What are Snow Socks for Tires and How to Use Them

car driving on snowy road in the forest

Anybody who lives in a cold part of the world knows how difficult it is to keep your car on the road during winter. If you’re tired of messing with snow chains and don’t see the point of getting a set of winter tires, you might be looking for an alternative. Snow socks are an increasingly popular method of applying traction to your wheels. But what are snow socks for tires and how do you use them? Here’s all you need to know. 

snowy roads warning sign

What are Snow Socks?

Before heading out to buy a set of snow socks, it’s worth finding out what they are and how they work. The principle behind snow sock is very similar to snow chains. They’re 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 prime 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, you should always check the user manual to ensure it’s safe. Snow socks tend to work especially well on vehicles with anti-braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability programs (ESP).

How do I use Snow Socks?

Applying snow socks is easy and not dissimilar to fitting snow chains to your tires. Before doing anything, you’ll need to check what kind of transmission your car is. You just need to apply snow socks to all your drive wheels. If you have a 4X4, you’ll need to put snow socks on all four wheels. 

  • Snow socks are commercially 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 fret 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’ll 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’ve successfully installed your snow socks, ensure you reduce your driving speeds to between 20 and 30mph, and as you’ll lose traction at higher speeds. 
car driving on snow covered road in mountains

Best Snow Socks Available

Thinking about buying a set of snow socks? With several brands available, it’s tricky to pick out the best ones. They’re also becoming increasingly popular, as they tend to be cheaper than most snow chains. Here are a few of the best brands available on the market today to help you pick out the right snow socks for your needs.

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 an array of different vehicles, including minivans and SUVs. With no large ridges, these snow socks afford a smooth ride and don’t cause damage to a car like some snow chains. One downside of these snow socks is they don’t 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 and are useable 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 and are machine washable, meaning they’ll be good as new after a day on the road.

Jshanmei Snow Socks

Inexpensive and effective, Jshanmei Snow Socks are ideal if you’re shopping on a budget. These snow socks come in a range of different sizes, including sizes that’ll 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. 

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