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Best Tires for Florida – Recommended & Reviews

States like Florida, where the climate remains hot for the better part of the year, are a dream-come-true for enthusiast drivers. When the asphalt is melting, tire rubber grips the road brilliantly, thereby increasing the stability of your vehicle. Hence the reason why all car races take place during the summer months.

Having said that, when it rains in Florida, it pours. That realization should make you careful when choosing the best tires for Florida weather. After all, and as you might know yourself, racing tires that are designed to be driven on dry asphalt won’t maintain their performance on wet roads.

Everything we said above means that while summer tires are the best option for Florida climate, there will be times – like those when it’s raining or in the aftermath of a heavy shower – when you’d yearn for the wet weather performance that only all-season tires can offer.

Sounds confusing? You don’t need to fret as we’ve selected the best year-round tires for Florida.

Best Tires for Florida Weather

Cooper CS5

Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring

One of the misconceptions people have about the Cooper CS5 is that it’s only a tire for the vehicle with the same name. That isn’t true as this ultra-touring tire is available in all sizes. You can – and probably must – order it if you live in Florida due to its features mentioned down below.

Features

Since they are designed to be driven on clean roads, touring tires generally don’t feel the need to have features that keep treadwear at bay. The Cooper CS5 is different as it contains 3D grooves that interlock with each other to increase the contact of the tread with the road.

The Cooper CS5 earns two benefits from this arrangement. First, the increase in the tire’s surface area that comes into contact with the road plays a huge part in increasing its overall grip. Second, and this benefit stems from the first, the increase in grip also has a positive effect on this tire’s traction.

All of us know that tire’s tread wears down with excessive use. The manufacturer of CS5 has resolved this issue by providing this tire with features that a) have a positive impact on its wear performance and b) gives you the indicators using which you can measure the tire wear.

This tire boasts better wear performance because it manages to have more siping at half-worn. The latter feature, meanwhile, comes in the shape of a visual wear indicator, one which changes its shape to indicate you of the remaining tread life of the CS5.

A close inspection of this tire will reveal that it has two ‘Wear Square’ – one on the inner and the other on the outer side. They aren’t there to just embellish this tire’s looks. Provided you feel that both the squares are at different levels, it’s a sign that your car needs realignment.

Pros

  • 3D siping stabilizes the tread
  • Comes with a visual wear indicator
  • Has alignment indicators

Cons

  • Not for winter

Michelin Defender LTX

Michelin Defender LTX M/S

The Michelin Defender LTX is similar to other all-season tires in the sense that it reserves its best performance for dry tarmac. That isn’t to say that this model won’t hold its own on wet surfaces. But if you want to get the best out of it, take it on the highway.

Features

One of the reasons why its users find this tire so attractive is its huge treadwear warranty. Its 215/75415 100T and 235/75R15/XL 109T sizes both come with 70,000 miles warranty that is above-average for all-season tires. The 31×10.50R15/C 109R, meanwhile, would be under warranty for 50,000 miles.

Regardless of the tire size that would fit your vehicle, you can count on them to provide you with benefits, thanks to Michelin’s exclusive technologies. Our favorite among them is its Evertread technology which allows the tire to withstand abuse by reinforcing its inner substances.

That isn’t to say that the Comfort Control Technology has less utility. You’ll value this more if you value having long rides with zero vibrations and tire noise. That can’t be said about this tire’s Intellisipe Technology, though, as its main function is to increase the LTX’s biting edges to increase its grip.

Since you’re going to use this tire in the hot weather of Florida, you’d no doubt find its reinforced internal structure helpful on speedy rides. It features twin steel belts and has MaxTouch construction that evenly distributes the forces of braking, acceleration, and cornering. So this tire won’t deform under pressure.

Lastly, since the Sunshine State is known for its vicious weather, you’d need a tire that could hold its own on wet surfaces. The Michelin LTX will do much more than holding its own, thanks in no small part to its 3D active sipes. Their invisibility to the naked eye doesn’t stop them from increasing the tire’s stability.

Pros

  • Good grip on wet roads
  • Quiet riding experience
  • Long tread life and warranty

Cons

  • Poor in snow

Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Michelin Pilot Super Sport

When we went on our search for the best tires for Florida, our main goal was to pinpoint the options that do well in searing, hot conditions. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport perfectly fits the bill as this tire reserves its best performance when the mercury has gone through the roof.

Features

Most people don’t expect summer tires to do well in winter. We didn’t as well. But that was before we came across the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. So brilliant is this tire’s grip – and we can say that from the experience of driving it on wet roads – is that there are no chances of it oversteering your vehicle.

Even if you aren’t one of those drivers who test the speedometer to its limits, the enhanced grip of these tires will help you in corners. It also helps deliver a better steering wheel by enhancing the control the same has over the sideways movement of the tires.

That’s mainly because of its bi-compound tread that this model provides a brilliant grip in all weather conditions. Michelin claims that 80% of the rubber used in its tread has been optimized for wet handling, with the remaining taking care of dry handling.

Its Variable Contact Patch 2.0, for those of you who don’t know, is a fancy name of the Super Sport’s tread patterns. Though there’s nothing superficial about the better speed pressure that it provides. It changes its shape as you press the pedal to ensure that rubber remains in contact with the road at all times.

Pros

  • Excellent cornering and braking capabilities
  • Retain structural rigidity at high speeds
  • 80/20 wet & dry tread design ensures wet traction

Cons

  • Make a little noise

Firestone Firehawk Indy 500

Firestone Firehawk Indy 500

The fieriness in the name of the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 will tell you from afar that it’s an ultra-high performance tire designed to test the speed limits of your vehicle. That makes it an excellent choice for SUVs, coupes and many other models.

Features

Since we stated that this model has all the characteristics of the racing tire, it’s time we pinpoint those characteristics. It has extreme braking and cornering powers, provides great steering response at high speeds and the traction to give you full grip over your vehicle at slippery surfaces.

It’s its silica-enhanced tread rubber compound as well as the molded asymmetric tread design that allows this tire to tick all the ‘racing-car-boxes’ with aplomb. While the former has the flexibility to hold its own on wet surfaces, the latter is designed to be grippier on dry tarmac.

Should you ever feel the distance of instant braking, the Pulse Groove Technology of this tire will perfectly complement your vehicle’s ABS brakes. Its continuous center rib offers an enhanced steering response whereas the silica tread compound (again) increases its sturdiness.

Like the Michelin Super Sport we saw earlier, you can rely on these tires for traction and cornering grip. That’s mainly because of its larger independent shoulder tread blocks and stiffer sidewall. Both join their forces to give this tire a more biting edge, regardless of whether it’s hot or cold out there.

Finally, to make sure you remain safe while driving in torrential Florida rains, the circumferential grooves and open shoulder pattern of this tire play their part. While the former effectively channel water from beneath the tire’s footprint, the latter increases your vehicle’s contact with the road.

Pros

  • Deliver brilliant all-weather performance
  • Extreme controllability and handling in wet weather
  • Prevent hydroplaning with their tread design
  • Resist heat build-up with their L.L. Carbon compound

Cons

  • Pricey

Bridgestone Potenza S-04

Bridgestone Potenza S-04

Even before we made this revelation that these tires were best for Florida weather, the drivers in the Sunshine State had already got a hint. We can say that because of the friends we have there, most of them who have sporty vehicles install this tire.

Features

These tires do well what they are supposed to do. Their on-road traction in summer conditions is second to none and they provide brilliant braking, cornering and acceleration capabilities. Having them underneath your vehicle will have a positive impact on your coupe’s ‘pick’.

Provided you’re driving in wet conditions, you won’t have to worry about water making its way inside the channels and disturbing the tire’s contact with the road surface. The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 has slanted lateral grooves that channel water away to prevent the danger of hydroplaning.

High-speed durability is yet another area where these tires really shine, whose credit goes to their sturdy internal structure. That’s because these tires have twin steel belts reinforced by spirally wrapped nylon to enhance their sturdiness.

Your comfort is made sure even at breakneck speeds. Their sidewalls feature active rubber inserts in the proximity of bead areas which not only suss-out vibrations but also contribute to the tire’s stiffness, thereby blending ride comfort with the cornering grip of these tires.

Lastly, there are two areas where we’d have liked these tires perform better. The first of them is its tread, which, provided you drive at high speed, won’t need an invitation to wear down quickly. The second is its cold-weather performance which is average, by every definition of the term.

Pros

  • Enhanced dry road steering response
  • Better straight-line braking forces
  • Slanted lateral grooves prevent hydroplaning
  • Inside shoulder blocks keep vibrations at a minimum

Cons

  • Tread wears down quickly

Michelin Defender T+H

Michelin Defender T+H

All the tires that we reviewed thus far showed their best performance on dry tarmac. The Michelin Defender T+H is a bit different. You can count on this tire to keep performing at the same optimal level even when you leave Florida and drive up north, as its winter characteristics are good as well.

Features

Michelin has never disappointed when it comes to providing its tires with new technologies. The Defender T+H, thankfully, isn’t an exception to the norm. It features Comfort Control technology which increases this tire’s road grip. So you can expect a comfortable and vibration-free drive.

Aside from that, this tire also has ‘Intellisipe Technology’. What it does is increase the biting edges of this model. In fact, it won’t be wrong to suggest that it’s this feature which is responsible for this tire’s better cold-weather performance – as it has resulted in the increase in traction.

To help you save money in the long run, this tire’s ‘Maxtouch Technology’ plays its part. It evenly distributes the tire’s footprint on the road, thereby balancing the forces of cornering, acceleration, and braking. Such an arrangement lowers stress points and helps the tread last longer.

That technology isn’t the only reason why this tire must be your companion for wet weather. Its zigzag sipes play an important role as well. Joining their forces with the Intellisipe technology, these biting edges empower the Defender T+H to keep on providing grip on extra-slippery surfaces.

On top of everything else, this tire’s circumferential grooves help prevent the emergence of the phenomenon of hydroplaning. They do that by effectively removing the water which comes inside the tire’s tread. So you’d always be able to retain full control over your vehicle.

Pros

  • Maintains grip on extra-slippery surfaces
  • Circumferential grooves prevent hydroplaning
  • Quiet and comfortable ride

Cons

  • Not for off-road terrain

Michelin Premier A/S

Michelin Premier A/S

Due to features that we’re going to mention in the next section, two specific characteristics of this tire earned it a place in this review. First, it offers an excellent combination of comfort and controllability. Secondly, thanks to its internal steel belts, this tire will outlast its relatively low treadlife warranty.  

Features

Should you be concerned that this tire has the lowest treadlife warranty of any model in this review? You probably won’t once you know as much about its features as we do. Take, for instance, its ‘EverGrip’ technology – which justifies its name by providing a brilliant grip in all weather conditions.

Then there is the ‘Comfort Control Technology’ whose benefits we’ve already mentioned. More important is the combo of silica and sunflower oil used in its tread. In fact, we won’t be exaggerating if to say that this amalgam is perhaps what sets this tire apart from other Michelin tires.

Why is that the case? Because both the substances (silica and sunflower oil) provide the tread with their own benefits. Sunflower oil increases the inner sturdiness of the tread, which translates to better traction on the dry tarmac at high speeds.

Silica, meanwhile, is the yin to the sunflower oil’s yang. Its rubbery nature adds flexibility to the tire and increases its grip on slippery surfaces. Juxtapose both these substances, and what you get is a tire that is high-end when it comes to its durability and sturdiness.

Though not as important as its dual-tread compound, the fact that this model is available in multiple sizes is perhaps crucial. Regardless of whether you drive a mini coupe or Subaru Forester – or even a Toyota Highlander – you’d find a size that you can install on your vehicle.

Pros

  • Excellent traction on all surfaces
  • Comfortable and quiet ride
  • Outstanding handling ability

Cons

  • Relatively low treadlife warranty

Michelin Premier MXM4

Michelin Premier MXM4

Some drivers believe and spread the rumor that all-season tires cannot be ultra-touring – a myth which the Michelin Premier MXM4 bucks with aplomb. Despite it being a year-round tire, its W Speed Rating means that it will let you drive on highways crisscrossing Florida at the speed of 168 miles per hour.

Features

Without specifying how it does the same, Michelin claims in the brochure of this tire that its sunflower seed oil does wonders for its performance. We were able to verify this claim as the presence of this slightly awkward substance helped us navigate deep puddles with maximum grip on our Mini Coupe.

At the cost of sounding pedantic, next on the list of useful features of this tire is its ‘Filament At Zero Degrees’ Technology. By placing the nylon filaments inside the tread at a zero degree angle, this technology helps the MXM4 retain its factory-shape for long.

Nothing about this tire will excite the enthusiast crowd as much as the three speed rating of its different sizes. While the first of those three ratings (H) has a maximum speed limit of 130mph, the second (V) and third (W) let you drive at 149mph and 168mph, respectively.

That its huge maximum speed rating lets you (figuratively) fly your vehicle doesn’t mean that compromises have been made in other areas. It still has the 3D Variable Thickness Sipe Technology which we have come to expect of Michelin tires – and which helps this model provide extra grip on loose surfaces.

Further enhancing this tire’s reputation is its internal structure. Most of you might be aware that every tire has internal steel belts which ensure that it maintains its original shape for long. The MXM4 has taken this concept an extra mile – as its steel belts also suss-out road vibrations.

 Pros

  • Green-X certification guarantees better fuel efficiency
  • Sunflower Oil Helo Technology for better grip
  • Maximum speed rating of 168mph

Cons

  • Expensive

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Provided you came here looking for a tire which takes no prisoners on dry tarmac, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S might be the best choice for you. It comes loaded with technologies and has a new hybrid compound which make this tire the best for high-speed travels.

Features

Both the inner as well as the outer part of this tire uses unique compounds to take their performance to the next level. The inner side has silica and functional elastomers that provide flexibility and, therefore, give you a slippage-free experience in rainy conditions.

The outer side, meanwhile, has what Michelin calls its new hybrid compound. It adds to the tire’s sturdiness and is therefore responsible for its dry tarmac grip. You get the same sort of asymmetry once you turn your attention away from the tire and towards the tread pattern.

Just like tire’s rubber, the tread’s outer pattern is designed in such a way as to provide grip on dry tarmac. The inner one, which you might have guessed by now, has all the traits to take this tire’s wet-road performance to a whole new level.

Sturdiness is another area where this model really shines. It has foregone the steel belt which you see in so many tires, including some in this review. On its place, this tire has gone for the amalgam of aramid fiber and nylon. Both these parts increase your vehicle’s steering responsiveness.

On top of that, the ‘Premium Touch’ logo that adorns the outer side of the tire couldn’t have been brighter – thereby serving a useful purpose of making this model attractive to the onlookers.

Pros

  • Has aesthetic appeal
  • Admirable performance under stress
  • Precise steering control

Cons

  • Tread wears quickly

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2

Ask your local tire dealer, and they might dissuade the budget-minded among you from purchasing ultra-performance tires stating that these tires are out of your price range. Once you’ve listened to their rhetoric, you’d only then realize how bigger a gift is the BFGoodrich g-Force is for you.

Features

In case you were wondering, the reason why we’re gushing about this tire is its budget price tag. That’s a huge plus-point once you consider that it’s an ultra-performance tire – as these are models that are traditionally on the higher-end of the price spectrum.

That said, corners haven’t been cut to keep its price low. The stability of this tire is as impressive as high-speeds as it is at the lower ones. The main credit for that goes to its silica compound and Performance Racing Core, two features that lend this tire great handling abilities.

Wet handling is above-average as well. We didn’t notice any slippage even when we carried our vehicle through deep puddles. For the sake of comparison, we didn’t find anything different between the wet-handling of this tire and the abovementioned (and highly-priced) Bridgestone Potenza.

All of that is true but there is one area where this tire disappointed. Although we didn’t travel much with this tire installed on our vehicle, our experts could predict that its tread life would be short. Other users who have this tire installed in their vehicle, when interviewed, also echoed the same opinion.

Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Great dry and wet handling
  • Has a directional tread

Cons

  • Low tread life

Advantages of Best Tires for Florida

Florida-Welcome-Sign

Fitting your vehicle with the best tires for Florida will provide you the following benefits:

Better road safety

Go through the reviews of tires mentioned above, and you’d see that almost all of them come with a 60,000 to 70,000 miles treadwear warranty. That their tread would remain intact for long means that these tires would keep on providing brilliant braking powers for the same period, thereby ensuring your safety.

Less fuel consumption

Experts tell us that the wider the tire, the higher will be its rolling resistance, and the more fuel it will consume. The summer tires and all-season tires the polar opposite of this description. They are extremely compact and are, therefore, capable of providing better fuel mileage.

More grip on the road

Two features of a tire determine how much grip it will provide on dry tarmac. They include its tread life and the compound forming the tread. The best tires for Florida all-have huge tread lives and are made of compounds that are flexible, thereby providing better grip on dry tarmac.

Noise-free and comfortable drive

Since they grip the road better and provide more traction on dry tarmac, these tires result in a comfortable traveling experience for the passengers sitting in your car’s cabin.

Why Summer Tires are the Best Tires for Florida?

As stated at the start of this article, summer tires are your best bet if you drive in Florida. This section will prove this assertion beyond doubt by showing why that’s the case.

Summer Tires Have Deeper Treads

As the meteorologists tell us, the climate in Florida swings from one extreme to the other. During the summer season, its average daily temperature is higher than any other US state. The winter season, which starts in May and ends in October, the Sunshine State receives more rain than all American states.

That’s the main reason why summer tires are the best option for Florida. Their deeper treads make sure that the water gathered on the road quickly circles away from the tire. Also, tires with deeper treads are much more likely to maintain their grip on wet roads and pavements.

Summer Tires Resist Hydroplaning Better

Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water builds between your car’s tires and the road surface. In a normal scenario when there isn’t much water on the road, it will lead to slippage. In extreme cases, the hydroplaning will stop your vehicle from responding to its control inputs.

The best summer tires keep this phenomenon at bay. Their tread pattern contains lateral, longitudinal and circumferential grooves. These grooves effectively channel the water from beneath your vehicle’s footprint, so you can be sure that your vehicle won’t lose control even as you race it through deep puddles.

Summer Tires Have Softer Tread Compound

Ask car experts who are worth their salt, and they might tell you that if you want extreme traction from your tires, go for ones that are made of stickier rubber compound. That’s because soft rubber spreads as it rolls, increasing its surface area, and, by extension, its contact with the ground.

That feature allows stickier rubber to boast brilliant grip on both dry and wet roads. All-season tires cannot use this type of compound because, well, they’re all season. More specifically, such tires have to be used in winter as well, where soft rubber will harden, which is why you shouldn’t use all-season tires in Florida.

FAQs

Q: Should I choose performance or high-performance summer tires for Florida?

A: Provided you don’t normally drive at higher top speeds, performance tires are the best option for you if you’re going to use them in Florida’s weather conditions. However, if you have a luxury vehicle or a sporty sedan, the high-performance tires might be a better option for you.

Q: Passenger or Touring tires – which one should I choose for Florida?

A: Both of these tires aren’t recommended unless you’re on a very limited budget. Passenger tires have higher profiles whose stopping power is ridiculously low when compared with, say, summer performance tires. Touring tires, meanwhile, are mostly available in all-season treads whose disadvantages we have already discussed in the first FAQ.

Conclusion

Similar to their friends who live in other states, residents of Florida need to take into account the weather of their area before choosing tires for their vehicles. We too kept this point in consideration while selecting and reviewing the tires mentioned above. That should free up the time which you might have otherwise spent on research, and take you straight to the buying stage.

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