Best Tires for Subaru Forester – Review and Buying Guide

The Subaru Forester may have been around for a long time, but it continues to be a popular vehicle thanks to its fuel efficiency, reliability, and safety. It’s also great for everyday commutes, off-roading, and trekking all throughout the year, and has even won awards over the years.

Such a great vehicle demands only the best tires, and thankfully, many suitable options exist. The only question is, how do you pick one?

To help you find the best tires for Subaru Forester, here’s a complete review and buying guide listing all the best choices on the market, along with key considerations that make for a great tire for this Japanese made Crossover.

Read also related articles: Best tires for toyota prius.

Product Name Image Ratings Item Weight Load Index Amazon Link
Goodyear Assurance Max Life Goodyear Assurance Max Life 24 lbs 99 Check Price
Continental TrueContact Tour Continental TrueContact Tour 23.6 lbs 99 Check Price
General Altimax RT43 General Altimax RT43 25 lbs 99 Check Price
Continental TerrainContact A/T Continental TerrainContact AlT 23 lbs 99 Check Price
Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady 28.7 lbs 99 Check Price
General Altimax Arctic 12 Studdable Snow Tire General Altimax Arctic 12 Studdable Snow Tire 30.1 lbs 103 Check Price
Michelin x-Ice x13 Studless Snow Tire Michelin x-Ice x13 Studless Snow Tire 27.1 lbs 99 Check Price
Michelin Defender T+H Michelin Defender T+H 20 lbs 91 Check Price

Top 8 Best Tires for Subaru Forester

With the Subaru Forester’s excellent ability to function as an off-road vehicle and everyday town car, it deserves to be matched with a set of tires that can do both demanding jobs, and more. These tires should be durable, affordable, and give you a great value for money.

These eight best tires below meet the criteria:

1.  Goodyear Assurance Max Life

The best tires for Subaru Forester, at least in our opinion, are the Goodyear Assurance Max Life, which is designed for superior fuel efficiency, reliable traction, and a long and useful life. It works excellently in all driving conditions, including light snow. Simply put, it’s the best riding tire that lasts for a really long time.

It features a symmetrical tread pattern with four channels that work in displacing water and snow. It also boasts of a continuous center rib that ensures consistent ground contact and makes for a solid feel as you drive.

 To top it all off, the Goodyear Assurance Max Life is constructed with two steel belts that are supported by a 1-ply polyester casing, along with a polyamide reinforcement, all to help give you better handling and responsiveness, even at high speeds.



2. Continental TrueContact Tour

Another equally amazing option is the Continental TrueContact Tour, which is also made in the USA. It’s one of the best tires in the touring category, and boasts of many wonderful things such as confident handling, excellent road manners, and more. These are why this tire brand is loved by everyday drivers and professionals alike.

It features highly symmetrical treads with three groove channels, along with lateral vents that help in pushing water and snow away from the tire and to the sides. It also comes with the unique Comfort Ride technology that incorporates an underlay from beneath the tread. This effectively isolates the tread from the tire itself and reduces any perceptible vibration.

Thus, you get to enjoy an insanely smooth and comfortable ride. Among the many other excellent features are the C-Ply outer casing in the internal construction for better rolling resistance and overall handling. The sidewalls are also equipped with two plies and steel belt reinforcements to minimize impact damage.



We also really love the General Altimax RT43, which gives you the best-in-class performance for standard touring tires, and with a significantly lower price tag than most other comparable touring tires in the category.

What we like about this one is that it’s highly responsive and offers a solid traction in all driving and weather conditions, even light snow. It also has great road manners, and an overall great value that you really can’t get with similarly priced options.

Like the first two models above, this tire features a symmetrical design. It also has independent tread blocks and a continuous central rib, and makes use of a technology called sound wave suppression to reduce road noise. What’s more, it comes with an Anti-Slip siping design, along with circumferential grooves, to give you more biting edges, and in turn, more grip.



4. Continental TerrainContact A/T

Taking the fourth spot is the Continental TerrainContact A/T, which is an on-road tire that gives you reliable off-road performance and capabilities whenever you need them. This premium all-terrain tire also gives you an outstanding tread life, which is really all you can ask for if you’re driving a Forester.

What’s so great about this is that it delivers superior traction in all weather conditions, perhaps save for extremely snowy or icy conditions. It features deep treads that are molded into a mildly symmetric tread pattern that is a key feature of all-terrain tires.

It also features cutting edge traction grooves and full-depth sipes to give you that commendable level of all-season traction. And, when it comes to internal construction, this tire comes with high tensile strength steel belts, plus reinforcements in the form of spirally wound polyamide with a 2-ply casing. All in all, a premium tire with an equally premium performance.



5.  Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady

Ranking fifth is the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady, which offers a simple but irresistible value proposition. See, it’s a superior tire that works in snowy climates while giving you a long tread life for a specialty all-weather tire. In fact, it has the all-season traction of grand touring tires, but with the useful life of a standard touring tire.

What you’re getting here is a tire with a unique tread pattern and four wide channels with each featuring different tread molds, including the Sweeping tread grooves in a diagonal fashion that gives you outstanding performance in displacing water from underneath the tire.

Furthermore, it comes with that quality internal construction that you’ll find on most high end, premium tires. This includes two wide steel belts that support the tread area, a polyamide reinforcement that makes for great handling, responsiveness, and high-speed stability, and a single ply polyester casing.



6.  General Altimax Arctic 12 Studdable Snow Tire

In sixth place is the General Altimax Arctic 12 Studdable Snow Tire, which is a new generation tire that is designed for an improved tread life. It comes in a winter-focused construction and design and is molded into a uniquely highly directional tread pattern. It also features an arrow shaped center rib that allows for a responsive handling and a superior on-center feel.

Aside from that, this tire also features angled grooves with high void, along with wide lateral notches that expel water and slush from underneath and on the tire in order to prevent any instance of hydroplaning. As such, it delivers equally great traction and handling in dry, wet, and snowy conditions.

Given all these reasons, the General Altimax Arctic 12 is one of the top choices when it comes to driving in extreme snow and ice conditions. For one thing, it’s certainly hard to say no to the all-conditions traction and the beast-like performance in the winter.



7.  Michelin x-Ice x13 Studless Snow Tire

You should also check out the Michelin x-Ice x13 Studless Snow Tire, which is a highly capable winter tire that performs equally great in dry, wet, and wintry conditions. It surely promises a lot, but the thing is, this tire delivers in real-life performance.

This is likely because it’s made with a silica-based tread for its winter rubber compound, and this material is known for the way it becomes flexible at low temperatures in order to enhance traction over ice and snow, while also becoming firmer at higher temperatures to give you that much needed traction over dry and wet conditions.

Plus, it features a directional tread design that works in evacuating water and slush from the tire, therefore making for an improved hydroplaning resistance. There are even Cross Z sipes that increase the shoulder block and tread stability in order to give you an enhanced driving precision regardless of road condition.



8.  Michelin Defender T+H

Another one from Michelin is the Michelin Defender T+H, a premium tire that may be expensive, but is more than worth the hefty price tag with the way it delivers the best traction in both wet and dry conditions, along with great snow traction.

This is made possible by the EverTread, an all-season tread compound that is geared for durability and service longevity. It also features MaxTouch construction that works on evenly distributing contact forces on the road.

And, yet another technology that this tire makes use of is the IntelliSipe, which maximizes the tire’s biting edges and makes for a better traction in snowy and wet conditions. What this means is that the tire performs outstandingly well under the rain and in light snow.



Tires for Subaru Forester Buying Guide

If your Forester is fresh from a car dealership, chances are, it already has some high quality tires. But whether or not that’s the case, you don’t just need any quality tires. Rather, you need tires that suit your driving location, weather condition, and driving style, especially if you drive both on and off-road.

All-terrain tires, for one, are rarely the go-to choice of car dealers when it comes to new Crossovers. Besides, your Subaru Forester’s standard all-wheel drive just won’t cut it in the long run.

So, if you really want to get the most out of your vehicle, the only solution is to pair it up with the best set of tires. How? Here’s a list of everything you need to look for:

Types of Forester tires

There are actually many different types of tires for Foresters, including summer tires, snow tires, all-terrain tires, all-season tires, all-weather tires, and more. Here’s a quick explanation on what each one does:

Summer tires

Summer tires are mainly great for driving in warm climates. This means they display excellent traction on dry and hot roads, along with a reliable traction when the road is warm and wet. Plus, they also last for a really long time.

But, that’s it, really. These are not suitable for colder climates, no matter the road condition, and they are definitely unsuitable for off-road driving.

Winter tires

On the other hand, winter tires are made specifically for cold weather conditions. These tires are made with softer rubber and an aggressive tread pattern to help it keep its elasticity under the cold temperatures. However, this is also what makes these tires unsuitable for warm weathers, as the tire becomes too soft and can quickly deteriorate.

Now, when it comes to Forester tires, you don’t just need winter tires that work well in the snow, but also on cold pavement, whether it be dry or wet. Do keep in mind that these tires can get quite noisy on the road.

All weather tires

If you live in a location with particularly hot summers that transition into really cold winters, the best tires for your vehicle are all-weather tires. These will give you superior traction on dry and wet roads, in both warm and cold weathers. Many of these tires are even great in light snow.

All season tires

Meanwhile, all-season tires are actually at their best when in use under warm temperatures, with a somewhat mediocre performance in colder weather. Though, to be fair, it’s still not as bad as summer tires used in the winter.

Off-road tires

While the Subaru Forester wasn’t really made for off-road driving, it’s definitely possible with the right set of off-road tires that can easily and confidently take on demanding terrains. These tires work well in heavy surfaces and various off-road conditions.

That said, these are pretty bad to drive on the road, especially since they make so much noise. Although, the aggressive tread patterns are great for driving under light snow.

How to find the best tires for subaru forester

How to find the best tires for subaru foresterBefore you go ahead and buy new tires, the first thing you should do is to check whether you actually need them. A simple visual inspection of your existing tires will give you insights as to the tire’s signs of wear, such as bulging, cracked sidewalls, and discoloration.

That said, if your old tires are not meant for your driving conditions, or if they are about 10 years old, then yes, it’s definitely time to replace them.

Tire code

One of the first steps you should take is to get to know the tire code, which are embedded letters on your tires. These letters have meanings, which will help you better understand the kind of tires you need. Common tire codes include:

     P- passenger tires

     LT- light truck tires with higher load carrying capacities

     ST- special trailer tires with thicker sidewalls

     T- temporary/ spare tires

Fuel economy

Another important factor is how the tire affects your fuel economy. See, you don’t want the Forester’s impressive fuel efficiency to be negatively impacted by a new set of tires, do you? As such, it’s a must to look for tires that are specifically designed to enhance fuel economy.

The “trinity” of tires

Three more huge factors that influence how a tire matches your needs and preferences are the tire’s tread width, speed rating, and aspect ratio. Each of these things have very important roles in how the tire, and in turn, your vehicle, performs, and thus shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Wheel size

Generally speaking, larger tires make for better handling and faster driving, whereas smaller diameter wheels will give you the power to do more minute adjustments throughout your ride, as each wheel rotation covers small distances.

Basically, bigger tires mean better traction, grip, and braking, but it comes with a literal price. On the other hand, smaller wheels are more versatile and responsive.

Tire changing FAQs

Q:  Should you replace all 4 tires on your Subaru Forester?

A: It’s always advisable to replace all four tires in any vehicle at the same time, but while it’s good practice, it’s not exactly a requirement. For example, if all four tires are still relatively new and in top shape, but one gets busted for some reason, then you only really need to replace the ruined tire.

Q:  When and how often should you rotate your tires?

A: The answer actually depends on the tire. You’re better off looking at your owner’s manual than asking around on the internet, as that manual gives you more appropriate information with the manufacturer’s recommended time-frame. That said, most tires are generally rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or every six months.

Q: Which type of tire would work best on a Subaru Forester?

A: The best tires for Subaru Foresters are mainly all-season tires and their variations in standard, grand, and performance touring. This is because these types of tires work under almost any road, weather, and driving condition you can think of.

For example, all-season tires work well with a wide temperature range, giving you uninhibited traction levels from summer to winter and back. They work excellently in wet and dry conditions, as well as, for the most part, in light snow.

Meanwhile, touring tires in different categories make for some of the most comfortable and quiet rides with unmatched high-speed stability, not to mention they’re cost-effective as well. These tires also last ridiculously long, so you’re really getting the most bang for your buck.

Final verdict: which is the best Subaru Forester tire brand?

With the Subaru Forester’s unmatched reliability for a compact SUV, you need the best tires that can match this vehicle’s performance. For us, the best tires for Subaru Foresters are the top performing Goodyear Assurance Max Life.

It boasts of superior traction, excellent fuel economy, long service life, responsiveness, and excellence in most driving conditions, including snow. In fact, it’s mostly just strengths and no real weaknesses for the Assurance Max Life, so it’s easy to see why everyone else loves it.

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