Mud terrain tires, also called mudders or M/Ts, are the maximum traction off-road style you need. They’re for advanced off-road drivers determined to drive over any obstacle.
Regular passenger tires will get you stuck in the mud. All-terrain tires will let you get through some mud. Mud terrain tires are a full measure beyond that. They love the mud. You get to take on the excitement of off-roading with optimal performance. What they deliver are larger tread blocks, bigger gaps between the blocks, making for greater tread void. Tread void is the space through which the mud gets directed. Mud tires channel the mud away to keep you connected with the road surface.
Mud terrain tires have extremely aggressive tread patterns that grip nearly impossible surfaces such as slippery rocks and wet stone. These tires also commonly feature mud/stone ejector bars, extra layers or reinforcing belts, chip-resistance tread compounds, and serrated shoulders to improve handling in soft terrain.
To begin a first-time M/T search, mainstays of this category include:
BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Tire with Kevlar
Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
Each offers something a little different and gets rave reviews by off-road drivers.
Extreme Terrain & Specialty Tires
For anyone looking to take their mudding even deeper, there’s what’s called Extreme Terrain tires. They practically swim through mud, sand, deep snow, and gravel. If you’re building a full-time mudding rig that would see little of the highway, these are for you.
As always, you’ll want to check your tire specs and capacity with your vehicle model, taking into account any modifications, to be sure that any sets you order match size and load capacity you require. It’s also a great time and money-saver to check product reviews and ask other off-roading enthusiasts what they recommend.
Members of mudder clubs are a great source of info about whether or not a particular tire is good at a specific surface. For instance, you may need to go up and down steep creek beds to get to a hunting ground. Or, you may want to freestyle in Moab. There’s so much variety in “mud terrain” that it’s worth seeing what other people use.
Vehicles do not always come with a spare tire, but you might not notice this until it’s too late (when you are on the side of the road with a flat). It’s important to always have a back-up plan. Tireamerica.com has a guide created to help you understand the best options for you.