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Old 10-10-2012, 01:12 AM   #1
garzdos
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Default Anyone used tire socks before?

I have a '12 WRX with the summer Dunlops the car came with. I live in the Portland Oregon area so we have the possibility of seeing a few inches of snow a few times a year.
I'm wondering if anyone has ever used tire socks on their WRX before. I'm thinking it might be a good option for the few times I may need a little snow traction. Other than the snowy times we usually have 40-50 degree wet days in the winter so I am figuring my summer tires will be fine.

Any input?
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
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Yes and they work quite well. I used them once with my G35 sedan when nagivating 8" of snow back in early 2011. We didn't get any snow last year so I couldn't test them out. Here's me in my old RWD G35 driving in about 3 to 4" of unplowed snow, stopping in the middle of a step hill, and then restarting. Not an ounce of spin. Amazing product.


If you're going to run them with summer tires, you should do all four corners. Also keep in mind they're not made for driving on any surface not covered in snow. You'll chew them up in no time so in the end they might not be terribly useful. You can only go 30-35mph with them on too.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:33 AM   #3
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You will be much better off with all seasons. Cold temperatures and summer tires don't mix well
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMax View Post
Yes and they work quite well. I used them once with my G35 sedan when nagivating 8" of snow back in early 2011. We didn't get any snow last year so I couldn't test them out. Here's me in my old RWD G35 driving in about 3 to 4" of unplowed snow, stopping in the middle of a step hill, and then restarting. Not an ounce of spin. Amazing product.

MVI_2219.mp4 video by nosnorb06 - Photobucket

If you're going to run them with summer tires, you should do all four corners. Also keep in mind they're not made for driving on any surface not covered in snow. You'll chew them up in no time so in the end they might not be terribly useful. You can only go 30-35mph with them on too.
I did know about using them only on snow and the speed limitations as well as doing all 4 wheels. I am really just looking for those rare times where me get snow and I need to get to work (I only live about 4-5 miles from work) or to the store or something. Sounds like a good investment!
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by russ9127 View Post
You will be much better off with all seasons. Cold temperatures and summer tires don't mix well
I understand summer tires and cold temps don't mix, but is 40-50's that cold that I will be unsafe? I'm not looking to drive all that aggerssively in the winter...
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:35 AM   #6
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I had no idea what snow socks were until I read this post but from what I can tell from google search is they seem to do the job. I would say get em'. Regular old chains and cable chains are a pain in ass! They look way easier to put on and less time spent.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:46 AM   #7
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I had no idea what snow socks were until I read this post but from what I can tell from google search is they seem to do the job. I would say get em'. Regular old chains and cable chains are a pain in ass! They look way easier to put on and less time spent.
Plus the fact you can't put chains on the '12 WRX or STI if you have factory wheels/tires...not enough clearance!
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garzdos View Post
I understand summer tires and cold temps don't mix, but is 40-50's that cold that I will be unsafe? I'm not looking to drive all that aggerssively in the winter...
Yes, that temperature is unsafe. Anything under 60 degrees turns summer tires into shopping cart wheels.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:52 AM   #9
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Holy crap those are cool! Never heard of them before.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:17 AM   #10
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$84 per sock? I couldn't tell if that was the single or pair price.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:32 AM   #11
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$84 per sock? I couldn't tell if that was the single or pair price.
That price is per pair. I figure it's cheaper than winter wheels and tires. I know there are many who live in places where a winter tire is a must but in my case I just don't need them. These seem to provide just what I need for those few and far between snow falls in the city...
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:35 AM   #12
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Yes, that temperature is unsafe. Anything under 60 degrees turns summer tires into shopping cart wheels.
I'm surprised to hear this. Just the last few mornings it has been 40 degrees and I noticed no significant difference in the car's handling. Granted, I'm not racing, but I really felt the tires were as grippy as usual...certainly seemed to do a great job on the streets and highways.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Evans2point5RS View Post
I had no idea what snow socks were until I read this post but from what I can tell from google search is they seem to do the job. I would say get em'. Regular old chains and cable chains are a pain in ass! They look way easier to put on and less time spent.
Ever review and/or video I've seen about them is positive. They are self-centering and quick to put on and get off. And you're right, chains are a serious pain!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garzdos View Post
Ever review and/or video I've seen about them is positive. They are self-centering and quick to put on and get off. And you're right, chains are a serious pain!
The only issue with putting them on is you need some clearance to get your arms into the wheel well. Lowered cars need not apply. They do self-center quite well.

They also make these for semis and I believe they're approved in some states as an alternate to chains on rigs.

They're slick woven fabric on the outside which makes it even more interesting as to how they work. I kept them in my G35's trunk in case of super deep snow or a hill I knew I couldn't get over. The socks proved that those obstacles were nothing. They basically drive/handle like true winter/snow tires.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Yes, that temperature is unsafe. Anything under 60 degrees turns summer tires into shopping cart wheels.
I don't notice a massive difference in the handling of the OEM Dunlops summer tires in low 40 degree temps. They definitely ride harsher and max grip and handling is compromised a bit, but they handle just as good as any other ultra high performance A/S tire I've owned. Threshold braking is fine too. I know driving around on them in low 40 degree temps isn't ideal, but it's definitely not a major risk.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMax View Post
I don't notice a massive difference in the handling of the OEM Dunlops summer tires in low 40 degree temps. They definitely ride harsher and max grip and handling is compromised a bit, but they handle just as good as any other ultra high performance A/S tire I've owned. Threshold braking is fine too. I know driving around on them in low 40 degree temps isn't ideal, but it's definitely not a major risk.
Noobs slide into curbs every year (October/November) and post here because of their summer tires, so there is some risk.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:18 AM   #17
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What is your commute like? West hills, or banana belt down low? Troutdale? Do you absolutely, positively have to get to work on your schedule, or can you take a personal day when the roads are at their worst?

I've found that "just cold" and summer tyres are ok. DO NOT expect much stick. It's the frozen white stuff that can do you in here.

P.S. The air temp may have been in the 40 F range lately in the early am, but the ground is still plenty warm. Don't be lulled into a false sence of security. January can be a whole different game.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
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What is your commute like? West hills, or banana belt down low? Troutdale? Do you absolutely, positively have to get to work on your schedule, or can you take a personal day when the roads are at their worst?

I've found that "just cold" and summer tyres are ok. DO NOT expect much stick. It's the frozen white stuff that can do you in here.

P.S. The air temp may have been in the 40 F range lately in the early am, but the ground is still plenty warm. Don't be lulled into a false sence of security. January can be a whole different game.
Usually just driving around Beaverton. Yes, I need to get to work on time but I was planning on using the Tire Socks if we have snow or ice. Was going to keep them in my car in case I am at work and we get some snow (rarely happens around here!).

I certainly don't expect much stick and definitely am not allowing a lulling into false security. If it's real cold I would drive accordingly. I was more shocked to see Unabomber say anything below 60 degrees "turns summer tires into shopping cart wheels." I am only looking for "okay" with cold and my summer tires...not expecting high performance.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #19
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Banana belt then. I grew up in Tigard and went to school at Catlin Gabel at the North end of 217. The main roads can be in very good shape, but the neighborhood streets are crap.

If I were you, I'd seriously consider some all seasons for the winter months. I've been caught out on RE-070's. Real fun in the snow...

Last edited by Web Foot STi; 10-11-2012 at 04:28 PM. Reason: dyslexia...
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #20
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As an oregon guy who drove on summer tires in ptown about a decade ago, you really want to think about all seasons. Hydro planing for about 150 feet on 217 at 60 mph is less than fun. Did it again a week later on I5 outside of roseburg driving home for Christmas. Returned all my Christmas loot for cash and started a Les Schwabe account before the drive north. Now I run full studs late fall-spring and never have to worry about it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #21
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On a slight side note: how do trucks put chains on while rolling? I was on a bus in Co. And it put chains on as we were rolling down the road (slowly).
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:44 PM   #22
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On a slight side note: how do trucks put chains on while rolling? I was on a bus in Co. And it put chains on as we were rolling down the road (slowly).
If those "chains" are anything like what the school busses around here use it's an octopus like head that moves down and puts the arms into the interface between the tyre and the snow/ice. The "chains" never are on the tyre/wheel in the conventional sense. They seem to work well on an on demand basis for busses. Not piratical for a passenger car retrofit.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Web Foot STi

If those "chains" are anything like what the school busses around here use it's an octopus like head that moves down and puts the arms into the interface between the tyre and the snow/ice. The "chains" never are on the tyre/wheel in the conventional sense. They seem to work well on an on demand basis for busses. Not piratical for a passenger car retrofit.
Yes, they just spin and fall between the tire and road to provide traction. They are permanently attached to the bus.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Web Foot STi
Banana belt then. I grew up in Tigard and went to school at Catlin Gabel at the North end of 217. The main roads can be in very good shape, but the neighborhood streets are crap.

If I were you, I'd seriously consider some all seasons for the winter months. I've been caught out on RE-070's. Real fun in the snow...
I'm seriously considering a ultra high performance all season after these summers are worn out but really don't want to do the biannual tire change. Adds up!
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:45 PM   #25
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It could take years to wear out the OEM rubber. I'm only on my second set of RE-070 tyres. That's some hard street, auto-x, hillclimb, and HPDE time.

I don't want to be anywhere near you if you can burn up a set of tyres in one season on the street...
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