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If you can afford it, smaller is better.
Less prone to damage from unseen obstacles under the white, not to mention the ice and stuff itself can give you a rough ride, esp on 19's.

I run 18" summers and 17" winters for that very reason.
I also run a 225 winter tire cause slimmer is better for carving through the snow vs a wide tire for dry traction in the summer.
You can probably get away with a 19" if it rarely snows where you are but smaller is better, and the tires are cheaper too.
Also, swapping just the tires onto rims each spring/fall is worse for the tires and risks damaging the sidewalls every additional time you have to de-bead and re-bead the same tire over and over again.
Not common to destroy a tire but I've seen tire shops break sidewalls on older tires, and with the STi a damaged tire usually means 4 new tires.
 

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^^all of that.

that said, if you want the best possible tire (at least for winters that i have experienced)...blizzack's (may be spelling that a tad wrong lol).

personally i use 17s in the winter, on a 225 tire just like austin said, and on top of it, i tend to get the cheapest winter tire i can find. clearance/sale/cheap brand....whatever lol. just the cheapest winter tire i can get my hands on (to be fair, winters tend to last me quite some time, cause i rarely drive it in winter. )
 

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Are you using an 18 set or something for summer and trying to make use of the 19鈥檚? There have been some guys on here who have been happy upsizing to a 40 ratio sidewall on 19s, for a little extra give. I was recently in this dilemma when the winters I had on my 18s needed replacement, but ended up keeping winters on the 18s, hoping to get a new 18 set for summers rather than go back to the 19s. If you are set on using the 19s the tire choice is pretty slim for winters. I just put a set of vredestein wintrac pros on my 18s as a winter performance tire. They feel a hell of a lot better than the x-ices they replaced in dry weather, will probably give up a little snow performance as they鈥檙e not a full snow tire but we鈥檒l see. I got a set on tire rack for 800, if I used the 19s that size would have been 1200. So if you go through tires, you could almost use buying an 18鈥 set of wheels as a payback option, especially if you can get a few bucks for the 19s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you can afford it, smaller is better.
Less prone to damage from unseen obstacles under the white, not to mention the ice and stuff itself can give you a rough ride, esp on 19's.

I run 18" summers and 17" winters for that very reason.
I also run a 225 winter tire cause slimmer is better for carving through the snow vs a wide tire for dry traction in the summer.
You can probably get away with a 19" if it rarely snows where you are but smaller is better, and the tires are cheaper too.
Also, swapping just the tires onto rims each spring/fall is worse for the tires and risks damaging the sidewalls every additional time you have to de-bead and re-bead the same tire over and over again.
Not common to destroy a tire but I've seen tire shops break sidewalls on older tires, and with the STi a damaged tire usually means 4 new tires.
Thanks @AustinSedz awesome feedback! You just made it clear to me that I should get a second set of wheels. I don't want to have to swap tires and worry about the integrity of the sidewalls as I enjoy the STI.
^^all of that.

that said, if you want the best possible tire (at least for winters that i have experienced)...blizzack's (may be spelling that a tad wrong lol).

personally i use 17s in the winter, on a 225 tire just like austin said, and on top of it, i tend to get the cheapest winter tire i can find. clearance/sale/cheap brand....whatever lol. just the cheapest winter tire i can get my hands on (to be fair, winters tend to last me quite some time, cause i rarely drive it in winter. )
Good to hear positivity on getting the cheaper of the options for winter tires. I love to save money lol. Do you have any recommendations on specific brands or models?
Are you using an 18 set or something for summer and trying to make use of the 19鈥檚? There have been some guys on here who have been happy upsizing to a 40 ratio sidewall on 19s, for a little extra give. I was recently in this dilemma when the winters I had on my 18s needed replacement, but ended up keeping winters on the 18s, hoping to get a new 18 set for summers rather than go back to the 19s. If you are set on using the 19s the tire choice is pretty slim for winters. I just put a set of vredestein wintrac pros on my 18s as a winter performance tire. They feel a hell of a lot better than the x-ices they replaced in dry weather, will probably give up a little snow performance as they鈥檙e not a full snow tire but we鈥檒l see. I got a set on tire rack for 800, if I used the 19s that size would have been 1200. So if you go through tires, you could almost use buying an 18鈥 set of wheels as a payback option, especially if you can get a few bucks for the 19s.
You are spot on with your logic. I have 3 options in mind:

Option 1: 17's or 18's with snow tire (dedicated winter), keep 19's as summers.
Option 2: 19's w/ snow tires (swap tires beginning and end of each season)
Option 3: 19's snow tires, come spring get a set of 18's with some beefy tires for summer lol.

@AustinSedz ruled out option 2 for me, leaves option 1 and 3. Option 1 seems like the more practical of the options, plus I like the OEM 19's anyway. Also, that's interesting about upsizing the 19's might look into that when I need new summer tires. Thanks for your feedback 馃憡
 

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I live in Colorado but do not daily my car. I have been running performance winter tires for years. Blizzaks were overkill for me since we have many dry and warmer days throughout the season and that is a scary combo when you add some speed and cornering to Blizzaks. So if you don't get that many snow days I'd recommend a performance snow tire.

I run the GT-radial Champiro Winterpro HP and have been very happy with them. They were VERY affordable.
 

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Good to hear positivity on getting the cheaper of the options for winter tires. I love to save money lol. Do you have any recommendations on specific brands or models?
honestly i drive my car MAYBE 100 miles over winter months, so i literally go with the cheapest thing i can find, if you daily the car, i'd go with what others have said for winters, if it snows alot, blizzacks are super nice, but if you arent in an area with alot of snow, a good all season will do well.
 

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honestly i drive my car MAYBE 100 miles over winter months, so i literally go with the cheapest thing i can find, if you daily the car, i'd go with what others have said for winters, if it snows alot, blizzacks are super nice, but if you arent in an area with alot of snow, a good all season will do well.
errr, if he鈥檚 gunna bother with 2 sets of wheels, allseasons are a bad choice.

if he drives in snow here and there and winter weather is unpredictable, get a winter tire.

if he sees snow less often but it鈥檚 still cold, does mostly highway, get a 鈥榩erformance鈥 or 鈥榟igh speed鈥 winter tire.
Still better than an allseason in the cold and on ice but you trade snow performance for wear resistance.

Living in central Canada (weather similar to Colorado) I鈥檒l never own another allseason again.
If I lived in Vancouver where it basically rains all winter, hovers just above freezing, and snows maybe once or twice, sure allseasons are fine.
 

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errr, if he鈥檚 gunna bother with 2 sets of wheels, allseasons are a bad choice.

if he drives in snow here and there and winter weather is unpredictable, get a winter tire.

if he sees snow less often but it鈥檚 still cold, does mostly highway, get a 鈥榩erformance鈥 or 鈥榟igh speed鈥 winter tire.
Still better than an allseason in the cold and on ice but you trade snow performance for wear resistance.

Living in central Canada (weather similar to Colorado) I鈥檒l never own another allseason again.
If I lived in Vancouver where it basically rains all winter, hovers just above freezing, and snows maybe once or twice, sure allseasons are fine.
what you just described, hovers above freezing, snows maybe once a year...that's the winters here lol. and like i said i rarely drive the car in the winter, typically just every 2 weeks or so around the block to let it heat cycle, and never in snow anymore. so OP, Listen to austin over me on this topic of winter tires lol.
 

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Option 1: 17's or 18's with snow tire (dedicated winter), keep 19's as summers.
Option 2: 19's w/ snow tires (swap tires beginning and end of each season)
Option 3: 19's snow tires, come spring get a set of 18's with some beefy tires for summer lol.
I was in this dilemma earlier, and am headed for option 4, buy 2 sets of 18s in the long term and repurpose the 19s as鈥 who knows, maybe modify the hub to work as home gym weights. Most likely hide them in the garden shed somewhere.

I mentioned the upsize as something that鈥檚 been tried for winter sidewall purposes, but honestly would not want to make the gearing any taller with wheels that are so heavy to begin with, for summer driving. If you go with 18s for winter tires in the immediate future, you鈥檒l get a feel for how much nicer the car feels with lighter wheels, then it鈥檚 hard to go back to 19s in the summer! And then you鈥檒l be planning option 4 like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
errr, if he鈥檚 gunna bother with 2 sets of wheels, allseasons are a bad choice.

if he drives in snow here and there and winter weather is unpredictable, get a winter tire.

if he sees snow less often but it鈥檚 still cold, does mostly highway, get a 鈥榩erformance鈥 or 鈥榟igh speed鈥 winter tire.
Still better than an allseason in the cold and on ice but you trade snow performance for wear resistance.

Living in central Canada (weather similar to Colorado) I鈥檒l never own another allseason again.
If I lived in Vancouver where it basically rains all winter, hovers just above freezing, and snows maybe once or twice, sure allseasons are fine.
@AustinSedz Leaning snow tire... How about a rally tire or something along these lines?
I was in this dilemma earlier, and am headed for option 4, buy 2 sets of 18s in the long term and repurpose the 19s as鈥 who knows, maybe modify the hub to work as home gym weights. Most likely hide them in the garden shed somewhere.

I mentioned the upsize as something that鈥檚 been tried for winter sidewall purposes, but honestly would not want to make the gearing any taller with wheels that are so heavy to begin with, for summer driving. If you go with 18s for winter tires in the immediate future, you鈥檒l get a feel for how much nicer the car feels with lighter wheels, then it鈥檚 hard to go back to 19s in the summer! And then you鈥檒l be planning option 4 like me.
Thanks for your advice @Break Pedal. Sounds like an oem 18" with a 225/40 might be the ticket.
 

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How about a rally tire or something along these lines?
Most winter rally tires are not road legal and to my limited knowledge, a dedicated snow rally tire will practically melt off during regular dry-pavement driving because they are so soft.
And the studded ones are not legal in most places anyways, even if they were 'approved'.

Snow rally wheels are also usually 15" which requires a WRX 4-pot brake retrofit as rally tires typically don't come in 17-19", at least not snow ones... maybe Tarmac?

I drive on regular winter tires, 17" Michelin Xi3, and on a Subaru it drives like a rally car in the deep.

Flashback to my cross-province drives that I used to do 4-8 times a winter just to hit the better ski hills out east.
Coming back to Ontario from the ski hill in Quebec (5-6hr drive without traffic)... I'm on the highway cruising, it begins to snow.
Over the next hill I come right up on an area that just got dumped on, a solid 6"+ of fresh snow on the highway.
It's a 2-lane highway and I'm in the boons, so they could only get 1 plow to pass through.
It's a Sunday, so everyone is coming back from the cottage or wherever.
Everyone is piled up in the one plowed lane, crawling along going 20-40(km/h), snow still coming down.
Then there's me, the lone car in the unplowed lane, bombing along going 120, shooting a massive roost up at the traffic.
Saved me at least an hour or so on my trip!
And then when I got to my home town at night, snow still dumping, theres other cars clawing away trying to get going off the light.
And then there's me, swinging the back end on a left turn and kicking up some snow while I gracefully counter out of the turn.
If you haven't played with a Subaru, especially an STi, in the snow, just wait.... get some good winter tires on there and just be ready.

Then you'll understand the internet memes about how when there is a huge snow storm Subaru owners are the weirdos who are jumping around excited while everyone else is dreading it lol.
It really is THAT much better.

Just remember you do have a winter traction advantage, but not a winter braking advantage, so... behave 馃ぃ
 

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I had general altimax artic on our 05 sti year round. Not only were they good in snow and on ice but good in the summer on the streets. Saved swapping tires, swapping wheels and tires, saved money on having multiple sets,,,,. Tires also have a shelf life of about 5 years. If i kept swapping each season I would have had tires that looked new but were dried out and didn鈥檛 work well before I had driven the tread off each set. Figure 12,000 miles per year divided by two is 6,000. On a 60,000 mile tire that would be ten years. I have multiple vehicles and drove sti only about 1,500 a year mostly summer trips. Based on my mileage and 20,000 mile life expectancy I would still dry rot tires before the tread wear.

If I were going to track, autocross, drag race or anything than I would have different tires for those because even as good as the general tires were on the street in the summer they still aren鈥檛 as good as a dedicated tire for those high performance events.
 
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