2019 Studded Winter Tyre Test

Dry BrakingContinental VikingContact 7: 43 MSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 48.2 M
Subj. Dry HandlingMichelin X Ice North 4: 5 PointsContinental IceContact 3: 2 Points
Wet BrakingContinental IceContact 3: 28.8 MHankook Winter i pike RS2: 31.4 M
Wet HandlingNokian Hakkapeliitta 9: 43.18 sContinental VikingContact 7: 45.65 s
Straight AquaHankook Winter i pike RS2: 62.2 Km/HContinental VikingContact 7: 57 Km/H
Snow BrakingContinental VikingContact 7: 16.7 MSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 19.2 M
Snow TractionContinental VikingContact 7: 4.05 sSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 4.57 s
Snow HandlingContinental IceContact 3: 83.75 sSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 93.63 s
Ice BrakingContinental IceContact 3: 8.67 MSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 13.97 M
Ice TractionContinental IceContact 3: 4.14 sSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 6.58 s
Ice HandlingContinental VikingContact 7: 51.35 sSailun Ice Blazer WST3: 60.11 s
While studded tyres don't have much use in the UK, for parts of the Nordic countries they are essential for safe mobility.

To find out which  of the latest studded winter tyres are worth fitting, Swedish magazine Vi Bilagare have tested seven studded winter tyres in 225/50 R17, and included a studless nordic friction winter tyre as a comparison.

Even if you don't live in an area that needs such an extreme winter tyre, the difference in performance between the latest studded and studless winter tyres is an interesting demonstration.

The main novelty of the test came from the new Continental IceContact 3, which is the first tyre to use rubberised flexstud spikes. These studs claim to offer reduced road wear, while improving traction on ice.



During dry braking testing, the studless friction Continental VikingContact led the way with a significant gap to the best studded tyre, which was also a Continental.




Wet braking testing swung the balance back to the studded tyres, with the studded Continental tyre stopping the test vehicle in the shortest distance. The studless winter tyre could only manage a mid-group performance.

Due to the tread design of studless friction tyres, the studded tyres all had a significant advantage during wet handling and aquaplaning testing.


Continental dominated all three snow tests, with either their studded tyre, or studless tyre taking top spot. The budget Sailun Ice Blazer was extremely weak in all three tests.


The new type of spike on the Continental IceContact 3 delivered on its promise of improved ice trip, winning both the ice traction and ice braking tests.

Perhaps the most interesting result of the test was the ice handling, as the studless friction tyre beat ALL the studded tyres! This was due to the types of ice used for testing. For traction and braking testing, smooth ice was used as it replicated ice found at junctions, but for ice handling, uneven ice was used which is closer to the icy surfaces you find on the open roads. 

The testers did note one extra important point. When you lose grip on the studless tyre, it takes much longer to recover the grip, which means they still recommend studded tyres overall, as they will provide higher manoeuvrability and safety reserves in real life useage.


1st: Continental IceContact 3

Continental IceContact 3
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking2nd44.9 M43 M+1.9 M95.77%
Subj. Dry Handling6th2 Points5 Points-3 Points40%
Wet Braking1st28.8 M100%
Wet Handling6th44.12 s43.18 s+0.94 s97.87%
Straight Aqua3rd60.3 Km/H62.2 Km/H-1.9 Km/H96.95%
Snow Braking2nd16.9 M16.7 M+0.2 M98.82%
Snow Traction2nd4.06 s4.05 s+0.01 s99.75%
Snow Handling1st83.75 s100%
Ice Braking1st8.67 M100%
Ice Traction1st4.14 s100%
Ice Handling2nd52.64 s51.35 s+1.29 s97.55%
High grip on snow and ice, low noise.
Weak subjective dry handling.
The new rubberised studs in the IceContact 3 really work. Excellent grip in all conditions.

Read Reviews

2nd: Michelin X Ice North 4

Michelin X Ice North 4
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking4th46.7 M43 M+3.7 M92.08%
Subj. Dry Handling1st5 Points100%
Wet Braking5th31 M28.8 M+2.2 M92.9%
Wet Handling7th44.37 s43.18 s+1.19 s97.32%
Straight Aqua6th58.1 Km/H62.2 Km/H-4.1 Km/H93.41%
Snow Braking3rd17.9 M16.7 M+1.2 M93.3%
Snow Traction3rd4.17 s4.05 s+0.12 s97.12%
Snow Handling3rd86.49 s83.75 s+2.74 s96.83%
Ice Braking2nd9.42 M8.67 M+0.75 M92.04%
Ice Traction3rd4.51 s4.14 s+0.37 s91.8%
Ice Handling3rd52.89 s51.35 s+1.54 s97.09%
High grip on snow and ice, good handling, low noise.
Weak aquaplaning resistance.
Quietest studded tyres on test, even with 257 spikes, with the lowest signs of wear.

Read Reviews

3rd: Continental VikingContact 7

Continental VikingContact 7
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking1st43 M100%
Subj. Dry Handling6th2 Points5 Points-3 Points40%
Wet Braking5th31 M28.8 M+2.2 M92.9%
Wet Handling8th45.65 s43.18 s+2.47 s94.59%
Straight Aqua8th57 Km/H62.2 Km/H-5.2 Km/H91.64%
Snow Braking1st16.7 M100%
Snow Traction1st4.05 s100%
Snow Handling2nd85.59 s83.75 s+1.84 s97.85%
Ice Braking4th10.64 M8.67 M+1.97 M81.48%
Ice Traction7th5.16 s4.14 s+1.02 s80.23%
Ice Handling1st51.35 s100%
High grip in the snow, good handling on uneven ice, low noise.
Relatively poor in dry and wet, weak aquaplaning resistance.
As the only non-studded tyre on test, the Viking Contact 7 had an impressive all round ability.

Read Reviews

4th: Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking5th47.1 M43 M+4.1 M91.3%
Subj. Dry Handling4th3 Points5 Points-2 Points60%
Wet Braking3rd29.9 M28.8 M+1.1 M96.32%
Wet Handling1st43.18 s100%
Straight Aqua7th57.5 Km/H62.2 Km/H-4.7 Km/H92.44%
Snow Braking4th18 M16.7 M+1.3 M92.78%
Snow Traction5th4.23 s4.05 s+0.18 s95.74%
Snow Handling4th87.54 s83.75 s+3.79 s95.67%
Ice Braking3rd9.68 M8.67 M+1.01 M89.57%
Ice Traction2nd4.27 s4.14 s+0.13 s96.96%
Ice Handling4th53.92 s51.35 s+2.57 s95.23%
Good handling and high grip on snow and ice.
Weak aquaplaning resistance, moderate Noise.
One of the most stable tyres on test, with great handling.

Read Reviews

5th: Hankook Winter i pike RS2

Hankook Winter i pike RS2
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking6th47.8 M43 M+4.8 M89.96%
Subj. Dry Handling4th3 Points5 Points-2 Points60%
Wet Braking8th31.4 M28.8 M+2.6 M91.72%
Wet Handling4th43.71 s43.18 s+0.53 s98.79%
Straight Aqua1st62.2 Km/H100%
Snow Braking6th18.1 M16.7 M+1.4 M92.27%
Snow Traction6th4.27 s4.05 s+0.22 s94.85%
Snow Handling5th87.93 s83.75 s+4.18 s95.25%
Ice Braking7th10.97 M8.67 M+2.3 M79.03%
Ice Traction5th4.94 s4.14 s+0.8 s83.81%
Ice Handling5th55.52 s51.35 s+4.17 s92.49%
High resistance to aquaplaning.
High noise levels, long wet braking.
Excellent aquaplaning results, but the smallest spike protrusion hampered its results on ice.

Read Reviews

6th: Goodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking3rd46.2 M43 M+3.2 M93.07%
Subj. Dry Handling2nd4 Points5 Points-1 Points80%
Wet Braking2nd29.8 M28.8 M+1 M96.64%
Wet Handling2nd43.59 s43.18 s+0.41 s99.06%
Straight Aqua2nd60.9 Km/H62.2 Km/H-1.3 Km/H97.91%
Snow Braking4th18 M16.7 M+1.3 M92.78%
Snow Traction4th4.2 s4.05 s+0.15 s96.43%
Snow Handling7th89.15 s83.75 s+5.4 s93.94%
Ice Braking5th10.87 M8.67 M+2.2 M79.76%
Ice Traction6th5.03 s4.14 s+0.89 s82.31%
Ice Handling7th56.63 s51.35 s+5.28 s90.68%
Good driving performance in the dry, good traction and braking in the snow.
Weak lateral stability on snow and ice, high rolling resistance.
Smallest number of spikes on test at 130, which was an issue on ice. Good in the wet and dry.

Read Reviews

7th: Bridgestone Noranza 001

Bridgestone Noranza 001
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking7th48 M43 M+5 M89.58%
Subj. Dry Handling2nd4 Points5 Points-1 Points80%
Wet Braking4th30.8 M28.8 M+2 M93.51%
Wet Handling3rd43.64 s43.18 s+0.46 s98.95%
Straight Aqua5th58.2 Km/H62.2 Km/H-4 Km/H93.57%
Snow Braking7th18.4 M16.7 M+1.7 M90.76%
Snow Traction7th4.4 s4.05 s+0.35 s92.05%
Snow Handling6th88.07 s83.75 s+4.32 s95.09%
Ice Braking6th10.88 M8.67 M+2.21 M79.69%
Ice Traction4th4.88 s4.14 s+0.74 s84.84%
Ice Handling6th55.94 s51.35 s+4.59 s91.79%
Low rolling resistance.
Long dry braking.
Acceptable grip on ice, but poor in the snow and long dry braking.

Read Reviews

8th: Sailun Ice Blazer WST3

Sailun Ice Blazer WST3
  • 225/50 R17
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking8th48.2 M43 M+5.2 M89.21%
Subj. Dry Handling6th2 Points5 Points-3 Points40%
Wet Braking7th31.3 M28.8 M+2.5 M92.01%
Wet Handling5th44 s43.18 s+0.82 s98.14%
Straight Aqua4th58.6 Km/H62.2 Km/H-3.6 Km/H94.21%
Snow Braking8th19.2 M16.7 M+2.5 M86.98%
Snow Traction8th4.57 s4.05 s+0.52 s88.62%
Snow Handling8th93.63 s83.75 s+9.88 s89.45%
Ice Braking8th13.97 M8.67 M+5.3 M62.06%
Ice Traction8th6.58 s4.14 s+2.44 s62.92%
Ice Handling8th60.11 s51.35 s+8.76 s85.43%
Non mentioned.
Very poor grip on snow and ice, poor handling in the dry and wet.
Not recommended. Not only poor grip, but the tyres started to lose spikes in the first 80 km.

Read Reviews


comments powered by Disqus