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Expanding Your Horizons: Tacoma Tire Options

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Shop Tacoma Tires

Having the right tire for your terrain of choice is paramount to tackling the trails without getting stuck. Outfitting your Tacoma with sand tires, for example, are excellent for desert or beach terrains, but mudslinging tires with large side lugs won't perform as they would fresh rained on dirt paths. Be sure to match the proper tire to your adventure.

Tacoma Tires >>

Whether you’re looking for all-seasonal or all-terrain tires, ExtremeTerrain has you covered. A new set of treads can significantly boost your Toyota Tacoma’s handling, acceleration, and fuel economy, whether it’s off-road or on the highway. But not all tires are created equal, which is why we’ve prepared this buyer’s guide to help you choose the right set for your Tacoma.

Basics of a Tire

Modern day tires add a new twist on a century old technology to offer smoother rides with greater performance. The anatomy of a tire includes these essential components:

  • Sipes: Specialized tread or grooves within the tread that allow the tire to grip the road better
  • Plies: Plies represents the layers of cotton, steel, etc. used to construct the tire. Ply ratings determine how tough the tire is
  • Tread: The part of the tire that comes in contact with the road
  • Belts: Layered steel and fiberglass material providing the tire protection against punctures. Runs at diagonal angles between the plies and tread
  • Sidewall: Provides important manufacturer information, as well as protects cord plies. Can be found on the side of the tire
  • Shoulder: Connects the tread to the sidewall area
  • Bead: A high-strength rubber-coated cable that provides an airtight seal between the tire and rim

2005-2019 Tacoma Stock Tire Sizes

  • 215/70R15
  • 245/75R16
  • 265/70R16
  • 265/65R17
  • 255/45R18

The 2018 Limited Toyota Tacoma also introduced a stock wheel size of 265/60R18 on its Limited Models.

What Kinds of Tires are Available for my Tacoma?

Depending on where you live, your Tacoma may require different tires that are better suited for your environment. Generally, tires can be categorized by two different tread patterns:

  • Radial
  • Circumferential

Circumferential tires are the most basic tread design and your most common highway tires. Radial treads offer greater traction in slippery environments, which is why you often hear of all-season tires referred to as “all-season radials.”

Characteristics of Circumferential Tires

  • Relatively vertical tread patterns
  • Offers a quiet ride
  • Poor snow and mud traction
  • Great rain traction
  • Resistant to uneven wear
  • Improved rolling resistance

Circumferential tires offer improved highway performance over radial tires and generally handle better in the rain, despite not handling as well in sand, snow, or mud. 

Characteristics of Radial Tires

  • Improved traction in snow, sand, and mud
  • Adequate rain traction

Generally, your all-terrain, mud, and snow tires will incorporate a radial tread design. These tires offer good traction in off-roading conditions, as well as a smooth and quiet ride. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to uneven wear and do not offer the same highway performance as a circumferential tread tire.

All-Season Radials

All-seasonal tires offer great snow and mud traction and are designed for any vehicle, all-year round. They leverage a vertical tread pattern with more siping than a circumferential tires to offer greater traction in poorer conditions.

Snow Tires

Snow tires differentiate themselves from all-season tires by offering even greater grip and traction in the snow. The tread on snow tires is also drastically different. Snow tires come with significantly larger voids between tire blocks and a lot more siping for even greater grip in the snow.

Even the rubber compound used for snow tires is considerably softer than all-season radial treads. Unfortunately, this does leave snow tires more susceptible to wear in a shorter period of time.

Mud Tires

Mud tires are very similar to snow tires, except they are often built to be much larger and with a much harder rubber than snow tires. For this reason, they do not perform very well in light snow or rain, but do perform exceptionally well in deep snow and mud.

All-Terrain

All-terrain tires offer a nice middle ground between snow tires and all-season tires. Their aggressive tread offers improved traction in rain, mud, and snow, although they are susceptible to cupping. 

Off-Roading Tires

Overlanding: When choosing tires for overlanding or off-roading, you don’t need to buy the biggest radial tires to get by. In fact, adding complexity to your design can make your vehicle less responsive in different terrains. Always choose a tire that matches your intended use.

For overlanding vehicles traveling through mud and brush, a more conservative radial tread design will generally work well. For example, an all-terrain tire will offer greater vehicle responsiveness than opting for a mud or snow tire.

Rock Climbing: Rock climbing is one of the most exhaustive and risky activities you can put your tire through. If your Tacoma is going to do some rock climbing than you’ll need a softer tire with a flexible design. You can choose between a taller tire with a zig-zag tread design for greater responsiveness or a wider tire for more grip.

The most important consideration is the weight of your vehicle and your tire’s resistance to puncturing. That’s why you’ll need a tire with stronger belts. 

Mudding Tires: Finally, for all of the waterfowlers and off-roaders out there who need to make it through the mud, a wide grip tire with a thicker tread and harder rubber will deliver the best performance. As opposed to gripping the road, you need a tire that won’t get stalled by cupping and has the strength to keep rotation smooth in the stickiest of situations.

What’s Airing Down and How can it Help?

Tire pressure is also another major consideration for off-roaders who want to adapt their radial tires for different terrains. For example, greater air pressure will make your tire less-grippy and make it struggle in the snow or rain.

Airing down, on the other hand, gives your tire greater traction on less coarse terrains. It also makes your tire more resilient against punctures or stalls.

Airing down depends on a number of variables and there is no set psi that could be considered safe. Consult your manufacturer or a professional before airing down your tires. Some Tacoma owners can air down below 15 psi without any problems, but you always run the risk of unsettling the bead from the rim or bending a rim itself.

Load Rating/Towing Considerations

Finally, when choosing a tire for your Tacoma, you should be acutely aware of its load-carrying-capacity and ply rating if you’re towing heavy equipment. 

You’ll notice tires are assigned load range letters, B-F-, to indicate their ply ratings. You can see the table below for more info.

Ply Rating Load Range Maximum Load Pressure
4 B 35 PSI (240 kPa)
6 C 50 PSI (350 kPa)
8 D 65 PSI (450 kPa)
10 E 80 PSI (550 kPA)
12 F 95 PSI (650 kPA)

A greater ply rating is used to indicate a greater load range. While ply rating would normally indicate the number of ply layers of a tire, or how ply a tire is, it’s actually used to indicate that a D tire has the same strength as an 8 ply tire. For example, a single steel ply can be considered to carry the same strength as a multiple chord cotton ply tire.

This is important because the construction of a tire impacts its load carrying capacity. Modern tires are less ply, but use stronger materials. For this reason, load rating should only be used to indicate the toughness of a tire, not necessarily its strength.

A tire’s real load carrying capacity and tow rating is determined by a number of factors, including operating temperature, weight, etc. But to simplify this, simply look at your tire sidewall to identify your tire’s load index number and how many pounds in carrying capacity that corresponds with.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro