Nokian Nordman 7 Review

From the renowned Finnish brand, the Nordman 7 is Nokian’s reliable winter companion, offering pretty decent overall snow and ice traction, with it’s studable lugs. Let’s see what else this tire has to offer.

Winter Tire
Nordman 7 is a good budget pick.

Key Takeaway

So overall, the Nordman 7 tire comes with a mixed bag of results. It excels in:

  • Superb snow traction, offering impressive overall grip in snowy conditions.
  • Solid ice traction with above-average braking and acceleration capabilities.
  • Effective hydroplaning resistance, ensuring above-average float speeds.
  • A comfortable ride quality, thanks to a softer compound and an internal nylon cap ply.

However, there is room for improvement in certain areas:

  • Dry performance, particularly in terms of braking distances.
  • Overall handling, with lacking steering responsiveness.
  • Wet traction, struggling with wet grip and handling despite decent hydroplaning resistance.
  • Fuel economy, as the tire falls short due to relatively high rolling resistance.
  • Tread life, while acceptable, is still below average.

Info on sizes: Nordman 7 comes in 34 sizes in 13 to 17 inches rims. All sizes are speed rated with T, and have SL/XL load ratings. Moreover, all of them have 13/32″ of tread depth and weight range of 15 to 27 lbs.

Tread Appearance

The Nokian Nordman 7 comes with a directional tread pattern, as commonly seen on most of the winter tires out there.

Nokian Nordman 7
Nokian Nordman 7

Now the tire is clearly divided up in to two parts, shoulders and central lugs (which resemble tree branches).

Starting with the shoulders, the lugs are more refined here, compared to the middle.

Slanted lugs dominate this area, enriched with a ton of tread features like varied siping designs, offset edges, and stud holes.

Moving towards the tire’s central region, the tread here offers the most intriguing design elements. Here, two distinct ribs are present, with the central-most rib resembling a vine adorned with robust leaves.

Each lug in this area features pronounced in-groove notches.

To enhance their traction, these lugs are equipped with biting edges and an abundance of sipes.

The adjacent lugs share similar characteristics but also have sharp offset edges.

Dry Performance

Dry traction remains essential, even for winter tires. It’s majorly about the rubber’s contact with the road, further categorized into directional grip and lateral traction, combined with tire’s overall steering characteristics.

Let’s check them all.

Linear Grip

Linear grip focuses on a tire’s straight-line stability, relying on the central tread’s contact with the road. Moreover, as this grip is directional it’s measured by tire’s braking efficiency.

Having said that, it makes sense why the Nokian’s tire here is one of the most lacking tire here, I mean relatively, comparing others in its category.

But why is that happening, even though the tire features continuous running rib in the very middle, forming consistent rubber to road contact at all times.

Well, this has to do with the tire’s relatively greater average weight (seeing all sizes, and comparing it with others). With this the tire actually produces more momentum, which is not easier to stop.

The result, you see almost 15 feet longer braking distance on Nordman 7, compared to the top ranking tire here (GT Radial IcePro 3).

Lateral Grip And Steering

Dry handling combines lateral traction and steering feedback. The tire’s shoulder lugs determine its lateral grip since they interact more with the road during turns, while steering comes by a lot of variables.

Now, in terms of grip, the Nokian Nordman 7 is actually pretty great, offering decent values, as seen by its lateral g forces generated (on average).

However, overall the tire still comes below average when it comes to overall handling.

But why? Well, this has to do with it’s lacking steering feedback.

Actually, the tire comes with greater relative weight and more tread depth, causing lugs to flex more as the tire corners. This leads to lagging and vague steering, especially when it comes to mid-cornering feedback.

Moreover, with slower braking, the tire also takes more time slowing down before entering the corners, hurting its overall handling scores.

Wet Performance

The tread design and rubber composition of a tire influence its wet traction, focusing on wet grip and hydroplaning resistance.

Wet Traction

Wet grip, akin to dry grip, depends on the rubber’s contact with the road. However, water can impede this contact, necessitating water displacement by the tire’s grooves and sipes.

While grooves expel most of the water and offer hydroplaning resistance, sipes further clear water at a microscopic level, enhancing ground contact.

Now just like seen on dry, the Nokian Nordman 7 again comes at the bottom (comparing its direct competitors), in terms of wet longitudinal grip.

And same is the case with its handling as well, where it’s weight yet again causes slower response times.

(It lacks to its Ice Pro 3 by over 3 seconds in overall handling lap times, averaged).

Though the tire is pretty decent in terms of hydroplaning resistance, which is another crucial factor here.


Hydroplaning occurs when water gets trapped between the tire and the road. As water isn’t compressible, if not properly channeled out, it can lead to a loss of traction.

This is where the tire’s grooves play a role, redirecting the water and preventing hydroplaning.

And the Nokian Nordman 7 being pretty voided up, does a pretty decent job here, offering above average float speeds on average.

It’s vine shaped lugs in the middle, complimented by its directional pattern easily throw water/slush out and allow for decent curved and straight aqua scores (as seen on tests).

Overall Winter Performance

The efficiency of a tire in winter is primarily assessed by its performance on ice and snow.

Snow Traction

Snow traction describes the tire’s effectiveness on snow-laden roads. It’s not just about digging into the snow but also releasing it to prevent accumulation.

Simply put, tires need to make effective snow-to-snow contact here, which generates more friction than rubber-to-snow contact.

And this is where the Nokian Nordman 7 redeems itself, coming out as one of the top ranking tires among its direct competitors, offering superb snow braking, acceleration and overall traction values.

Side Note: If snow traction is your primary need, you should know that the Michelin X Ice Snow offers the best results, though its way more pricey, in comparison. Review that tire here:

Ice Traction

Ice traction denotes the tire’s ability to grip and stabilize on icy surfaces. Given the minimal friction of ice, a tire’s rubber compound and tread design become essential.

So effective tires here should have numerous and flexible “biters” that can remain functional with freezing conditions.

Now, the Nokian Nordman 7 is again pretty great here, where although it’s handling can be improved a little, it offers above-average braking and acceleration values.

Also, since the lugs are stud-able, you can further improve it’s overall ice performance.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency of tires is tied to their weight and traction, both affecting rolling resistance.

And to put things into perspective, heavier tires with large tread gaps tend to flex more during maneuvers, consuming more energy that would otherwise assist in tire movement.

Now, as already mentioned, the Nokian Nordman 7 is a pretty bulky tire here, relatively speaking. And that combined with it’s voided up structure, you get greater weight focusing on small rubber area.

Do the math, and you get very high rolling resistance values.

Though the tire is still not so bad, and is better than reputable tires out there, namely Hakkapeliitta 9 and Toyo Observe Ice Freezer.

I mean given, its price tag, it’s okay to see a little lacking mpgs here.

Comfort Performance

The comfort of a tire hinges on factors like road noise and vibration absorption, which are influenced by its construction, materials, tread pattern, and sidewall design.

Tread Noise

Noise from the tread arises due to air particles colliding with the tread walls. Essentially, larger tread gaps tend to produce more noise.

Now, the Nokian Nordman 7 with such voided up structure, should make a lot of noise, but its saved by it’s variable pitch tread, producing different tones (on different lug areas), as air particles hit them.

This results in limited in-groove resonance, as those generated tones don’t get to amplify together, in-fact, they try to cancel out each other’s frequencies.

For Your Info: Among it’s direct competitors, the loudest tire in the group is the Toyo Observe Ice Freezer, while the quietest is the Michelin X Ice North 4.

Road Vibrations

Road smoothness is highly dependent on tires, as they act as secondary suspension system, cushioning against road irregularities.

And since this highly depends on how tire are made, both internally and externally, it can be explained why Nokian Nordman 7 offers top notch (subjective) scores here.

Externally, the tire benefits from a softer compound that adeptly absorbs road irregularities. And internally, its nylon cap ply plays a crucial role, serving primarily to regulate and evenly distribute the impact of road bumps.

Tread Longevity

Tread life is influenced by rolling resistance and tread depth.

Now, the thing is, greater tread depth indicates a longer tire life, since with more depth, tire should technically take longer to reach down to time-to-replace levels.

But it also adds to heat and rolling resistance, which affect tread life negatively.

Having said that the Nokian Nordman 7 is okay here. Not too bad or good. And like most winter tires, it also doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty.

Though you can easily get 30k miles out of them.


So overall, the Nokian Nordman 7 has its strengths and weaknesses in various performance aspects.

On the positive side, it excels in snow traction, offering superb snow braking, acceleration, and overall traction values. And yes, it’s ice traction is also a strong suit, with above-average braking and acceleration.

Furthermore, it performs well in terms of hydroplaning resistance, providing above-average float speeds.

However, there are areas that need improvement. I mean, in terms of dry performance, the tire lags behind its competitors, resulting in longer braking distances.

And its overall handling, particularly mid-cornering feedback and responsiveness, could also be enhanced.

Additionally, when it comes to wet traction, the tire struggles with wet longitudinal grip and handling, although it offers decent hydroplaning resistance (as already mentioned).

Moreover, the tire also lacks in terms of fuel economy, with its greater generated (average) rolling resistance, which also affects its tread life, though tread longevity is still good enough for a winter tire.

Moreover, the tire is okay in terms of comfort, and provide you with good vibration soaking abilities.

Nokian Nordman 7 vs Hakkapeliitta 10 R3

In the winter tire world, Nokian Nordman 7, with its superb performance on snowy terrains, and Hakkapeliitta 10 R3, known for its excellent handling on icy roads, are both set to compete. So let’s find out which tire is a better fit for your needs!


Wet Traction

Navigating wet surface requires more than just sipes. You also need a very complex make of tread rubber, along with well engineered grooves which account for hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning is a dangerous phenomenon, where tires act like unwilling hovercrafts, when water becomes an obstacle between the tread and the road surface.

So here it makes sense why the Nokian Nordman 7 (review) with wider grooves and more angled sweeping arms, gets to offer greater average float speeds on both straight and curved roads.

Float speeds is simply put, maximum speed a tire can reach over standing water, and the Hakkapeliitta 10 lacks in both by an average of 2 mph.

Nokian Nordman 7
Nokian Nordman 7

With closed up voids, this tire simply can’t evacuate water as abruptly as its counterpart.

Wet Grip

While hydroplaning has its role in overall wet gripping, sipes are still a major key players here. And that’s the reason why the Nordman 7, armed with more aggressive siping design gets to offer you with greater handling times and braking efficacy.

The tire basically offers an interlocking siping design, that goes all the way deep, down to the tread’s base, and this combined with its relatively softer compound, sipes act like thirsty sponges, drawing in water particles, allowing the tire biters to grasp the slightly dried surface firmly.

On the flip side, on the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3, these sipes aren’t that interlocking, and missing with full depth features. I mean don’t get me wrong, sipes do go all the way on its tread too, but it’s just not the same tread design you see at the end of the day, as the tire wears off, I mean.

Hakkapeliitta 10 R3
Hakkapeliitta 10 R3

Check out the tire’s image to see what I mean.

Dry Traction

Dry traction spins a two-part tale: one of directional grip, the other of handling. Let me talk about them both.

For directional grip, the limelight is on the central tread, meaning, its the tire’s main point of contact with the road.

And it’s especially true for winter tires, given their rounded contact patch and largely directional design.

But out of both tires here, the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3 still manages to come out better, showing up with 10 feet greater braking distance values.

Whereas on the other side, the Nokian Nordman 7, with its wider tread voids, is unable to match up, although its handling capabilities bring some redemption.

Handling is about maintaining traction during cornering, and largely hinges on shoulder lugs.

That’s why the Nordman 7 is also lacking here. Not only the tire features wider shoulder voids, but it’s blocks are also more prone to bending (as the tire turns, and weight focuses on those shoulders).

And consequently with this lug bending, the tire showcases lacking steering response.

Fuel Efficiency Assessment

Fuel efficiency and rolling resistance, in tires are both directly proportional to each other.

So looking at the factors affecting that resistance is the key, and those include tire’s tread design, weight, and the rubber composition, well, for the most part.

And considering all, it makes sense why the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 R3 sets a high bar in this department, owing to a combination of features designed to reduce energy loss and improve fuel economy.

First, its reduced weight compared to Nordman 7 plays a significant role. Lighter tires have less inertia and require less energy to rotate, which means the vehicle’s engine doesn’t need to work as hard, resulting in less fuel consumption.

Secondly, the tread design of the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3, with its longitudinally aligned tread ribs, provides a more streamlined path of travel. This reduces air resistance and further contributes to lower energy consumption.

And yes, lastly, the tire also features a more innovative silica-based compound that reduces friction between the tire and the road, resulting in a smoother ride and less wasted energy.

The Nokian Nordman 7 basically lack a little bit to its counterpart in all these sub-departments. This tire, features a softer tread compound (for the sake of simplifying things), which basically is more susceptible to lug bending, so extra energy is required in the rolling of the tire.

Ice Traction

Mastering icy conditions is arguably one of the most difficult feats for any tire, and its the most important reason why winter tires exist.

But what’s the main attribute of any winter tire? Well, having a lot of biters, on the tread.

So it makes sense why out of both Nokian boys here, the Nordman 7 still takes the lead by showcasing faster handling times, steering response values, and directional grip.

Thanks to the it’s innovative, and aggressive siping, and in-groove notches, the tire offers a more confident drive on this packed up snowy terrain.

The Hakapeliitta 10 on the other side, lacks the necessary tread design features such as aggressive siping, and snow vices. And yes, you also don’t have the option here to add studs, which further improves things up on Nordman 7.

Tread Longevity Evaluation

Tread longevity is an unsung hero when it comes to evaluating a tire’s worth, as it directly adds to the overall tire’s value.

And in this respect, the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3 proves its mettle.

Its relatively durable rubber, which is also infused with a greater composition of silica, leads to a reduced friction with the road, resulting in slower wear of the rubber.

This attention to detail ensures the tire’s longevity, promising reliability and consistent performance over time.

On the flip side, the Nordman 7, burdened by its extra weight and larger tread voids, so it generates a faster burning rate in comparison.

Snow Traction Analysis

The Nokian Nordman 7 is also a better tire when it comes to soft snowy terrains, as the tire features a design which allows for superior snow to snow contact abilities.

This type of contact is what you want exactly, because of simple fact that snowflakes like to stick on to each other more, instead of rubber.

The multiple tread voids on the tire amply trap in snow particles better and offer greater frictional values compared to Hakkapeliitta 10 R3.

Comfort Level Assessment

The level of comfort offered by a tire is although also dependent on its steering feedback capabilities, its mostly relied on the tire’s ability to soak up the imperfections of the road, if you will.

And here, the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3 is taking the lead, with its relatively spongier inner construction and tread rubber on top.

These allow for better dampening of the road vibrations compared to less absorbent tread rubber on Nordman 7.

Tread Noise

Tread noise is another area, which enhances the overall ride comfort by a lot, and here, again the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3 is taking the lead.

This is because this tire features intricately designed and densely arranged lugs that don’t allow a lot of air particle collisions in the first place. That’s what tread noise is by the way, its simply because of air, and with less bald design, the Nokian 10 R3 gets to be quieter.

Furthermore, the tire’s advanced pitch sequencing technology dampens any residual noise, resulting in a peaceful driving environment, relatively.

In comparison, the Nordman 7 isn’t able to provide the same experience here, as the tire’s tread produces greater in-groove resonance.

So what’s the verdict?

Well, it all comes down to this.

In the realm of wet traction, the Nokian Nordman 7 trumps with superior grip and resistance to hydroplaning, thanks to the tire’s well engineered biters.

These biters are also allowing this tire to be better when it comes to snowy and icy terrains.

Though things are a little different on dry roads, where the Hakkapeliitta 10 R3.

Moreover, the tire also takes the lead, when it comes to overall comfort and tread life, but lacks to its counterpart in case of fuel economy.

In the end, just leave with this, while each tire has its strengths, your ultimate choice depends on your specific needs and driving conditions.

Sumitomo Ice Edge vs Nokian Nordman 7

Both Sumitomo Ice Edge and Nokian Nordman 7 are worth mentioning in the winter tire spectrum, each with unique attributes to tackle the toughest winter conditions. But which tire is better for your needs? Well, let’s find out.

Winter Tire
Sumitomo Ice Edge is a popular choice among SUV owners.

Key Takeaway

The Nokian Nordman 7 (review) stands out when it comes to:

  • Ice Traction: With multiple smaller biters, variable-width inclined cuts, dual siping patterns, and highly angled biters, the Nokian Nordman 7 delivers superior traction on icy terrains.
  • Wet Performance: The tire has various types of sipes and a relatively softer compound, which allows for better absorption and redirection of water, hence enhancing grip on wet roads.
  • Dry Gripping: The Nokian Nordman 7, with a denser central rib, ensures continuous surface contact during linear motion, leading to improved performance in dry conditions.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The tire’s streamlined lugs and less aggressive central tread voids contribute to smoother, uninterrupted central rib motion, leading to better fuel economy.
  • Vibration Dampening: The tire, with a softer rubber compound, enhances the flexibility of its lugs, effectively absorbing impacts and mitigating surface vibrations.

On the other hand, the Sumitomo Ice Edge excels in:

  • Snow Grip: The Sumitomo performs better in fluffy or powdery snow conditions due to its abundant notches and voids in the tread that act as snow catchers, improving ground contact by holding onto the snow.
  • Tread Life: Despite carrying a smaller tread depth, the tire delivers superior tread life due to its stiffer rubber compound, which wears at a slower rate.

Available Sizes

The Sumitomo Ice Edge comes in 14 to 20 inches with following.

  • Speed ratings: T only.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 12/32″ on all.
  • Weight: 16 to 33 lbs.

On the other side, the Nokian Nordman 7 comes in 34 sizes in 13 to 17 inches rims, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T only.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 13/32″ on all.
  • Weight: 15 to 27 lbs.
  • Tread warranty: None.

Dry Gripping

The efficacy of the directional grip is largely dependent on the central tread area, as it defines the extent of contact between the tire and the road.

When the tire travels in a straight line, this central area bears the most pressure. And yes, that’s the reasons why its measured through braking distances (and also acceleration times, in some cases).

And so considering that, it can be understood, why out of both tires, the Nokian Nordman, armed with a denser central rib, ensures continuous surface contact during linear motion, leading to superior performance.

Whereas the Sumitomo with wider laterally oriented voids isn’t able to keep up, exhibiting on average, a braking distance seven feet longer in tests.

Dry Handling

The handling attributes of a tire are largely influenced by the shoulder regions. During cornering, the tire’s weight shifts towards the tread edges.

This is why the Nokian, equipped with more condensed shoulder blocks, delivers better performance.

Though the tire can still improve its steering feedback a little bit, as it’s softer compound, despite having lighter structure weight causes lug bending, a phenomenon, which disturbs the balance between understeer and oversteer, causing the tire’s relative handling performance to get limited slightly.

Ice Traction

When traversing icy terrains, numerous smaller biters distributed across the tread are crucial, which elucidates why the Nokian tire here, exhibits superior ice gripping efficacy.

Nokian Nordman 7
Nokian Nordman 7

The tire’s complex features, including variable-width inclined cuts, paired with dual siping patterns, and highly angled biters, all converge to deliver comparatively outstanding performance.

Conversely, the Sumitomo, with its broader tread voids, struggles to achieve the same efficacy in gripping ice.

The absence of notches and multi-angled siping on both central and shoulder lugs contributes to extended average braking distances and handling times.

Though if you consider using studs on the tire, it’s overall traction almost becomes equal to that seen on its counterpart.

Snow Grip

Under snowy conditions, the Sumitomo Ice Edge is superior tire to have, comparatively.

Sumitomo Ice Edge
Sumitomo Ice Edge

The tire simply deals with less packed up, you can say, fluffy, or powdery snow much better (than it does with ice). This is because it’s tread contains abundant notches and voids acting as snow catchers, enhancing ground contact by holding onto the snow.

This phenomenon is due to snow’s stronger tendency to stick to itself rather than rubber.

On the flip side, the Nokian Nordman 7, with its less spacious and simplistic tread design, can’t facilitate as effective snow-to-snow contact, particularly in heavy snow. So overall handling and braking efficacy on this terrain is limited for this tire.

Wet Performance

Tire’s gripping efficacy on damp surfaces primarily depends on the number of voids, a tread has.

The major grooves, like the block voids provide resistance to hydroplaning, while the sipes, and other tread features, help in clearing of water at a micro level.

Now of course, being winter tires, both tires have plenty of such biters, but still overall, the Nokian Nordman 7 takes the lead by a tiny margin.

This tire basically incorporates varied types of sipes which are more proficient at soaking up and redirecting water, enhancing grip on wet roads.

Moreover, the tire also features a relatively softer compound, so sipes are better able to breath water in and out.

The Sumitomo on the other side, displays less assertive siping and a stiffer rubber compound, lacking to its counterpart.

Tread and Fuel Usage

The correlation between tread life and fuel economy is largely determined by rolling resistance, significantly influenced by the tire’s weight, tread composition, and design.

Regarding fuel efficiency, the Nokian Nordman 7 outperforms, owing to its more streamlined lugs and less aggressive central tread voids.

This design allows for a smoother, uninterrupted central rib, minimizing hindrances during linear rolling, and thereby enhancing fuel economy.

However, in terms of tread life, the Sumitomo Ice Edge prevails. This is because, the tread life is shaped by two factors: the rate of rubber wear and the time taken to reach a critical wear level.

Now, although the Sumitomo isn’t lighter, and the tire carries smaller tread depth, the tire still does better, thanks to its relatively stiffer rubber compound.

(Deeper tread means a longer time to reach the legal 2/32″, though in this tire’s case, its not getting too affected by it).

Vibration Dampening

Tires act as auxiliary suspension systems for vehicles, cushioning the immediate impacts derived from road inconsistencies.

In this context, the Nordman 7 stands out with its unique design, as it features a softer rubber compound that enhances the flexibility of its lugs.

This means any impact on the tread is effortlessly absorbed, transforming into the deformation of the lugs, which helps avoid a shaky ride.

The Sumitomo Ice Edge, in contrast, offers a commendable steering response due to its firmer rubber. However, it falls short when it comes to absorbing surface vibrations, owing to its relatively limited capabilities in this area.

Though, its rigid tread significantly contributes to its exceptional performance in terms of overall tread life.

To Sum Up

This thorough comparison highlights each tire’s strengths, with each excelling in different categories. The Nokian Nordman 7 shines in terms of superior wet traction, vibration reduction, and ice performance, while the Sumitomo Ice Edge reigns supreme in snow performance, noise reduction, and dry traction (considerign its superior steering resposne).

Moreover, while the Nokian Nordman 7 excels in fuel economy, the Sumitomo Ice Edge is the champ in tread life.

Nokian Nordman 7 vs Nokian Nordman 7 vs NordMan 5

Nokian Nordman 7 and NordMan 5, both celebrated for their superior winter performance, are set to go head-to-head. Let’s explore their offerings and crown the ultimate winter tire!

Nordman tire aren’t that susceptible to heat as others in the market.

Tread Life

Tread life is notably affected by rolling resistance, determined by the tire’s weight and rubber composition.

Therefore, the heavier Nokian Nordman 7 (review) faces challenges in this area.

Its weight puts additional stress on the tread, and the widely spaced lugs endure more weight pressure, wearing out faster.

While its softer tread compound isn’t helping that either.

Conversely, the lighter Nokian NordMan 5, with closely-packed lugs, experiences less friction and hence slower tread wear.

This tire’s stiffer rubber compound may limit the overall ride comfort, but you sure get superior tread life, no doubt. Though, keep in mind, the overall difference is pretty low between the two, and yes, you also don’t get any tread-wear warranties with them too.

Snow Performance

The Nokian NordMan 7 exhibits superior performance in snowy conditions due to its more advanced features.

Nokian Nordman 7
Nokian Nordman 7

Its additional gaps/biters enable the capture of snow particles, improving snow-to-snow contact and enhancing traction.

The accumulated snow forms a contact patch with the ground as the tire rotates, improving the traction because snow bonds more effectively to itself than to rubber.

Additionally, the tire’s more pronounced directional tread pattern generates a more effective paddling effect, scooping up and propelling the snow backward, thereby producing forward momentum.

In contrast, the Nokian NordMan 5 lacks both these features, it can’t hold as much snow, and its less aggressive directional pattern, can’t provide as efficient of the overall paddling on soft snowy terrains.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is mainly governed by two variables: tread design and rubber composition. They influence the tire’s grip and resistance to hydroplaning, which are the twin pillars of wet performance.

Let’s start with grip.

Wet Grip

Despite both tires boasting plenty of siping and flexible tread rubber, the Nordman 5 still falls short, whereas the Nokian 7 stands out with its greater number of biters.

To put simply, its more aggressive siping offer better water wiping abilities, while the multiple in-groove notches bite on to the rather cleaned up, formerly wet road.

On the other side, the Norman 5 missing with as many multi-angled biters lacks here.

Nokian NordMan 5
Nokian NordMan 5

For folks who don’t know: Sipes basically suck water in their slits, and clear off the road that way, so that the rubber can properly sink its teeth in, and grip.

Hydroplaning resistance

Hydroplaning happens when a layer of water forms a barrier between the tire tread and the road, causing the tire to lose traction.

And here, the Nokian NordMan 7 yet again, takes the lead, showcasing higher float speeds in both straight and curved aqua tests.

Float speeds, simply put, is the maximum speed a tire can achieve over standing water.

Here the Norman 5 with missing (as efficient of the) interconnected tread voids, can’t disperse water off as quickly, as its counterpart.

Comfort Levels

Factors such as road noise and vibration absorption predominantly determine tire comfort.

And considering both, you get to see some mixed performance values.

Let’s start with noise.

So noise is formed when air particles hit the tread walls, and here, although both tires allow similar amount of air to get in (and strike around), the Nordman 5 still gets to be better, due to its stiffer rubber compound.

This rubber, basically does not produce as much in-groove resonance as its competitor (it happens when noise bounces off the walls of the tread, amplifying the overall affect).

Though this rubber ironically also puts the tire back in second part of overall comfort performance.

You see, with softer tread compound, the Nokain 7 takes the lead soaking up the vibrations of the road in a better way, whereas with Norman 5, you get feel the rides a bit more jittery.

So in essence where the Norman 5 does better with noise, the 7, is superior in diminishing the imperfections of the road.

Dry Traction

Dry traction unravels into two distinct facets: directional grip and handling. Let’s delve into each.

Directional Grip

The dry grip narrative is mainly dictated by the tire’s central tread region as it enjoys the most intimate contact with the ground.

That’s why it makes sense, why out of both tires, the Norman 7 takes the upper hand, with its more consistent rubber to road contact forming ability (with it’s central most rib).

On the other side, due to the longitudinal channel running right in the middle, the Nordman 5 isn’t able to provide you with as much rubber footprint, so naturally grip gets compromised.


A tire’s prowess at cornering or its overall sideways traction hinges on the performance of its shoulder lugs, and two key factors come under scrutiny here.

Firstly, the efficiency with which these lugs connect with the ground as the tire spins. And secondly, the degree to which these lugs bend during this dynamic process.

And in both aspects, the Nokian NordMan 5 outshines its counterpart. Its compact pattern secures a larger ground contact, and its lighter weight ensures its lugs do not flex excessively during cornering.

Still confused about lateral traction, well read this:

When the tire corners, the majority of its weight shifts toward the shoulders, and their bending can disrupt the balance between oversteer and understeer, leading to sluggish steering response.

To Conclude

Let’s summarize all of the performance metrics above.

In snowy conditions, the NordMan 7 outperforms its older variant, due to its advanced design and better traction.

In wet conditions, the NordMan 7 also leads due to superior grip and hydroplaning resistance. However, NordMan 5 has a longer tread life and produces less road noise, while the NordMan 7 offers better vibration absorption for a smoother ride.

In dry conditions, NordMan 7 has better directional grip, but NordMan 5 is superior in handling and cornering.

So in the end, its pretty fair to say that each tire has its strengths and weaknesses and the choice should depend on your specific requirements, and yes of course conditions.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 vs 10

The gloves are off as Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10, known for its unparalleled performance on snowy roads, squares off against Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5, hailed for its exceptional handling on icy surfaces. Let’s find out which winter tire reigns supreme!


Key Takeaway

  • Ice Performance: The R5 outperforms due to its precise biters and superior siping. However, the Hakkapeliitta 10’s stud holes could be a plus point for icy terrains.
  • Wet Grip: The R5 has the upper hand due to its abundance of siping and in-groove notches, while its counterpart’s thicker siping underperforms in wet conditions.
  • Snow Performance: The Nokian 10 shines with its wider tread voids and notches, while the R5’s closed design limits its snow performance.
  • Fuel Economy: The Hakkapeliitta 10’s significant weight and larger tread voids lead to higher rolling resistance. The R5, with its lighter weight and streamlined design, provides better fuel efficiency.
  • Dry Traction: The R5 offers better grip due to a more streamlined design, while the Hakkapeliitta 10’s larger weight and voided design hinder its performance.
  • Comfort Levels: The R5 is quieter, but its bigger brother stands out for its superior vibration absorption capability due to its softer rubber compound and larger tread void gaps.


The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 comes in 14 to 20 inches with following.

  • Speed ratings: R and T.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 11.5/32″
  • Weight: 15 to 35 lbs.

On the other side, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 comes in 14 to 20 inches with following.

  • Speed ratings: T only.
  • Load range: XL only.
  • Tread depth: 11.5/32″ on all.
  • Weight: 16.5 to 35.5 lbs.

Note: You also get Flat Run tire type in 6 sizes.

Ice Performance

In the realm of icy terrains, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 emerges as the undeniable victor.

Its exceptional performance surpasses that of its counterpart by demonstrating a significantly shorter braking distance and faster acceleration time, as measured and averaged in rigorous tests.

It basically comes with a very precisely angled biters in all longitudinal and lateral traction, so the lugs grip in all directions.

Moreover, you also get more in number sipes, which by the way, also have a more aggressive interlocking pattern.

On the other side, the Hakkapeliitta 10, while providing adequate grooves, still falls short in comparison, due to its missing crowded biters design.

It’s wider tread voids, and less in number sipes, simply can’t offer a similar experience compared to R5.

Though the plus point for this tire is that it features a lot of stud holes, so ideally, you can get a good traction on ice with that too.

Wet Grip

The wet traction of a tire is influenced by two crucial factors: tread design and rubber compound.

And so, taking both into consideration, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 comes out better, due to its tread featuring an abundance of siping, along with a lot of in-groove notches.

The sipes basically help clearing off water, as they suck up the particles within their slits. That’s why with more number of siping, the R5 is taking the lead.

Moreover, multi-angled notches also help here, as they get to be parallel of the direction of the tire’s motion, and provide grip.

On the other side, the Hakkapeliitta 10 thicker siping also helps a lot in snow, they really lack in wet conditions, resulting in longer wet braking distances and handling times.

Snow Performance

In snowy conditions, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 takes the lead due to its distinctive design features, as it possesses wider tread voids and in-groove notches that excel at trapping snow particles.

This design promotes increased traction as the lodged snow provides a superior grip compared to the rubber tread itself.

Additionally, the tire’s “thicker”, swooping, V-shaped lugs effectively displace thick snow, enhancing forward momentum and contributing to better acceleration times.

In contrast, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 exhibits somewhat limited braking and handling capabilities due to its relatively closed design, featuring a continuous central rib and narrower in-groove notches.

The tire’s less aggressive directional tread pattern, lacking the strong enough, you can say, arms limit its efficiency when it comes to maneuvering through (fluffy) snow.

Fuel Economy

Fuel consumption in tires is intricately connected to their road surface adhesion and overall structural weight. And these aspects present areas that could benefit from improvement, when we talk about the Hakkapeliitta 10.

This tire basically exhibits significant weight, and larger tread voids, and both of these contribute to its higher rolling resistance values.

With larger voids, each lug bear more weight pressure on itself, and this leads to increased lug bending and flexing. Consequently, more energy is required, leading to a reduction in overall fuel usage.

On the other side, the R5 with its lighter weight exerts less pressure on the road surface, effectively reducing overall friction.

Furthermore, the Hakkapeliitta R5 features a tread design with a better longitudinally aligned (central) rib, that streamline its movement when rolling straight. This design minimizes obstacles and conserves energy, resulting in improved fuel efficiency.

Dry Traction

Dry performance comprises two aspects: grip and handling.

Grip refers to the tire’s ability to roll or brake when moving straight, typically measured by braking distances.

And in this regard, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 emerges with shorter stopping and handling times, thanks to its more streamlined longitudinal central rib, that provides a larger contact area with the ground.

The Hakkapeliitta 10, on the other hand, lacks with its voided design, stating the obvious, though it’s directional grip is not as bad here, as its handling.

Handling depends on two factors: contact from the shoulders and lug bending, and both of these aren’t favoring this tire.

Its greater weight hinders its performance and prevents it from achieving comparable results. I mean, in tests, it is approximately 0.5 seconds slower than its counterpart.

With larger weight, the lugs basically flex more as the tire maneuvers, and this decreases overall steering feedback.

On the other side, the Hakkapeliitta R5, with its lighter weight, and solid reinforced foundations (under its tread lugs), provide a firmer ride, where less lug bending is seen, so you get a superior under and over steering balance.

Comfort Levels

The comfort levels of a tire are largely influenced by factors such as road noise and vibration absorption capability, which can vary significantly depending on the tire’s construction.

In terms of noise, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 has the upper hand overall, as it produces relatively less noise due to its swooping arms, which streamline the air particles, minimizing their impact on the tread walls.

On the other hand, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10, although relatively louder, excels in its ability to absorb bumps.

This is because, one, the tire features thermally adaptive softer rubber compound, which enables more effective cushioning of bumps on the road.

And two, it’s lugs have more gaps in between, so they mold, absorbing up the shocks of the road, acting as secondary suspensions for the car.


Upon comparing these two formidable winter tires, we get to see that, each demonstrates specific advantages.

The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 excels in fluffy snow conditions due to its wider tread voids, bigger in-groove notches, and superior snow-clearing V-shaped lugs.

However, it falls short in ice performance compared to its counterpart, which has very tiny biters.

By the way, these biters also allow this tire to have superior traction in wet conditions.

And yes, its closed up design also allows it to have superior on-road, dry performance too.

Moreover, with lighter weight, the tire also shows up with lower rolling resistance values, and this results in tire giving up with superior fuel economy and tread life.