Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Review

The Japanese Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 offers strong performance in winter’s harshest conditions, where it’s one of the best, when it comes to icy terrains. But is this tire really for you? Let’s find out.

Testing on Ice.

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 delivers exceptional icy terrain grip, efficient dry braking, and impressive wet performance. While its snow traction could be improved, the tire stands out for reduced road noise and superior comfort. Overall, as a winter tire, the WS90 is one of the top choices, combining safety and ride smoothness.

Info on Sizes: The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 comes in 52 total sizes in 15 to 19 inches (wheels) with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T or H.
  • Load ratings: SL or XL.
  • Tread depth: 11 or 12/32″.
  • Weight: 17 to 29 lbs.
  • Tread warranty: None.

Tread Appearance

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 offers a sophisticated directional tread pattern, exemplifying top-tier tire design, when it comes to winter tire world.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
Bridgestone Blizzak WS90’s shoulders are laced with a lot of snow vices.

This tread comprises three distinct ribs, with the central one being continuous, featuring wave-like sipes and straight, interconnected slits seamlessly paired with in-groove notches.

The tire also includes V-shaped notches pointing outward, enhancing traction.

Similarly, shoulder lugs have notches facing both the central rib and along their sides.

Although the whole tread is filled with a lot of tiny wave-like siping. These notches connecting to longitudinal slits, further enhance the tire’s snow and wet performance.

While with wide lateral grooves, connecting the two circumferential channels the central most rib make with the shoulders, you get efficient resistance to hydroplaning, and those channels effectively throw out water in all directions.

Overall Winter Performance

How great a tire is in winter conditions, depends on it’s performance in two main terrain types, ice, and snow.

Let’s talk about them both one by one.

Ice Traction

This refers to the tire’s ability to grip and maintain control on icy surfaces. Icy conditions are slippery and offer very little natural friction. Effective ice traction relies heavily on the tire’s rubber compound and fine tread features.

So a good tire here is the one with a lot of biters, which can also keep those biters flexible (with harsh freezing temperatures).

Now Blizzak WS90 is one of the best when it comes to icy tracks, compared to other premium options out there, and this is all thanks to its intricate biters all over the tread.

The tire’s central most rib for example comes with V-shaped notches (that bite from all directions, due to their slanted positions), adding to the tire’s on central feel.

And yes you also get abundant siping here, with a mixture of interlocking tiny (wavelike) and linear slits. And both of these further add to the tire’s gripping/biting abilities on ice, combined.

Basically the V shaped biters (predominately) offer you with directional grip on ice, the lateral+longitudinal notches on shoulders, combined with zigzag slits there provide superb cornering abilities as well.

That’s because while central area defines longitudinal grip (braking), in terms of handling, the tire’s shoulder lugs are the key components.

And biters there (on shoulders), are positioned in a way, assuring improved grip from every angle, allowing for greater steering responsiveness along with lateral traction.

Note: Since the tire is the best performer on ice, I decided to add it to my list of top winter tires (stud-less). check it out.

Snow Traction

This pertains to the tire’s performance on snow-covered roads. Snow traction is about the tire’s capacity to dig into and bite the snow, as well as release it to prevent buildup.

In other words tires have to make an effective snow to snow contact here.

Snowflakes have unique interlocking arms, which really like to stick with other snowflakes, so its crucial that tires collect snow in their tread feature and form this contact, which generates more friction compared to rubber to snow contact.

Now the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 isn’t coming on top here, as it’s tightly packed, less aggressive tread pattern doesn’t catch as much snow, resulting in a lower snow collection efficiency.

Though, don’t get me wrong, the tire is still pretty great here.

To give you an idea, it only lacks less than half a feet, in the acceleration test, compared to the Michelin X Ice Snow (review), which is the top performing tire here.

Dry Performance

Dry traction is a critical component of tire performance, even when it comes to winter tires.

It depends on grip, (which gets determined by the extent of rubber contact with the road), and tire’s steering.

Moreover, the grip part is further divided in to two, the directional grip and the lateral traction. Let’s check them all out.

Dry Longitudinal Grip

This grip is the tire’s straight line grip and depends on mainly on how well the tire contacts the road from its central area.

But why central?

This is because that area makes the most road contact (as it has most weigh on it, as the tire rolls linearly).

That’s why with this grip being a directional metric, it makes sense why it’s measured by tire’s braking efficacy.

Now the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 truly excels in this domain

Its continuous central rib maintains consistent contact with the road, leading to reduced braking distances and quicker acceleration times in tests.

Consequently, this tire offers unparalleled braking efficiency among other premium winter options.

Dry Handling

Overall dry handling is the mixture of two key elements, overall lateral traction and tire’s steering feedback.

Here, the lateral grip of a tire, which reflects its overall sideways traction, largely depends on its shoulder lugs.

But why is that?

Well, these shoulders/sidewalls get to meet up with the road better, as the tire turns, so “how well” they meet with the road is significant.

And here, two things are judged. One, how well those lugs meet with the ground as the tire turns. And two, how much lugs bend, during.

And in both of these aspects, you get to see, the Blizzak WS90 has the upper hand.

It’s closed up pattern forms a greater contact with the ground, and with it’s lighter weight, its lugs don’t want to flex/mold too much as the tire corners.

You see, during cornering, most of the tire’s weight goes towards shoulders, and their bending limits the over and under steering balance, causing a delayed steering response.

Tread Longevity

Tread longevity hinges on the balance between rolling resistance and tread depth.

Now the irony here is that tread depth is inversely proportional to rolling resistance, though its directly proportional to tread life.

Meaning, greater tread depth although allow you to reach down to the legal minimum tread depth of 2/32″ (in USA), slower, it also leads to greater rolling resistance, as it makes lugs susceptible to heat and bending.

So tires need to find the right balance here.

Enter the Blizzak ws90.

The tire offers an innovative tread compound, which is considerably firmer and less susceptible to rapid wear compared to most top performing winter tires out there.

Where with reinforced foundations, and continuous running ribs, the 12/32″ tread depth allow for great tread life, relatively.

For Your Info: The tire is equipped with winter wear bars, which tell you about the 2/32″ tread depth mentioned earlier.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is dependent on the tire’s tread design and rubber composition, affecting two critical aspects of overall wet performance, namely, wet grip, and hydroplaning resistance.

Let’s take a look at both one by one.

Wet Gripping

Wet grip, similar to dry grip, relies on the amount of rubber in contact with the road. However, the presence of water creates a barrier, preventing full tread-to-surface contact and necessitating water displacement.

This task is performed by grooves and sipes.

While grooves expel the majority of water, providing hydroplaning resistance (discussed later), sipes handle the remaining water particles at a micro level.

These sipes basically having air in them, expel it out to create a suction effect, which sucks up water particles coming underneath, and this way, water is further cleared off the surface, and the tire’s rubber is able to form a more proper contact with the ground.

Now here, although most of the winter tires do great with a ton of siping, and their pretty soft thermal adaptive rubbers, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 still comes in the list of most efficient ones here.

This is because, this tire features a lot of both rectilinear and interlocking sipes, which soak up water particles coming beneath, in a better way.

And as they also get to have multiple angles to them, you also get superior gripping values, as the tire corners, for example. Water gets soaked up in the slits, and biters/sipes parallel to the direction of tire’s movement provide the needed grip.

Resistance to Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning resistance, is a phenomenon which happens when water comes in between the tire and the road. And this happens because water has to go somewhere (as it’s not compressible). So if it’s not going out, it would cause the complete loss of traction.

This is why tires have grooves, which channel out the water, preventing hydro or aquaplaning.

Now, Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 not only has the edge of it’s directional pattern, which naturally offers quicker water evacuation, but it’s thick central two circumferential channels combined with lateral voids on shoulders furthers that process too.

Moreover, the tire’s tread depth going up to 12/32″ is also pretty helping here, allowing for more water out at a given time (compared to many other winter tires with smaller average tread depth).

For Your Info: The overall wet performance is better on Continental VikingContact 7 (review), one of it’s direct competitor.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency in tires is directly related to their weight and traction, both of which influence rolling resistance.

So why is that?

Well, as an example a bulkier tire with more aggressive tread voids tends to experience more lug flexing during tire maneuvers, as lugs have more pressure on them.

This flexing diverts energy from the tire’s actual rolling, resulting in wasted effort restoring lug shape or generating heat.

Now the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90, with its streamlined and aligned ribs, although minimizes rolling resistance. It’s overall performance here can still be improved.

Though its still above average, and it makes sense given it’s compact tread design, which ensures energy is utilized for tire movement rather than unnecessary lug flexing.

Comfort Levels

Tire comfort is largely determined by two variables, road noise mitigation and vibration absorption. These factors are basically judged, looking at the tire’s construction.

Let’s discuss both these variables one by one.

Tread Noise

The primary source of this noise is air particles colliding with the walls of the tread, with the shoulder area serving as the main gateway.

So you can say, the smaller the shoulder voids, the less noise gets produced.

In this respect, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 scores pretty decent points with its relatively more compact design.

By keeping the shoulder voids small, it restricts the amount of air entering and hitting the tread walls.

But yes, it can still do a little better, I believe, even though it’s a lot better already compared to its predecessor, the WS80.

For Your Info: My tests show that the Goodyear WinterCommand is the quietest tire, comparing all top-tier winter tires.

Bumps Absorption

Tires act as secondary suspension system of a vehicle, since they are the first things contacting the bumps of the road. So how well they’re able to soak up the road imperfections is the key.

And this depends on the tire’s both internal and external build.

Now the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is doing pretty great here, with its softer overall tread compound. Where the tire’s Multi-Cell compound and greater silica density (in tread) offers great absorption capacity.

Moreover, unlike many other tires in its category, the tire offer more tread depth going up to 12/32″. This technically gives more rubber for vibrations to settle down, before reaching the cabin.


In conclusion, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 demonstrates appreciable performance across a range of conditions and metrics.

When assessing its winter performance, it showcases excellent traction on icy terrains due to its innovative tread design and features, though it could improve slightly on snow-covered roads.

On dry surfaces, it leads the pack in terms of braking efficiency and offers superior handling characteristics. While tread longevity is a balancing act, the WS90 strikes it well with its innovative compound.

In wet conditions, it presents efficient water displacement and maintains a good grip, thanks to its uniquely designed sipes and grooves.

Though the tire has room for improvement in fuel efficiency, it stands above average in its category, and its design promotes less rolling resistance.

Lastly, comfort is one aspect where the WS90 truly excels. With reduced road noise due to its compact design and superior vibration absorption from its soft compound and greater tread depth, it ensures a smooth ride.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 vs Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Both Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 and Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 are pretty great overall, comparing other winter tires, I mean. Though its still best to consider following performance sections to find a better fit for you still. Let’s start with tire sizes.

Winter Tire
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 looks cool in low profile design.

Key Takeaway: Blizzak excels in tread life, ice performance, wet traction, and ride comfort, mostly due to its lighter weight and tread design. The Pirelli, on the other hand, stands out in soft snow performance and fuel efficiency, attributed to its aggressive tread and lighter structure. While the Blizzak offers better directional grip on dry terrains, the Pirelli provides swifter handling. Ultimately, the choice between them hinges on individual driving needs and conditions, as both tires bring unique benefits to the table.

Tire Sizes

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 comes in just 18 sizes in 18 to 20 inches rims, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H and V.
  • Load ratings: XL only.
  • Tread depth: 8 to 11/32″.
  • Weight: 24 to 36 lbs.

On the other side, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 (review) comes in 16 to 21 inches with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H, V and W.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on all.
  • Weight: 18 to 32 lbs.

Tread Life

The longevity of a tire’s tread life is determined by a combination of its weight and the design of the tread itself.

In the case of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, its longevity trumps others due to its feather-light constitution.

Its reduced mass allows for a gentler touch with the road, reducing the force exerted on the tire’s rubber.

This diminished friction effectively slows down the burning rate of the tread, thereby enhancing its lifespan.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Conversely, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 offers a heavier composition and a design that comprises a higher void ratio.

The increased weight is distributed over a relatively smaller rubber surface area.

As a result, each lug of the tire experiences heightened pressure, rubbing against the road surface with a larger frictional force. This accelerates the rate of wear, as more stressed up lugs bend more and cause greater heat generation.

And as heat is directly proportional to overall tire’s tread life, especially, when it comes to winter ones, you get a shorter overall tread longevity on Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3, in comparison.

(Even though both tires don’t offer any treadwear warranties).

Ice Performance

It is undisputed that the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 emerges as a leader in terms of performance on icy terrains.

And this impressive performance can be largely ascribed to its intricate tread design. I mean the tire features better multi-directonal biters (with those curved grooves), and has superior siping of interlocking pattern.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

These sipes are structured/oriented in a way, so as to give the tire with better braking abilities from the middle, and handling from its shoulders.

On the contrary, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 finds navigating icy conditions slightly more challenging, attributed to its larger tread voids and sparser notches.

The main tread area grapples to maintain a solid grip on compact ice, and although you also get multi-directional siping here as well, they aren’t as efficient for icy tracks, in comparison.

Though the overall difference is low, since the tire is lighter in weight, which allows for better steering and braking, as it generates smaller momentum inertia which is easier to stop, and which offers good enough under/over steering balance.

But yes, overall, the Bridgestone is taking the lead here.

Dry Traction

As the landscape transitions to dry terrains, the Blizzak LM005 emerges as an outstanding performer, exhibiting an exceptional grasp in terms of directional grip and maneuverability, which are the two paramount facets of dry performance.

Let’s talk directional grip first, which is measured with tire’s stopping abilities.

So this grip depends on central tread area, and here although both tires are directional here, the overall lug pattern on Blizzak is more streamlined, comparatively.

On the flip side, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 is slightly lacking here, (less than a feet in braking distance), but still offers better overall handling, still.

And that’s because if offer better steering communication to the driver’s controls.

Basically the tire has a lighter construction, and this leads to less of its lugs bending. And since lug bending wastes time, as they have to reshaped back together, the overall, steering and handling on Pirelli gets to be faster.

That’s why on average, you see a 0.75 seconds faster handling on Sottozero, relatively.

Wet Traction

A tire’s ability to maintain a secure grip under wet conditions is predominantly dictated by its tread design and rubber composition. Here, despite both the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 and its rival being equipped with abundant siping and soft, thermally adaptive rubbers, the former outperforms.

The reason? Well it offers better water expulsion.

This is done because:

  • The tire offers greater weight.
  • It’s tread is better voided up longitudinally and laterally.
  • And it offers better siping structure.

Now with greater weight the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 puts more pressure on its lugs, which basically helps in pushing water out more effectively.

And having said that, with its better groove structure, water is pushed out with better efficacy.

Moreover, while most of the water escape through grooves, you still have to deal with the remaining particles. And that’s where sipes come in.

These sipes basically suck up particles, and since they have a better structure here, you get superior overall performance on Blizzak compared to Pirelli.

On the other hand, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 utilizes a different approach with a predominately lateral orientation of sipes, leading to a slightly lacking traction outcome.

And the tire is also not able to excel as much on hydroplaning resistance too, since it demonstrates slightly lacking float speeds.

So overall, Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 is lacking overall (slightly), compared to Bridgestone.

Soft Snow Performance

Traversing snowy terrains is a challenging feat, but both tires rise to the occasion quite effectively, each with its unique adaptations to different types of snow.

However, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 is still a better preference for this terrain type due to its more aggressive directional tread pattern. This pattern, complemented by lugs featuring expansive structures, is adept at capturing loose, fluffy snow particles.

Moreover tire’s abundant snow vices and interlocking grooves (with thicker slits) also contribute to trapping snow, which improves the tire’s grip, as snow tends to stick better to itself than to rubber.

In contrast, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005’s design is denser, even though it also features a continuous central rib.

The absence of an interlocking groove structure hinders the tire from gathering as much snow as its competitor, resulting in a slightly compromised performance in snowy conditions.

Thus, for snow performance, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 claims a distinctive advantage.

Ride Comfort

The comfort offered by a tire ride hinges on a harmonious balance of several factors including road noise, vibration absorption, tread pattern, and sidewall design.

Regarding tread noise, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 gains a marginal advantage due to its less voided tread design. This design restricts the volume of air that can enter and circulate, subsequently reducing noise generation.

Further enhancing overall comfort is its lighter structure, which allows for better response times, yielding a smoother and more refined ride compared to its competitor.

Conversely, while the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 falls short in noise reduction and road smoothness, it does outshine in one aspect with its softer rubber compound.

This compound excels in absorbing road inconsistencies, making a noticeable difference in ride comfort compared to its counterpart.

Fuel Efficiency

A tire’s fuel efficiency is intimately linked with traction and structural weight, both of which influence the tire’s rolling resistance.

That’s why it makes sense, looking at those above mentioned factors, that the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 has the upper hand.

The tire not only weighs less, but has less tread depth on average. So it’s lugs don’t bend as much, relatively.

On the other hand, although the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 has its streamlined, longitudinally aligned ribs, which do help minimizing rolling resistance, its heavier weight causes more stress on its lugs.

This push on the blocks/tread, causes wasted of energy. Meaning, there’s a greater energy expenditure on de/re-formation of the tread and heat.

So as a result, the Blizzak LM005 comes out with lacking overall fuel economy in comparison.

Summing Up

While both tires have distinct strengths, neither completely overshadows the other, reaffirming the importance of understanding your personal needs when selecting a tire.

The Blizzak LM005 outshines in terms of tread life, ice performance, wet traction, and ride comfort, largely due to its lighter structure, effective tread design, and noise reduction. The tire’s superior water expulsion and quieter ride make it a notable choice for those who prioritize these features.

Conversely, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 takes the lead in soft snow performance and fuel efficiency. Its aggressive directional tread pattern and the ability to capture more snow give it a clear advantage on snowy terrains. Furthermore, its lighter weight combined with reduced tread depth means better fuel efficiency by minimizing rolling resistance.

So as you can see both tires offer mixed results.

Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra Review

With Goodyear’s WinterCommand Ultra, winter roads become less daunting. Let’s start things off, with this tire’s main highlights.

Winter Tire Comparison
The WinterCommand Ultra is one of the quietest options, when it comes to winter tires.

Main Highlights

The Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra is pretty good when it comes to:

  • Bump absorption and ride smoothness.
  • Efficiently channeling away water to reduce hydroplaning risks.
  • Snow traction, rivaling some of the top winter tires.

Though the tire lacks in:

  • Wet grip and handling.
  • Optimal performance on dry conditions, especially in braking.
  • Ice traction, particularly when compared to competitors in its price range.

Info on Sizes: Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra comes in 15 to 18 inches, where all sizes have speed ratings of H only, load ratings of SL and XL, tread depth of 11/32″ (on all), and weight ranging from 18 pounds and going up to 28 lbs.

Also Note: Since the tire is one of best in terms of noise comfort, I added it to my list of top studless winter tires.

Tire Construction

The Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra comes with a directional tread pattern.

Goodyear WinterCommand ultra
Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra

It’s tread is clearly divided up in to two sections, with the help of outer 2 circumferential grooves.

Here the outer ribs, or shoulder blocks, (notably the largest), showcase keen chamfered edges while preserving a siping pattern akin to the central lugs.

Moreover, their outer edges (sidewalls), showcase unique T-shaped biters.

Moving towards the middle, lugs seem segmented, but closer inspection reveals that, they have in-groove notches rather than full-depth cuts.

These central lugs effortlessly merge with the adjacent blocks, culminating in a sharp V-shaped design.

And these blocks are further enriched with a ton of interlocking sipes arranged laterally.

Comfort Performance

Tire comfort hinges on two pivotal factors: the ride’s smoothness, which relates to stability and the capacity to absorb road irregularities, and its noise levels across varied surfaces.

These attributes are shaped by the tire’s construction, specifically its rubber composition, tread pattern, and sidewall design.

Let’s discuss both these factors.

Bumps Absorption

When it comes to handling bumps, tires, being the primary interface between the vehicle and road irregularities, play a crucial role alongside the vehicle’s suspension.

And here, a tire’s proficiency is determined by its absorption capabilities and overall stability.

Now the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra excels in this area, where its performance is mainly due to its generous tread depth, combined with well engineered tread rubber, which although offers the needed pliability, also ensures tire’s overall stability.

So road shocks/bumps aren’t just soaked up by its compound, but are also controlled as well.

Noise Comfort

The tread design significantly affects a tire’s noise levels, where typically, larger tread gaps lead to increased noise due to air colliding with tread walls.

However, the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra defies this norm, where its well engineered design ensures that while air enters the shoulder voids, it doesn’t collide with the tread walls, a primary noise source.

This design ensures the smooth passage of air, minimizing disturbances.

Furthermore, the tire incorporates a specialized rubber compound that reduces in-tread sound resonances.

Wet Performance

Tire performance on wet surfaces largely depends on the tire’s design and rubber composition.

These factors are engineered to ensure effective water displacement from the tread, which in turn guarantees superior wet grip and reduces the risk of hydroplaning.

Let’s check both these out.

Resistance to Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning occurs when water interrupts the tire’s contact with the road. To understand this, you must first know the main property of water, that it’s not compressible. So if it isn’t effectively channeled away, it forms a barrier, leading to traction loss.

Now all tires typically combat this with grooves, which guide water away, thereby diminishing the chances of aquaplaning (another word for it)

Having said that, the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra is notably proficient here, as it efficiently dispels water, maintaining great float speeds.

Its unique directional tread pattern, marked by squared central lugs, forms channels in multiple directions, allowing for swift water evacuation.

Moreover, the tire features a well crafted contact patch that exerts added pressure on water, pushing it out with greater force.

Thanks to this design, most of the water is skillfully directed through the grooves, leaving minimal work for the sipes and thus enhancing its wet performance.

Wet Grip

The sipes in a tire handle the residual water not cleared by the grooves.

However, the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra falls slightly short in this department.

While its grooves are effective, its sipes, owing to their relatively stiffer rubber composition, don’t provide optimal wet traction. (This is one of the tire’s few shortcomings).

Despite featuring interlocking sipes, the tire lacks multi-directional angles, crucial for multi-angled grip. And this negatively affects its wet handling capabilities and steering responsiveness.

However, it’s essential to note that when compared to other tires in its category, the difference is evident, but the tire still delivers a reasonable performance.

Fuel Economy

A tire’s fuel efficiency hinges on its weight and traction, both crucial determinants of rolling resistance.

To illustrate, a heavier tire with pronounced tread voids often undergoes greater lug flexing during maneuvers due to the increased pressure exerted on the lugs.

This flexing diverts energy from the actual motion of the tire, leading to energy wastage (in the form of heat, for the most part).

However, the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra, designed with streamlined and aligned ribs, does a decent job here, leading with its limited rolling resistance.

Even so, there’s room for enhancement in its overall fuel efficiency I feel, especially when you consider its XL (load rated) sizes.

Dry Performance

While the efficiency of tires on wet and snowy roads is vital, their performance on dry surfaces, influenced primarily by the rubber’s contact with the road, is equally paramount.

This contact determines the tire’s grip and its steering response and handling.

Let’s check all these dimensions.

Dry Linear Grip

Linear grip pertains to the tire’s traction as it moves straight forward. This grip depends on the central tread’s contact with the road and is indicative of the tire’s braking efficiency.

In this context, the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra exhibits certain limitations, especially when compared to other tires in its category.

Now it seems odd, that the tire lacks here, especially when you consider that its a lighter structure, having reinforcements under all lugs.

But the thing is the tire features more void ratio, with its laterally arranged lugs. Simply put, this lateral arrangement prevents optimal road contact as the tire rolls straight, resulting in compromised grip.

So you get below-average braking on this tire.

Dry Handling and Steering

A tire’s overall handling combines its grip with its lateral stability, (crucial for sharp responsiveness).

And here, while the Goodyear’s tire offers you with respectable lateral traction (as seen from its decent overall g-force readings), it still ranks below its peers. This shortfall is primarily attributed to its deficient directional grip.

So the tire comes with good enough lateral grip and steering response, but its slower braking renders corner entry sluggish.

Likewise, its less effective acceleration also affects its performance as it exits corners.

Thus, in terms of dry handling, the WinterCommand Ultra finds itself lagging behind its direct competitors.

Snow Traction

Snow traction revolves around a tire’s ability to penetrate, secure, and subsequently shed accumulated snow in/from its tread.

In other words, a good tire here would provide decent snow-to-snow contact, and create positive momentum, scooping up the snow.

And that’s exactly what the WinterCommand does here.

The tire offers interconnected grooves which ensure substantial and effective snow-to-snow contact, enhancing traction. Moreover, its directional pattern is pretty great at throwing snow backwards, getting decent overall acceleration.

To put it in perspective, its snow braking and handling is parallel to some of the best winter tires in the market.

For Your Info: Out of all it’s direct competitors, the Michelin X-Ice Snow (review) offers the best overall snow performance.

Tread Longevity

The lifespan of a tire’s tread is closely tied to two factors: rolling resistance and tread depth.

But how are they related?

Well rolling resistance is the obvious one.

While with greater tread depth, a tire would take longer to reach down to the point of needing replacement.

Though one thing to note here, is that, too much tread depth also increases rolling friction, and heat, ironically.

Now the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra delivers a very average performance here, for a winter tire.

It although doesn’t offer any treadwear warranty. Yet, users can anticipate a reasonable mileage of around 35 to 40k miles from this tire without compromising on traction.

(And that’s a pretty good number if you ask me).

Ice Traction

Ice traction reflects a tire’s ability to adhere to and maneuver on exceptionally slippery ice surfaces. Considering the inherently slick nature of icy roads, which offer limited natural friction, you need right tires here, with soft rubber compositions and superior tread designs with biters.

Now, although the Goodyear Ultra is not too bad here, as a winter tire, its performance is still average, which should not be the case, given its price tag, I mean.

The tire notably lacks multi-directional siping and biters, essential for maintaining grip during icy cornering.

So unlike competitors such as the Blizzak WS90 (review), (which gives superior ice grip with its advanced siping strategy), the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra delivers just an okay overall ice performance only.

To Conclude

The Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra showcases a mixed bag of performance across varied terrains and conditions.

Starting with comfort, it stands out with excellent bump absorption, ensuring a smooth ride, and an innovative design that reduces road noise.

On wet surfaces, it efficiently channels away water, diminishing hydroplaning risks. However, it could use some improvements in the wet grip department.

For dry conditions, its performance is below average, where the main culprit is its lacking linear grip.

For winter conditions, the tire does great in terms of snow traction, still can be improved in terms of ice.

Lastly, as the tire generates less rolling resistance, its overall tread life and fuel economy is doing okay.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 Review

The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 stands as a testament to the Japanese brand’s commitment to winter road safety for Light Truck/SUV drivers. The tire promises an unmatched grip whether you’re driving through slush, fresh snow, or treacherous ice. Let’s see what more it has to offer.

Blizzak DM-V2 is not for you, if fuel economy is your main concern.

The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 offers great performance in a range of conditions, excelling particularly in wet traction, ice stability, and snow handling. However, it could benefit from enhancements in areas like noise reduction, dry steering responsiveness, and fuel efficiency due to its inherent design elements.

Info on Sizes: The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 comes in 15 to 22 inches with following.

  • Speed ratings: R, S and T.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 13 or 14/32″.
  • Weight: 27 to 45 lbs.

The DM V2 is the best option if you’re looking for a winter tire “for your SUV”.

In fact, its so great that I added it to my list of top winter tires (stud-less), check it here:

Tire’s Structure

The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 comes with a biting symmetric tread pattern.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 offers 15% more biters compared to its predecessor, which roughly equate to 20% greater grip on ice.

Though the tire is missing with a directional pattern, commonly seen on winter tires, it’s symmetric structure allows it to form 5 block columns.

Here the outer two ribs, features squared off shoulder blocks, forming prominent lateral grooves, and wide circumferential grooves (containing central lugs).

These shoulders are characterized by off-set edges, and a lot of wave-like siping.

The central lugs on the other hand, feature triangular shapes. Though they also have similar siping pattern along with off-set edges.

Moreover, they also form notches (in between two of each block pairs).

Also note how, these lugs form interconnected groove structure, which is really important for slush and water evacuation.

Wet Performance

Wet traction is dependent on the tire’s ability to clear water out of its tread.

And that provides you with wet traction and resistance to hydroplaning. Let’s check out both one by one.

Wet Grip

Wet grip, similar to dry grip, as here, you need rubber to properly grip the road, the more the better. But the thing is water comes in the way literally, as its not compressible.

So it has to go somewhere (out of tread), otherwise it would cause the tire to float and slip.

That’s why tires have sipes and grooves.

Grooves clear out at a major scale, throwing water out through grooves. I’ll talk about it more in hydroplaning section below.

Sipes on the other hand, come in later, as they suck up the remaining water particles in their slits.

Now the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 offers pretty decent overall wet grip here, with it’s numerous biters.

Moreover, the tire’s new gen compound offers NanoPro Tech Multicell tread composition, as Bridgestone calls it. Simply put, this doesn’t allow water particles to stick on to the tread.

Moreover, the tire already clears off a lot of water through its grooves, allowing for decent resistance to hydroplaning. This helps here because more water is able to get out, and less is there for sipes, improving their efficacy to clear water further.

For Your Info: Out of all winter tires, I’ve reviewed, the Continental VikingContact 7 (review), offers one of the best overall wet performance.

Resistance to Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is basically floating of a tire, when it’s not able to clear out water through grooves.

So how well grooves are structured are really important here.

That’s why most of the wet traction comes from aquaplaning resistance on Blizzak DM-V2.

Although the Bridgestone tire’s missing directional pattern should hinder it’s water evacuation process, the tire still offers one of the best results (relatively), thanks to its superior inter-connectivity of its grooves.

As discussed in its tread design section, the grooves on this tire run everywhere. prominently joining up with the outer circumferential grooves and lateral voids of shoulders (which are pretty efficient at expelling the water out).

Moreover, the tire also has the advantage of greater tread depth going up to 14/32″ (a lot more than its direct competitors). So this further allows for water clearing abilities.

Overall Winter Performance

When it comes to winter performance, there are two variables here, how well the tire is on snow, and on ice.

Let’s check out both.

Ice Traction

When it comes to ice traction, you need a lot of control and stability, as icy conditions are very slippery and offer very little natural friction.

That’s why you need a lot of gripping elements on the tire’s tread, along with a compound that can naturally stick well on ice.

Having said that, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 perform pretty great here, where it only lacks marginally from the best tire in its category.

For Your Info: If ice traction is your main concern, you should know that the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 (review) is the top ranking winter tire here.

Snow Traction

Snow performance tells you about the dynamics of a tire on soft, salt-like (on-road) snow, and here, there are a few factors to note.

One, how well the tire is able to act as a shovel. This basically throws the ground backwards, generating acceleration.

Two, how well the tire is able to provide snow to snow contact, which is important, because this contact generates greater friction compared rubber to snow contact.

Now among its direct competitors, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 comes on top, offering fastest snow handling, braking and overall acceleration scores.

And it makes sense too, since the tire is equipped with a lot of in-groove notches, forming superior snow-to-snow contact, while it’s wider grooves and greater tread depth (on average) throw out excess snow particles efficiently.

For Your Info: Out of all it’s winter tires I reviewed, the Michelin X-Ice Snow (review) offers the best overall snow performance.

Tread Longevity

When it comes to tread longevity, you should know that it’s predominantly depends on tire’s tread compound used, depth, and overall weight.

Now the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 offer above average performance here, only lacking slightly behind the Michelin Latitude X-Ice, the leading tire here (offering 40k miles warranty, whereas Bridgestone doesn’t come with any).

So why is it happening, even though the tire gives you up to 14/32″ of tread depth.

Well, this has to do with it’s greater weight, and rolling resistance. You see, sure, greater tread depth takes more time to reach down to 2/32″ (which is the legal limit in US).

But it also causes lugs to bend more too.

And they are already pretty susceptible to that with the tire’s heavier weight and ton of biting edges, negatively impacting the tire’s tread longevity.

Comfort Performance

Tire comfort is largely determined by how smooth the overall ride is (referring to its stability and efficacy to soak up road imperfections), and how quiet it is on different types of surfaces.

Both of these are judged by the tire’s inner and outer construction, where rubber composition, tread pattern and sidewall design play the most crucial roles.

Let’s discuss both these factors, i.e. tire’s noise and impact comfort performance (separately).

Tread Noise

Air is the main cause of most of the tread noise, where the air particles colliding with the tread create noise, which then echo, producing what’s known as in-groove resonance. And that leads to cavity noise and tread reverberations.

Now simply put, the more voided up the tire is, the noisier it’d be on different types of surfaces.

That’s why the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 with such voided up structure lacks here. Though Sl sizes still do a lot better here compared to XL ones.

Bumps Absorption

Since tires are directly in contact with the bumps, they are first ones to handle them, besides the tire’s suspension system.

And how well the tire does here depends on two variables, its soaking abilities and stability.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 takes the lead here, mainly because of its ample tread depth. Simply put, the more the rubber, the better, (keeping stability in check).

Dry Performance

Overall dry performance is two parts grip and handling.

And here grip is further divided in to two, longitudinal and lateral grip. Let’s check all of them one by one.

Dry Longitudinal Grip

This ones is the tire’s straight line grip and depends on mainly on how well its tread (predominately form the middle) meets with the road.

Moreover, there are other factors involved here too, including tire’s weight and overall tread biters, and these define the overall tire’s braking performance (which directly measures this longitudinal grip).

Compared to it’s direct competitors, the tire only lacks by 2 feet in braking distance (on average), from the highest ranking tire here (Yokohama IceGuard iG51v).

Dry Handling

Overall dry handling depends on lateral grip. But that’s only half piece of the puzzle, where you get the whole picture when you define the tire’s steering feedback.

Now lateral grip depends on shoulders, as they make the most contact with the road (as weight concentrates on them, as the tire is turning).

And steering depends on flexing of the lugs.

Now ironically, although the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 offers one of the best lateral traction values, it’s overall handling (as seen by it’s average lap times) is trailing pretty far behind, as it gives you a pretty lagging steering responsiveness.

So why is it happening?

Well this has to do with it’s greater relative weight and tread depth going up to 14/32″.

These basically cause its lugs to bend more, and bending of lugs take time to recover, adding to overall handling times.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency in tires is directly related to their weight and traction, both of which influence rolling resistance.

And so it clearly makes sense why the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 is one of the most lacking tire here in its category of winter tires.

Simply put, the tire is pretty bulky, one of the heaviest, and that combined with it’s softer compound and greater tread depth (almost 2/32″ greater on average, relatively), you get a lot of generated rolling resistance here.

And so overall fuel economy gets compromised with this tire.


So overall, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 tire exhibits pretty decent performance across varied conditions.

It excels in:

  • Efficient water evacuation and hydroplaning resistance, especially in wet conditions.
  • Notable ice traction, providing stability and control in slippery conditions.
  • Superior snow performance, achieving faster handling, braking, and overall acceleration due to its effective in-groove notches and wider grooves.

While its performance can be improved in:

  • Noise reduction, as it tends to produce more tread noise on various surfaces.
  • Steering responsiveness in dry conditions, which is affected by its greater weight and tread depth.
  • Fuel economy, as its bulkiness and tread depth lead to increased rolling resistance.

Kleber Krisalp HP3 vs Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Winter driving brings its own challenges, and the Kleber Krisalp HP3 and the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, both formidable winter tire options, promise to make the ride smoother. But who will be the superior choice for your needs? Let’s find out!

Kleber Krisalp HP3
Kleber Krisalp HP3

Key Takeaway

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 excels in:

  • Wet Gripping: The Blizzak LM005’s innovative dual siping design allows for better grip on slightly dried surfaces.
  • Dry Performance: The Blizzak LM005’s continuous central rib provides superior braking distances and excellent directional grip.
  • Fuel Usage: The Blizzak LM005’s lightweight and longitudinally aligned tread ribs result in less pressure on the road, reducing friction and improving fuel efficiency.
  • Ice Traction: The Blizzak LM005’s biters, notches, and abundant siping contribute to exceptional ice traction.
  • Noise Reduction: The Blizzak LM005’s compact shoulder lug design, densely arranged central lugs, and advanced pitch sequencing technology minimize road noise.
  • Tread Life: The Blizzak LM005’s reduced weight and continuous central rib result in slower wear of the rubber, leading to a longer lifespan.

Kleber Krisalp HP3 excels in:

  • Hydroplaning Resistance: The Krisalp HP3’s wider grooves and sweeping arms effectively disperse water, offering better hydroplaning resistance.
  • Fluffy Snow Performance: The Krisalp HP3’s wider tread voids trap powdery snow particles, offering superior snow traction.
  • Shock Absorption: The Krisalp HP3’s more absorbent tread rubber and deeper tread absorb road bumps and shocks, enhancing overall comfort.

Areas for Improvement:

  • The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 could improve in hydroplaning resistance and snow traction, given its symmetric tread pattern and more enclosed structure.
  • The Kleber Krisalp HP3 could enhance its wet grip, dry performance, fuel efficiency, ice traction, noise reduction, and tread life, given its lack of rectilinear slits, wider tread voids, greater weight, less aggressive siping design, and larger tread voids.

Review Krisalp Hp3 in detail:

Tire Sizes

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 comes in just 18 sizes in 18 to 20 inches rims, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H and V.
  • Load ratings: XL only.
  • Tread depth: 8 to 11/32″.
  • Weight: 24 to 36 lbs.
  • Tread warranty: None.

On the other side, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 comes in 14 to 20 inches, (99 total sizes), in following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T and H.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″.
  • Weight: 16 to 32 lbs.
  • Tread warranty: None.

Wet Traction

When it comes to wet traction, two key elements play a significant role: the tread pattern and the rubber compound of the tire. These elements determine how well the tire grips the wet surface and its ability to resist hydroplaning.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Let’s start with grip.

Wet Gripping

Out of both tires, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 stands out in wet grip due to its innovative dual siping design.

This design features a combination of rectilinear and interlocking patterns of slits, which act as water magnets by drawing in water particles. This allows the tire to maintain a strong grip on slightly dried surfaces.

On the other hand, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 also offers good wet traction with its biters and multi-directional sipes.

However, the absence of rectilinear slits in the tread pattern limits its lateral traction, especially on corners.

Resistance to hydroplaning

In terms of hydroplaning resistance, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 takes the lead.

The tire’s wider grooves and sweeping arms are designed to disperse water effectively, allowing for better float speeds and performance in both curved and straight aquaplaning tests.

Its directional tread pattern helps in sweeping water off the tread surface, preventing hydroplaning.

In contrast, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 lacks the same level of hydroplaning resistance due to its symmetric tread pattern and the absence of interconnected tread voids.

Dry Performance

When it comes to dry traction, two aspects come into play: directional grip and handling.

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 excels in directional grip with its continuous running central rib. This rib ensures a strong bond between the rubber and the road, resulting in superior braking distances and excellent directional grip.

The Kleber Krisalp HP3, although not as effective in directional grip due to wider tread voids, still offers good handling capabilities.

Moving towards the handling performance, which is largely determined by the tire’s shoulder lugs, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 lacks here as well.

It shows a similar level of contact between its shoulder lugs and the road compared to its competitors, however, its increased weight affects its performance by causing increased bending of the lugs, which disrupts the balance between oversteer and understeer and leads to a delay in steering feedback.

Consequently, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 exhibits extended handling lap times compared to its counterpart.

Fuel Usage

Fuel efficiency is closely related to road grip and overall weight of tire’s structure. That’s why it makes sense why the Kleber Krisalp HP3 has room for improvement here.

Its considerable/greater weight and extensive tread voids contribute to increased rolling resistance and friction with the road surface. Whereas, the lighter Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 exerts less pressure on the road, resulting in reduced friction and improved fuel efficiency.

Additionally, the longitudinally aligned tread ribs in the LM005 minimize resistance, conserve energy, and enhance fuel efficiency.

Ice Traction

When it comes to ice traction, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 clearly outperforms its counterpart.

The LM005’s superior biters, including angled cuts, V-shaped notches, and abundant siping, contribute to exceptional ice-biting performance.

Moreover, the tire’s shoulder lugs are designed to provide comprehensive grip from various angles, enabling efficient braking and handling.

In contrast, the Kleber Krisalp HP3, although equipped with siping, does not possess the same level of aggressiveness in biting into ice due to its less aggressive siping design, absence of notches, and wider tread voids.

Fluffy Snow Performance

In terms of snow traction, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 takes the lead.

Its wider tread voids allow for better snow-to-snow contact, as the voids trap powdery snow particles within their interconnected grooves.

Its important, because snow sticks better to snow, compared to tread’s rubber.

That’s why, on the other side, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, with its more enclosed structure, is less effective in providing the same level of snow traction.

Ride Quality

Comfort level is determined by the tire’s ability to reduce road noise and dampen vibrations.

And talking about noise first, the Bridgestone LM005 offers a quieter ride due to its compact shoulder lug design and densely arranged central lugs, where these features minimize the space for air particles to move around, resulting in reduced noise.

Additionally, the tire incorporates advanced pitch sequencing technology to further diminish any residual noise.

On the other hand, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 performs well in terms of impact comfort. Its more absorbent tread rubber and deeper tread help in absorbing bumps and shocks, enhancing the overall comfort level.

Tread Life

Tread longevity is influenced by rolling resistance, and overall tire structure. And the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 has the advantage in this aspect due to its reduced weight, which leads to less strain on the tread blocks during contact with the road.

This results in slower wear of the rubber. In contrast, the heavier Kleber Krisalp HP3, with its larger tread voids, puts more stress on each lug, leading to faster tread wear and a shorter overall lifespan.

To Summarize

In summary, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 performs better in wet traction, dry traction (directional grip), fuel efficiency, ice traction, and tread longevity.

On the other hand, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 excels in hydroplaning resistance, snow traction, on-road vibration dampening, and impact comfort.