Home How To & Tech All-Terrain vs Mud Terrain Tires

All-Terrain vs Mud Terrain Tires

All-Terrain Tire of an SUV silhouetted by the sunset

 photo by molchanovdmitry via iStock

Choosing tires for your rig can be a difficult process. You won’t just have to choose what brand to go with, but also what type of tire. 

One of the most common questions people have when the time comes to put new tires on their truck is whether they should go with all-terrain or mud-terrain tires.

To help you decide which one is best for you, we are going to go over how each one performs on different types of terrain while also mentioning the pros and cons of both. 

Consider the Terrain When Selecting Tires 


SUV with a trailer on a paved road in the desert

 photo by vkp-australia via iStock

All-terrain tires will provide excellent performance on-road, it’s one of their strongest selling points. Mud terrains are often criticized for the noise they make and in some cases lack of grip. 

This used to be the case a few years ago; however, tire technology is evolving faster than ever and mud tires – although a bit noisier, still have great on-road manners. Go for a reputable brand though, you get what you pay for. 

Gravel Roads

Truck with all-terrain tires on a gravel road

 photo by J_Knaupe via iStock

There is no real difference between a mud terrain and an all-terrain on gravel roads; so, whichever one you go for you won’t be disappointed. 

All-Terrain vs Mud Terrain Tires in Sand

Two 4x4s driving on sand

 photo by zwawol via iStock

It is believed by many that mud terrains don’t perform as well as all-terrains on sand – that’s not the case. When running the correct tire pressures mud terrains can be extremely capable in sand. 


SUV driving though mud with mud terrain tires

 photo by Lorado via iStock

The big gaps between the tread blocks mean that the mud terrains can crawl their way up rocks with ease. 

All-terrains won’t have as much grip, but they still perform well. 

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Pros and Cons of All-Terrain and Mud Terrain Tires


Close up of mud terrain tire

 photo by RayTango via iStock

All-terrains will be noisier than normal passenger tires but not as noisy as mud terrains. Keep in mind that a cheap set of all-terrains will probably be as noisy as a good set of mud terrains.  

Fuel Consumption

person putting gas in an SUV

 photo by bigtunaonline via iStock

Because of the increased rolling resistance and in most cases weight, mud terrain tires will lead to a slight increase in fuel usage. 

All-Terrain and Mud Terrain Tires: Longevity

Close up of all-terrain tire

 photo by emregologlu via iStock

A good set of all-terrains can last up to 40,000 miles. A set of mud terrains of the same quality will probably only last about 30,000. So, if you are planning on doing plenty of motorway driving go for the all-terrains. 

How Often Do You Head Out Off-Roading?

Tires on a 4x4

 photo by molchanovdmitry via iStock

In the all-terrain vs mud terrain tires debate, you need to consider how often you off-road.

If you go out once every two to three months then an all-terrain will be the better choice for you – it will provide more miles, better fuel economy, and less noise. 

For people who go out once every week or two then a mud terrain might be better. They are built stronger; so, they are more resistant to punctures and they will provide the most amount of grip off-road. 

What Type of Terrain Will You Be Driving On?

Muddy dirt road in the forest

 photo by Jasonfang via iStock

If the type of off-road terrain you will be driving on mostly consists of gravel roads and sand, then an all-terrain will be more than enough. 

In areas where most of the terrain consists of mud then a mud tire will be the best option. 

Assess your circumstances and based on the pros and cons of both decide which one will suit you best. 

I run aggressive all-terrains (BF KO2s), they perform exceptionally well off-road while also having great manners on road. So for me personally, the all-terrain vs mud terrain tires battle goes to the all-terrain side.

I hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of the pros and cons of each type of tire. Which one will you go for?