Some tires are created with a unique tread for specific weather conditions, while others are built to handle year-round conditions.
Some excel in winter, some rain and some off-road. There are positives and negatives for each tire, so be sure you understand them.
All-Season: The most popular tire on the road, built to handle "everyday" driving conditions. Its tread provides balanced dry and wet performance levels, as well as acceptable snow traction in regions with light winter weather. All-Season tires are a practical solution designed for year round usage with typically a longer tread life.
Winter/Snow: These tires are specifically designed to offer optimal levels of traction on ice, snow, and slush in addition to wet and dry road surfaces in severe cold weather conditions. Severe cold weather conditions are defined to occur when ambient temperatures are consistently below freezing and/or there is substantial winter precipitation. Winter tires are not intended for year round usage. All winter tires exhibit the Mountain Snow Flake marking indicating suitability for winter application.
Summer: These tires are primarily designed for high-performance vehicles and provide optimized dry and wet performance levels in a temperate environment. Summer tires are designed for year round usage but should not be used during the winter season where temperatures are colder and approach freezing consistently as their performance would be less than optimal.
All-Terrain: These are off-road tires designed to give you superior grip in mud, dirt and rocks. They can be driven on the road, but offer a louder ride noise than most other tires, along with less treadwear due to their unique tread design.
Source: Robertson Tire and Michelin