All-Terrain Vs. Mud Terrain Tires

All-Terrain Vs. Mud Terrain Tires: Are They Interchangeable?

All terrain vs. mud terrain tires: which one to choose? If you are still wondering which type is better for your car, read our article immediately.

Regarding tires designed for off-road use, all-terrain and mud-terrain are the main groups. If you usually travel off-road, you may find it a bit confusing to decide between all terrain vs. mud terrain tires. The appropriate tire can distinguish between a pleasant experience on trails and a wilderness nightmare.

When pavement-pounders are not concerned about muddy passes, rocky two-jacks, and jagged rocks, those who spend hours off-the-beaten paths must consider this choice carefully.

All Terrain Vs. Mud Terrain Tires

While both types are frequently constructed using a radial design, there are significant differences in tread structure, size, and performance attributes.

The conventional mud-terrain stereotype of poor lifespan and loud noise from roads no longer sounds true because many new mud-terrain tires feature more refined road manners compared to the models of before.

In keeping with that idea, the current all-terrain tire has significantly more dynamic roads and, happily, has a more aggressive appearance than the more subdued all-terrain of the past.

We can concentrate on their distinctive performance characteristics since their weights and sidewall strengths are comparable. Let’s see how each tire performs on different terrains!

On Mud

Off the road, mud serves as the great equalizer. For this reason, mud-terrain tires have wider spaces between the treads and unique elements like a kick-out bar that assist in clearing debris from between the studs.

You will have to rotate the tire more quickly to clean out its tread voids the tighter they are. This results in less controlled turning and may be demanding on the parts. Because of this, it’s best to stick to mud tires rather than AT ones if you frequently traverse this terrain.

On Sand

Sand may be a frequent encounter for some drivers, based on your region. It would be best to have a sizable footprint to remain on top of the loose material. If your tires are too aggressive, your vehicle may want to drag you behind rather than move you forward.

An all-terrain tire is typically more suitable for this setting, except for mounting a set of sandy paddle tires designed solely for off-road use on the rear of your car. Their more compact tread pattern strikes a perfect mix between grip and float.

Rock Crawling

Which tire performs faster in rocks is still debated among wheelers and professionals. By grasping the stones with a broad, dependable tread pattern, more traction is achieved in high-traction places like Moab, Utah. As such, the all-terrain vehicle can be the better option.

On Snow

Both don’t excel on deep snow, and your go-to choice should be a winter tire. But if you have to pick between the two,the all-terrain tires for snow seems to gain the upper hand on winter.

On Desert

Desert is a distinctive area of adventure where faster speeds have become typical. All tires will suffer greatly, especially the sidewalls.

But like on snow, all-terrain vehicles are frequently superior to mud ones. A frequently more uniform structure, which aids in stability at velocity, largely contributes to this.

An all-terrain tire will usually offer you a more secure foot when you’ve got to kick up dust on desert, though a mud-terrain tire still performs decently here.

Road Noise

The sounds produced by mud-terrain radials are greatly amplified. While some enjoy the loud roar of traditional mud-terrain tires, others prefer it to be as quiet as possible.

If you prefer quietness, an all-terrain tire will satisfy you. With a few exceptions, MT tires will always sound louder than all terrains, even with incredibly quiet models.


In addition to the previously stated noise, sipes are another area where mud-terrain tires frequently fall short. They are the small grooves across the treat blocks, meant to increase traction on slippery and wet roads.

In this regard, AT tires seem to feature more sipes and grooves to deal with wet surfaces than MT tires. Consider the climate in your region to choose the suited one.

Fuel Efficiency

One area where a highway all-terrain tire consistently outperforms its counterparts is fuel economy.

We have estimated a minimum difference of 1 mile per gallon between an identical-sized all-terrain and a mud-terrain tire. Without a doubt, reducing rolling resistance will enable you to travel further for a lower cost.

All-terrain tires – Source: Youtube (0:07)


All terrain vs. mud terrain tires: Which one fits your everyday driving the best? That solely relies on the terrain you choose to explore on your adventure. Choose a mud-terrain tire if you anticipate navigating muddy trails and boulders.

Modern mud-terrain radials have enough refinement to fit on an everyday driver. If your daily travel doesn’t go through mud but only rock crawling, an all-terrain tire will do. They operate well almost anywhere, as its name suggests.

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