2019 Studded Winter Tyre Test

Test Summary
Wet BrakingContinental IceContact 3: 28.8 M
Hankook Winter i pike RS2: 31.4 M
Dry BrakingContinental VikingContact 7: 43 M
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 48.2 M
Wet HandlingNokian Hakkapeliitta 9: 43.18 s
Continental VikingContact 7: 45.65 s
Straight AquaHankook Winter i pike RS2: 62.2 Km/H
Continental VikingContact 7: 57 Km/H
Snow BrakingContinental VikingContact 7: 16.7 M
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 19.2 M
Snow HandlingContinental IceContact 3: 83.75 s
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 93.63 s
Ice BrakingContinental IceContact 3: 08.67 M
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 13.97 M
Ice HandlingContinental VikingContact 7: 51.35 s
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 60.11 s
Snow TractionContinental VikingContact 7: 4.05 s
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 4.57 s
Ice TractionContinental IceContact 3: 4.14 s
Sailun Ice Blazer WST3: 6.58 s
Subj. Dry HandlingMichelin X Ice North 4: 5 Points
Continental VikingContact 7: 2 Points
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.


Continental IceContact 31st: Continental IceContact 3
  • 1st: Wet Braking (+0M)
  • 2nd: Dry Braking (+1.9M)
  • 6th: Wet Handling (+0.94s)
  • 3rd: Straight Aqua (+-1.9Km/H)
  • 2nd: Snow Braking (+0.2M)
  • 1st: Snow Handling (+0s)
  • 1st: Ice Braking (+0M)
  • 2nd: Ice Handling (+1.29s)
  • 2nd: Snow Traction (+0.01s)
  • 1st: Ice Traction (+0s)
  • 6th: Subj. Dry Handling (+-3Points)
Positive: High grip on snow and ice, low noise.
Negative: Weak subjective dry handling.
Overall: The new rubberised studs in the IceContact 3 really work. Excellent grip in all conditions.

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Michelin X Ice North 42nd: Michelin X Ice North 4
  • 5th: Wet Braking (+2.2M)
  • 4th: Dry Braking (+3.7M)
  • 7th: Wet Handling (+1.19s)
  • 6th: Straight Aqua (+-4.1Km/H)
  • 3rd: Snow Braking (+1.2M)
  • 3rd: Snow Handling (+2.74s)
  • 2nd: Ice Braking (+0.75M)
  • 3rd: Ice Handling (+1.54s)
  • 3rd: Snow Traction (+0.12s)
  • 3rd: Ice Traction (+0.37s)
  • 1st: Subj. Dry Handling (+0Points)
Positive: High grip on snow and ice, good handling, low noise.
Negative: Weak aquaplaning resistance.
Overall: Quietest studded tyres on test, even with 257 spikes, with the lowest signs of wear.

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Continental VikingContact 73rd: Continental VikingContact 7
  • 5th: Wet Braking (+2.2M)
  • 1st: Dry Braking (+0M)
  • 8th: Wet Handling (+2.47s)
  • 8th: Straight Aqua (+-5.2Km/H)
  • 1st: Snow Braking (+0M)
  • 2nd: Snow Handling (+1.84s)
  • 4th: Ice Braking (+1.97M)
  • 1st: Ice Handling (+0s)
  • 1st: Snow Traction (+0s)
  • 7th: Ice Traction (+1.02s)
  • 6th: Subj. Dry Handling (+-3Points)
Positive: High grip in the snow, good handling on uneven ice, low noise.
Negative: Relatively poor in dry and wet, weak aquaplaning resistance.
Overall: As the only non-studded tyre on test, the Viking Contact 7 had an impressive all round ability.

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Nokian Hakkapeliitta 94th: Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9
  • 3rd: Wet Braking (+1.1M)
  • 5th: Dry Braking (+4.1M)
  • 1st: Wet Handling (+0s)
  • 7th: Straight Aqua (+-4.7Km/H)
  • 4th: Snow Braking (+1.3M)
  • 4th: Snow Handling (+3.79s)
  • 3rd: Ice Braking (+1.01M)
  • 4th: Ice Handling (+2.57s)
  • 5th: Snow Traction (+0.18s)
  • 2nd: Ice Traction (+0.13s)
  • 4th: Subj. Dry Handling (+-2Points)
Positive: Good handling and high grip on snow and ice.
Negative: Weak aquaplaning resistance, moderate Noise.
Overall: One of the most stable tyres on test, with great handling.

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Hankook Winter i pike RS25th: Hankook Winter i pike RS2
  • 8th: Wet Braking (+2.6M)
  • 6th: Dry Braking (+4.8M)
  • 4th: Wet Handling (+0.53s)
  • 1st: Straight Aqua (+0Km/H)
  • 6th: Snow Braking (+1.4M)
  • 5th: Snow Handling (+4.18s)
  • 7th: Ice Braking (+2.3M)
  • 5th: Ice Handling (+4.17s)
  • 6th: Snow Traction (+0.22s)
  • 5th: Ice Traction (+0.8s)
  • 4th: Subj. Dry Handling (+-2Points)
Positive: High resistance to aquaplaning.
Negative: High noise levels, long wet braking.
Overall: Excellent aquaplaning results, but the smallest spike protrusion hampered its results on ice.

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Goodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic6th: Goodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic
  • 2nd: Wet Braking (+1M)
  • 3rd: Dry Braking (+3.2M)
  • 2nd: Wet Handling (+0.41s)
  • 2nd: Straight Aqua (+-1.3Km/H)
  • 4th: Snow Braking (+1.3M)
  • 7th: Snow Handling (+5.4s)
  • 5th: Ice Braking (+2.2M)
  • 7th: Ice Handling (+5.28s)
  • 4th: Snow Traction (+0.15s)
  • 6th: Ice Traction (+0.89s)
  • 2nd: Subj. Dry Handling (+-1Points)
Positive: Good driving performance in the dry, good traction and braking in the snow.
Negative: Weak lateral stability on snow and ice, high rolling resistance.
Overall: Smallest number of spikes on test at 130, which was an issue on ice. Good in the wet and dry.

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Bridgestone Noranza 0017th: Bridgestone Noranza 001
  • 4th: Wet Braking (+2M)
  • 7th: Dry Braking (+5M)
  • 3rd: Wet Handling (+0.46s)
  • 5th: Straight Aqua (+-4Km/H)
  • 7th: Snow Braking (+1.7M)
  • 6th: Snow Handling (+4.32s)
  • 6th: Ice Braking (+2.21M)
  • 6th: Ice Handling (+4.59s)
  • 7th: Snow Traction (+0.35s)
  • 4th: Ice Traction (+0.74s)
  • 2nd: Subj. Dry Handling (+-1Points)
Positive: Low rolling resistance.
Negative: Long dry braking.
Overall: Acceptable grip on ice, but poor in the snow and long dry braking.

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Sailun Ice Blazer WST38th: Sailun Ice Blazer WST3
  • 7th: Wet Braking (+2.5M)
  • 8th: Dry Braking (+5.2M)
  • 5th: Wet Handling (+0.82s)
  • 4th: Straight Aqua (+-3.6Km/H)
  • 8th: Snow Braking (+2.5M)
  • 8th: Snow Handling (+9.88s)
  • 8th: Ice Braking (+5.3M)
  • 8th: Ice Handling (+8.76s)
  • 8th: Snow Traction (+0.52s)
  • 8th: Ice Traction (+2.44s)
  • 6th: Subj. Dry Handling (+-3Points)
Positive: Non mentioned.
Negative: Very poor grip on snow and ice, poor handling in the dry and wet.
Overall: Not recommended. Not only poor grip, but the tyres started to lose spikes in the first 80 km.

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