Rugged-terrain tires: everything you need to know

by Discount Tire

Large off road vehicle with rugged terrain tires

Here’s the situation: you’re looking for new tires for your off-roader and are debating between a strong mud-terrain or a reliable all-terrain. The mud-terrain has the aggressive prowess and strength you're looking for, but could you be happy with a fresh set of your current all-terrain tires?

Enter a new type: R/T (or rugged-terrain) tires. It’s the best of both worlds.

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) is on track to designating R/T tires as its own category due to high demand from manufacturers and consumers alike. In the meantime, while there are many variations of rugged-terrain tires, most manufacturers still keep them classified under the more traditional mud-terrain or all-terrain tire segments (for now).

But what exactly are rugged-terrain tires?

Rugged terrain, sometimes referred to as rough terrain or R/T tires are also known as hybrid-terrain tires: essentially a combination of an all-terrain and a mud-terrain tire. They offer a win-win situation for any SUV, truck or even crossover owner who wants that burly look and feel without having to give up too much ride comfort and road noise.

As a bonus, R/T tires come in a variety of sizes across most manufacturers so you can modify your vehicle to your heart’s content.

Since R/T tires aren’t their own category yet, you would normally would have to do some research to find them—if we didn’t already do the work for you! At Discount tire, we know a thing or two about which tires are suited for your truck.

The best R/T tires

Atturo Trail blade X/T

three tire view of atturo trail blade xt

The rising popularity of Atturo’s Trail Blade M/T matches the demand for a tire that has the same aggressive and menacing appearance while being highway-friendly. The Trail Blade X/T combines traditional elements of the M/T, large shoulder blocks and sidewall tread lugs with A/T features like angled shoulders and alternating sipes (to reduce road noise and create better on-road steering response). Designed in collaboration with Quartermaster Knives, you could say that this tire is on the “cutting edge” of rugged-terrain style.

Toyo Open Country R/T

three tire view of toyo open country rt

Toyo boasts that the Open Country R/T is the strongest in the budding rugged terrain category. This tire maintains the look and off-road performance of an M/T with the on-road comfort of an A/T. The aggressive sidewall and scalloped shoulder blocks protect against mud, snow, and rocks while the tread pattern reduces road noise. With a set of these tires, you’ll be ready to tackle almost any terrain and enjoy a smooth ride.

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

three tire view of goodyear wrangler duratrac

While Goodyear doesn’t have an official R/T product, many within the light truck community speculate that the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac was the original R/T Tire. It’s meant for traversing through the harshest of terrains and is also three-peak mountain/snowflake certified. While the bold design gives it the feel of a burly off-road tire, its center tread block design significantly reduces road noise to give you a quieter ride.

Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx

three tire view of cooper discoverer st maxx

The Cooper Discoverer S/T MAXX is reliable for tough terrain and gives you exceptional on-road stability and performance. This M+S rated tire is packed with a tread pattern to reduce road noise and also provides good grip in both wet and dry conditions. Cooper categorizes this under all-season, but the durability is paralleled to an M/T without sacrificing comfort on the road.

Nitto Ridge Grappler

three tire view of nitto ridge grappler

Nitto refers to rugged-terrain as hybrid-terrain because it truly is a mix of the intimidating features of an M/T and the comfort of an A/T. The Ridge Grappler combines the best features of Nitto’s mud-terrain and all-terrain products to give your truck a tire that’s well balanced for off-road adventuring and highway cruising.

If you’d like to learn more about R/T tires, stop by any Discount Tire location today and we’ll get you taken care of!