique level of performance, handling, and responsiveness. 

The major difference between summer tires and all-season tires is the tread depth. All-season tires have tread depths that are deeper than that of a summer tire. They also have long-lasting tread life than summer tires, but they are not as responsive as summer tires in top speed situations. All-season tires are built for longevity, ride comfort, and adaptability. They also offer decent performance during winter but they do not have the level of control of winter tires. 

Summer tires are built for high performance, as the tread patterns have less grooves and a high level of grip on the road during summer. They might not last as much or provide good control during winter, but their level of responsiveness at high speeds is top notch. The tread pattern of summer tires also reduces hydroplaning risk on wet surfaces. 

How to get the most out of your summer tires

Why should you buy summer tires?

Unique tread designs: summer tires come with tread designs that are exclusively made for improving grip and traction in dry conditions. You do not find this commonly for other seasons. The tread designs include surface tread depths that help the tire grip and control. It also allows for smooth vehicle handling, even on wet roads.

Enhanced summer performance: all-season tires are quite convenient because you do not have to change them no matter the weather. However, they do not offer you top performance in any season. What they do is meet the average needs of your vehicle. Summer tires guarantee top performance when it is the warm season. They are built to perform better than any other type of tire during this season.

Safety: summer tires have a top grip level on the roads no matter how hot the temperature gets. These summer tires maintain their soft texture and flexibility for smooth movement on dry and hot roads. Summer tires are optimized for heat resistance and have a quicker response to brakes during the warm months. This means you have a shorter stopping distance which can save you from colliding with the next vehicle.

Good manufacturing materials: when you compare the best summer tires to other tires, they often perform better for rigidity and elasticity. The tread compounds of high-performing summer tires often have less rubber to give them the correct stiffness level. They also have the capability to perform even at significantly high-temperature levels.

Key features of a summer tire

Tread Design: the tread patterns in a summer tire is specialized and designed to improve handling and traction on the road. The treads have fewer grooves that ensure maximum rubber contact with the road and boost the grip. They also feature shallow tread depths that helps maintain the stability of the vehicle at top speed.

Size: you must pick the right tire size for your vehicle and ensure that it matches the specifications for your vehicle. If you are not going to the auto shop to pick the tires, you can go online to search for the right size for your car by model, make, and year.

Other things to consider when buying a summer tire includes,

Speed Index: the speed index is the top speed a tire can sustain. It is often noted with a letter inscribed on the tire’s sidewall. Tires that have the T, H, S, and Z speed rating can get up to 118, 130, 112, and 149 mph respectively.

Wet Traction: when choosing the best summer tire, go for one that is built to perform well in wet conditions. The treads must help reduce the risk of hydroplaning and remove water for top wet traction.

Why summer tires perform better in heat and rain

Summer tires are built to perform optimally under baking hot conditions, slightly wet, and heavily wet conditions. This is because they are built from a tread compound that contains sticky additives for better grip in wet conditions. This tire blend as well offers a level of stiffness that helps tires retain their shape when the weather is so hot. It makes sure the rolling resistance is minimal on hot surfaces.

Because summer tires usually have tread patterns that have straighter and shallower grooves, as well as continuous and solid ribs than all-season tires, the rubber is always on contact with the road when driving. This results in better stability when you are cornering, and better acceleration and braking when on high speeds. 

Summer tires are high performance tires and they often feature asymmetrical or uni-directional tread patterns and this will make the tire rotation options to be limited in some cases. In some cases, you are only able to rotate the front tires to opposite sides. 

Although it might be news to many drivers that summer tires always outperform all-season tires for dry and wet traction, there is something that will not surprise: Summer tires do not offer winter traction. This is because they get rigid in cold temperature and are not safe to use in ice or snowy conditions.

Best pricing for summer tires

BELOW $200

The cheaper a tire is, the shorter its tread life. It is a rarity to find a tire cheaper than $150 that can offer over 20,000 miles of tread life. Tires within this price range still offer decent performance on a dry surface. However, you have to know that there will not be cheaper models when purchasing summer tires in wintertime. Regardless of the level of demand, the price of summer tires rarely changes.

ABOVE $200

Summer tires that are over $200 in price are often durable and most of them will give you about 30,000 miles of tread life. Tires in this price range are usually premium tires made for luxury cars and sports cars. They offer some of the best performance deliverables, as they are precise, controllable, and offer outstanding braking performance. However, you still have to read reviews before buying them so as not to squander money for brand names. 

Best Summer Tires: FAQs

What is a high-performance tire?

Performance tires are specially made for vehicle owners that require a high predictability level and responsive traction, handling, and grip in both dry and wet weather conditions. The construction and design of these high-performing tires, which includes the tread compounds and patterns allows vehicle owners to get exactly what they want in tires – without having to sacrifice mileage, tread life and ride comfort.

How long can a summer tire last for?

The tread life on summer tires does not last as long as that of touring tires and all-season tires. Summer tires last for 30,000 miles at most. The major reason for this is because the tire’s rubber quality may be affected by the summer heat as it drains its oil. The rubber in turn loses its elasticity and has tears, cracks, and bad traction.

Can summer tires be used in rainy conditions?

The answer to this is yes. It is a fact that summer tires have superior traction and better handling than most all-season tires in rainy conditions. However, summer tires are not made to handle freezing temperatures. When the temperature gets too cold, you will need to switch to winter tires for better grip on snowy and icy surfaces.

Are high-performance tires susceptible to wear out faster?

The designs and compounds of high-performance tires help boost the driving experience. However, these attributes can also cause faster wear out in your tires. A high-performance tire might offer you better traction and grip, but these same qualities are what will quickly wear out the tire tread and compound. Depending on the way you drive your car, there is a higher tendency for high-performance tires to wear out faster.

How noisy are high-performance tires?

All types of tires produce some level of noise. The level of insulation of your car cabin will determine the rate of noise that comes in. high-performance tires produce less noise due to design attributes like circumferential grooves, tread design, and much more. However, they are not quiet as they are built for a firm grip on the road to deliver the good handling responsiveness that you require at top speed.

Should I buy high-performance summer tires?

For better handling in both dry and wet road conditions, you should go for high-performance summer tires, as they deliver better on this when compared to all-season tires. Some summer tires come with tread patterns that have fewer grooves which results in enhanced road contact. It allows the tires to have better flexibility and a quieter, more comfortable ride as a result of reduced road vibrations.

How do I know the manufacturing date of my tire?

A tire’s manufacturing date is used in estimating the expiry date of the tire or how long it will take before the tire wears out while on the road. It takes 30,000 miles or about 6 months of constant use for most summer tires to wear out. The manufacturing date or age code is usually a four-digit number inscribed on the sidewall. The first two digits indicate the week it was manufactured and the last two digits indicate the year it was manufactured.

What temperature is the best for summer tires?

45°F is an ideal temperature reference point to have in mind. Summer tires usually work at optimal level in temperatures 45°F and above.

Therefore, summer tires should ideally go off when temperature is below 45°F and come back on when the temperature is above that. 

What type of tire is right for me?

The right type of tire for you is determined by your location and what you want from your vehicle. For drivers in locations with tough winter conditions, it is preferable that you use an all-season tire as it will last through the year before you need to change it.

If what you want is high-performance and you do not have a problem with changing your tires often, summer tires will be great for you. 

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