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Best Tires for Subaru Forester Recommended: All Season, All Terrain and More

How to choose the best tires for Subaru Forester? Asking this question in a gathering of car enthusiasts will mainly evoke two types of responses. Some of them might tell you to exploit its roominess and all-weather design. Others might recommend paying more attention to the car’s off-road features.

These two different sets of responses perfectly encapsulate the difficulty you’d face if you decide to search for the best Subaru Forester tires on your own. This is a vehicle that is known for its roominess, excellent on-road abilities and equally great off-road features.

What you need therefore is a pair (or two) which perfectly complements all these features of your Forester, without ignoring any of them. Seems like a difficult task? You don’t have to worry as we’ve rounded up the ten best Subaru Forester tires recommendation along with a detailed buying guide.

Best All Season Tires for Subaru Forester

Continental TrueContact

Continental TrueContact

The Continental TrueContact is a hybrid of all-season and touring tires and has the ability to provide excellent grip on dry tarmac. You can also rely on this tire to provide a good grip on snowy surfaces and it has outstanding wear characteristics as well. It’s truly one of the best all season tires for Subaru Forester.

Features

Multiple features are responsible for this tire’s excellent performance on dry tarmac. The first among them is its brand-new tread compound that hasn’t not only improved its treadwear but also has a positive bearing on its fuel efficiency.

Aside from the tread compound, the symmetric tread pattern of this tire enhances its steering response on paved roads. As long as you drive close to the tire’s speed rating, the tread pattern will ensure that the TrueContact justifies its name and maintains excellent contact with the road.

Turning our attention to its wet traction, that’s where the wide circumferential grooves make their presence felt. They work in tandem with its lateral grooves and provide a channel for water inside the tread to trickle its way out of the tire. This mechanism is crucial as it prevents hydroplaning from surfacing.

If you have already or are deciding to visit the north, or the mercury has dropped below zero in your part of the woods, you won’t have to replace the TrueContact with dedicated winter tires. It comes with siped tread blocks and has unique traction grooves which help this tire maintain its biting edges in snow.

On top of everything else, you won’t have to worry that this tire’s multi-season utility will have a negative bearing on its treadwear. It is equipped with a 90,000-mile treadwear warranty and provided your driving style isn’t bordering on the aggressive, has all the traits to meet it with ease.

Pros

  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Good traction on slippery roads
  • 90,000-mile treadwear warranty

Cons

  • Is expensive

Michelin Defender T+H

Michelin Defender T+H

Have no plans of taking your tire for a ride on snow-laden roads? Live in a climate where the weather rarely goes to the freezing point? If your answer to both these questions is in the affirmative, then perhaps the Defender T+H is a worth-having option.

Features

What is it that impressed us the most about the Michelin Defender T+H? The three technologies which take this model’s performance to the next level. Foremost among them is Michelin’s ‘Comfort Control Technology’ which increases this tire’s road grip to make your ride a comfortable one.

Then comes the ‘Intellisipe Technology’ which ameliorates this tire’s wet-weather performance. It consists of biting edges which not only increase the tire’s grip (comfort is taken care of) but all improve its all-season traction to make sure that on wet surfaces, there is no danger of the skidding.

Hot on the heels of the abovementioned duo is the ‘Maxtouch Technology’. It will save your money in the long run by evenly distributing this model’s contact forces on the road. As it does that, the tire’s stress points are lowered and the life of its tread increases.

You won’t have to worry about your safety while driving this tire on slippery surfaces. Apart from its high-silica content which maintains the grip on slippery surfaces, Michelin has equipped this model with zigzag sipes that provide extra traction on inordinately slippery surfaces.

All drivers who navigate their vehicle through wet conditions are wary of hydroplaning, which is a dangerous event that happens when the wheel stops responding to the steering. The circumferential grooves of this tire stop this phenomenon in its tracks by effectively channeling water. 

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not for off-road terrain

Michelin Premier LTX

Michelin Premier LTX​

In contrast to what your mom would like you to believe, sunflower oil has more uses than being employed as a medium to cook your fried items. Think we’re bluffing here? Then you must check out the Michelin Premier LTX which has used the sunflower oil in its, well, tread compound.

Features

What purpose did Michelin expect to serve by including sunflower oil in this tire’s tread? Actually, it isn’t only the sunflower oil but also the silica compound which takes this tire’s performance to the next level. That means that you cannot view the former while ignoring the utility of the latter.

To be more precise, the main function of sunflower oil is to increase the tire’s flexibility. It thereby contributes to an added tire traction on all surfaces. As for silica, it stops the flexibility from going too far by balancing it with the tire-strengthening properties of its own.

Silica isn’t alone in improving the strength of the LTX, however. The tire’s inner steel belts, which are protected by a ply of the polyester casing and are reinforced with polyamide cord, also play their part. All these tongue-twisting substances reduce the vibrations which passengers experience inside the cabin.

The LTX has Michelin’s ‘EverGrip’ Technology to provide traction on dry tarmac and wet surfaces. This technology does that by tinkering with the tire’s tread design. As the tread grooves show signs of wearing, it starts to widen them and replaces the worn-out grooves with the new ones.

On top of everything else, you can guess by looking at the 60,000 miles tread warranty of this model that it is designed to last ages. However, if you have an aggressive driving style, then the treadlife might be shorter than advertised.

Pros

  • Super-quiet riding experience
  • High level of traction
  • Flexible at lower temperatures

Cons

  • Short tread life for those with an aggressive driving style

General Altimax RT43

General Altimax RT43

Even before we had a chance to look at its features, one thing about the General Altimax RT43 was highly impressive for us. This all-season tire is available in multiple sizes, more than most other similarly priced units, so you can easily install it underneath any of your Subaru Forester models.

Features

Starting with the best feature of this tire, and its ‘Low Surface Abrasion Technology’ comes into play. It makes sure that the tire experiences less tread distortion while rolling on the road, thereby decreasing the surface abrasion which the tire has to offer and increasing its tread life.

The twin silica compound in which its specs state make this tire’s tread has two layers. The lower layer, which comes in direct contact with the road, has low density to absorb vibrations. The upper one is weightier because its major function is to guarantee traction in all-seasons.

Along with the low density, lower tread layer, the continuous center rib and independent tread blocks of this model also help make your journey vibrations-free. The duo’s presence has molded the tread of this tire into an asymmetric design, one which enhances its vibration-absorption ability.

Even when your windows aren’t fully shut, you won’t hear a peep coming out from the tires. That’s due to their sound-wave suppression technology which joins its forces with the previously mentioned continuous center rib and independent tread blocks to let you doze-off on long journeys.

What is more, its meager price tag hasn’t deterred this model from giving you something extra, which it does by offering three visual indicators. They include a visual alignment indicator (VAM), replacement tire monitor (RTM) and tread wear indicator bars.

Pros

  • Noise-free riding
  • Absorbs vibrations
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Not to be driven on snowy roads

Cooper CS5 Ultra-Touring

Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring

Available in six different sizes, the Cooper CS5 has seen an update in 2019, almost half-a-decade before this model was first released on the market. Apart from reinforcing its already-impressive features, the new update has focused on improving this model’s snow treadlife and traction.

Features

Even before this tire received an update in 2019, its ability to keep treadwear at bay was second to none. That was chiefly because of its 3D grooves. They interlock with each other to make sure that the tire’s contact area with the road is as big as possible.

Curious to know the benefits which emanate from this interlocking tread design? For starters, as the tire’s contact area with the road increases, its grip will follow suit. Second, and this benefit stems from the first, a tire with better grip is more reliable in wet weather conditions.

Its manufacturer has provided the CS5 with two features which a) let you measure its wear and b) improve its performance when worn. The first of the two features is provided by the visual wear indicator which changes its shape to warn you of the increasing tread wear.

There’s a hidden feature too if you look closely at the visual wear indicator. It contains a ‘Wear Square’ – both on the vehicle-facing and road-facing side of the tire. If you notice that both of them are at different stages, then that means the vehicle needs realignment.

Just so you let you know, there’s more to this tire than the abovementioned technological elements. Its tread contains silica whose all-season performance is second to no other substance. Its presence in the tire’s rubber makes sure that you get adequate braking power on both dry and wet surfaces.

Pros

  • Has a visual wear indicator
  • Provides more siping at half-worn
  • 3D micro-grooves stabilize the tread

Cons

  • Expensive

Best High-Performance Tires for Subaru Forester

Continental ExtremeContact DWS06

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06

As is the case with most high-performance tires that you see on the market, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 is anything but inexpensive. However, provided you can bear its asking price, this tire will justify your selection with its ultra-high performance.

Features

Much information has been given on these pages about what the word ‘DWS’ in the name of this tire means. The ‘D’ in the word points to this tire’s dry performance as it has an asymmetric tread pattern whose rigid shoulder block and chamfered edges help this tire maintain a grip on dry tarmac.

The ‘W’ signifies the wet performance of this tire. Mainly because of Continental’s Sport Plus technology, the tire’s advanced silica tread compound and +Silane additives have been able to provide brilliant steering response and extreme stability on wet roads.

You might have guessed by now that the ‘S’ stands for snow. It’s there to tell you that this tire does come with traction grooves for freezing weather performance. Supplemented by circumferential grooves (which prevent hydroplaning), the traction grooves increase this tire’s biting power on snowy and icy roads.

 To make sure you know how much snow this tire can handle, Continental has provided it with an ‘S’ indicator. As long as the indicator is visible while you’re plowing through the snow, it’s safe for the tire to go forward.

Lastly, Continental has made sure that this tire doesn’t suffer from that one problem which plagues all other high-performance tires: that of noise. Though we cannot say the same about its wearing as this tire will wear down quickly if you don’t drive at moderate speeds.

Pros

  • Superior snow performance
  • Ultra-quiet ride
  • Brilliant handling

Cons

  • Wears quickly

Falken Pro G4 A/S

Falken Pro G4 AS

The latest addition to the ultra-high-performance lineup of Falken Pro series, the G4 A/S is designed to provide drivers of sedans, coupes, and crossovers with better handling and traction, as well as better treadwear throughout the 365 days of a year. 

Features

Three features of the G4 A/S help make it a tire for 365 days. It has a silica-based tread compound that imparts the tire stability to handle the rigors of dry tarmac. The asymmetric tread design takes care of its wet performance whereas the 3D siping design allows it to handle light snow with ease.

Apart from making better its dry performance, the tread pattern of this model also lowers the road noise. It’s capable of doing that because of its variable pitch design which makes sure that even when you drive over the potholes, there’s minimum noise heard in the cabin.

To enhance its driving stability and steering responsiveness, the center and should blocks of the tread pattern play its part. The shoulder design’s large tread blocks also help with the maneuvering and cornering in all weather conditions.

Finally, the road contact which this tire maintains at all levels will low the road vibrations you’ll feel when driving and/or sitting inside the cabin. Longer tread life is also on offer with the tread design evenly distributing the driving pressure to prevent irregular tread wear.

Pros

  • Good cornering ability
  • Longer tread life
  • Comfortable driving experience

Cons

  • Wears quickly

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season

When it was released to the market, Goodyear did so with the intention that this tire would replace the popular Eagle GT. What it didn’t know at the time that the design and features of the Eagle Sport All-Season would make it the best-selling high-performance tire on the market.

Features

When you’re driving a high-performance vehicle like the Subaru Forester, you need to provide it with the correct tires if you desire to enjoy their high-speed capability. Get the selection wrong, and you might end up with a tire that could deform under the heat of high-speed driving.

The Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season saves you from making that mistake. Available with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty – which is respectable for a high-performance tire – this tire has twin steel belts and a spirally-wrapped polyamide cord which ensure its consistent road contact.

You also get Goodyear’s special RaceWrap construction technology with this model. It extends the length of the polyester casing ply to the tire’s sidewalls, rolls the same around the tire’s bead before wrapping it again to the steel belts. The resulting shape and better road contact strengthen the sidewall.

While this tire does provide high-speed performance, it doesn’t do the same at the cost of steering response and controllability. Its asymmetric tread design has three center ribs that help the tire follow the road at all times, thereby boosting its steering accuracy and response.

Finally, as you might see by merely looking at its name, the Eagle Sport All-Season provides year-round performance. Its special tread compound prevents damage to the tire’s casing and also helps this model maintain its flexibility round the year.

Pros

  • Lengthened tread life
  • Excellent high-speed performance
  • Sturdy sidewall construction

Cons

  • Poor snow performance

Best Winter Snow Tires for Subaru Forester

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter Radial Tire

Provided you aren’t aware of this fact already, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that Michelin and Continental already dominate the market as far as all-season tires are concerned. However, the opposite is true for winter tires, where Bridgestone makes its presence felt by its offerings like the WS80.

Features

Ever asked yourself why you cannot use the all-season tires in the snow? True, you might be aware that they don’t provide grip, but have you wondered why that’s the case? Well, that’s because all-season tires have a tread compound that is too rigid to provide the flexibility which snow-laden roads require.

The ‘Next-Gen Tube Multicell Compound’, which has equipped the tread area with tiny ‘Swiss cheese’ voids, imparts this tire with that flexibility. Bridgestone has also provided this model with a hydrophilic coating which helps its tread area clear up more water.

As for its snow performance, the likes of bite particles, 3D zigzag sipes, angled tread block edges and micro-texture technology make their presence felt. The bite particles, add absolute grip on road ice whereas the 3D zigzag sipes prevent the inordinate flexing of tread blocks, thereby decreasing squishiness.

Then there are the angled tread blocks. Set at a 45-degree angle to the rotation of the tire, they help improve the lateral snow grip of this model. The increased block edges, meanwhile, use their added surface area to increase the number of biting edges by 20 percent.

Bridgestone claims that this arrangement increases the overall grip of this model by 10 percent, and we have driven this tire through snow, we have no reason to doubt this claim. Though, if the grip was still lacking, its micro-texture technology, which roughens up the tread’s surface, would have compensated.

Pros

  • Huge stopping power
  • Bite particles for added ice traction
  • Reliable handling in tough conditions

Cons

  • Pricey

Cooper Evolution Winter Studdable

Cooper Evolution Winter Studdable

If you were impressed with what the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 had to offer but were disappointed at its studless design, neither the inexpensive asking price nor the high-end features of the Cooper Evolution Winter would give you many reasons to ignore it.

Features

For a tire that costs at the low end of the pricing spectrum, the Cooper Evolution Winter remains pliable through the snow. That’s mainly due to its Snow-Groove technology which, alongside the soft tread compound, gives this tire support in difficult winter conditions.

The main attraction of this tire has to be its studdable design. There are voids in the tread area where you can insert studs to increase the biting power of this model on extra-slippery roads. Though you need to make sure that your local highway laws allow the usage of studs before using them.

Its tread contains circumferential grooves that prevent hydroplaning. The wide grooves eliminate slush and water from beneath the tire’s footprint, thereby making sure that the tire’s contact with the road stays uniform and constant at all times.

To maintain its shop under duress, the Cooper Evolution has a polyester casing which stabilizes its driving experience by optimizing the tire’s internal structure. Hence the reason why you can count on this model to maintain its shape under pressure.

Lastly, there’s a sawtooth center rib in the tread design which helps it complement the road contours at all times. In this way, the tire will respond well to your (the driver’s) commands and offer increased accuracy and steering response.

Pros

  • Pinned for studs
  • Wide grooves prevent hydroplaning
  • Secure winter performance

Cons

  • Not for warm weather conditions

Rules To Follow When Buying Replacement Tires

Whether you’re looking for the best tires for Subaru Forester or any other vehicle, there are some universal rules that you might want to follow. Provided you do that, chances are that the replacement tires will last a long time.

Go for same tire size

What would happen if the size of replacement tires isn’t the same as that of the original ones? If the former are bigger than the factory-installed tires, your car’s fuel consumption will most definitely see an increase.

Conversely, if you have ended up with a smaller-size tire that what your car’s manufacturer recommends for the specific vehicle, your vehicle comfort level will witness a nosedive. Needless to say that you should avoid both these choices.

Go for same speed rating

The speed rating of a tire is the maximum speed it can sustain without doing any damage to its tread life and durability. For example, if you’re fond of traveling at 120mph, make sure your tire’s speed rating is, at least, 10mph more.

Though not as important as the first rule, choosing replacement tires that have the same speed rating as the original ones do have its benefits, especially if you aren’t upgrading from an all-season tire to a high-performance one.

Go for same load index

As you might guess by looking at the term, your tire’s ‘load index’ determines the maximum load limit of your entire vehicle. As a car that offers all-wheel drive, the load index of the Forester is mostly less than 2,500 pounds.

But how do you find out the load index of your Forester? Simply look right when you’re sitting on the driver’s seat. There you’d see a sticker showing numbers like P195/60R15 87S, whose last 3 digits are the code for load index.

How to Choose the Best Subaru Forester Tires

In contrast to what its owners might want you to believe, the Subaru Forester is much more than an off-road capable SUV. True, its ability to handle the rough stuff shames its competitors, but you can as easily (and comfortably) use it as your family car. 

With this in mind, let’s look at the ways using which you can choose the best tires for Subaru Forester.

Best Tires for Subaru Forester

All-Season Tires

One of the main reasons why all-season tires attract people is their ability to provide excellent traction in both dry and wet conditions. These tires come with long tread warranties – somewhere north of 50,000 miles – and can last quite a while if you keep them maintained.  

Amid all this talk about their traction, or perhaps because of the same, you cannot ignore the comfortable driving experience that these tires provide. That being said, if you’re a frequent off-roader or one whose aggressive driving style is famous in their circle, all-season tires might not be the best bet for you.

Pros: Come with long tread warranties; provide a comfortable driving experience

Cons: Not for those with an aggressive driving style; won’t do well in off-road conditions

All-Season Touring Tires

Want to go for the choice which is ubiquitous among Forester owners? Then you won’t go wrong with the all-season touring tires. Available in three versions – touring, grand-touring and performance touring – these tires are extremely popular among the drivers of your SUV.

Curious to know why that’s the case? Thanks to their all-season ticker, the best all-season touring tires for Subaru Forester are capable of working through a wider temperature range. That means that while you’d get relatively high-speed control in the summer, these tires would also provide decent grip in the winter.

Pros: Best traction in dry/wet conditions; work through a wider temperature range

Cons: Won’t do well when it’s extremely cold out there

Winter Tires

Do you live in an area where the winter months are chock-full of snow? Have seen vehicles colliding with each other because their tires were unable to maintain grip on ice-laden roads? If your answer to both these questions is in the affirmative, then perhaps you might do well with winter tires.

In contrast to your average all-season tire, the best winter tires for Subaru Forester have softer rubber compounds and aggressive tread patterns. They not only provide extreme grip on the snow but have biting edges that claw their way into the snow to maintain optimum traction.

Pros: Extreme grip and traction on snow; brilliant water-removal characteristics

Cons: Not for dry/summer roads; relatively small tread warranty period

High-Performance Tires

As their name implies, high-performance tires are designed to offer maximum driving speeds. Their tread compound, shoulder blocks and internal steel belts empower these models to handle the rigors and abuses which come when you press the ‘pedal to the metal’.

Then why do most people decide against using these tires? After all, if their performance is so great, should every Subaru Forester have the best high-performance tires, right? Wrong. While they do deliver unparalleled speed, these tires also consume more fuel, tread more quickly and last less long.

Pros: Ideal choice for the ‘pedal to the metal’ crowd

Cons: Consume more fuel if driven at high speeds

Conclusion

The Subaru Forester is a trend-setter for crossovers at a time when they’re becoming highly popular among drivers. Its compact shape, all-wheel-drive system, and all-season capability – plus a practical interior with sporty styling – all make this vehicle a must-have for enthusiasts.

Having said that, like all other cars you see running on the roads, the Subaru Forester is as comfortable as its tires. The best tires for Subaru Forester won’t only give you a comfortable driving experience but also improve its steering response, accuracy and tread life.

That means that if you want to get the best out of your Subaru Forester, you shouldn’t settle for anything below the best tires for it.

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