There are a couple of considerations that can make choosing the best mud tires for your 4x4 a little easier.
Determine Your Budget
Off-road tires can vary considerably in price. Cheaper off-road tires generally start at about $75 to $100 per tire. On the other hand, high-performance tires can run as much as $600 or $700 each—without installation.
Most 4x4 vehicles will accommodate tires one or two sizes larger than tires that the original manufacturers supply with the new truck—without any need for modification or seriously affecting handling and maneuverability. However, if you're considering largely-oversized tires and wheels, a lift job and other modifications may be required and may run into the thousands of dollars.
Determine Your Needs
Ask yourself how much off-road driving you will actually be doing. Consider the amount of driving you'll be doing on wet and dry pavement and muddy areas or rocks, sand, snow and ice. All of these scenarios affect the type of tire you will need to purchase.
You also need to consider the worst possible driving circumstances you may encounter—and how often you will encounter them. Consider if you'll be running your tires at an air pressure that may be significantly lower than the manufacturer's recommended air pressure for tires.
Unless you will be using your 4x4 vehicle for a specific off-road purpose only, you may need to compromise as to the type of off-road tire you purchase. Fortunately, there are many new off-road tires available that perform reasonably well in most types of off-road driving scenarios and offer reasonable traction for street driving.
Look at All-Purpose Tires
For most 4x4 vehicle owners, all-purpose tires will generally be an adequate choice for a mud tire. In fact, most 4x4 vehicles come with some sort of all-purpose tire--especially light duty vehicles such as small pickup trucks or SUVs. All-purpose tires normally perform well on dry pavement as well as wet and snowy, hard road surfaces; however, they are not ideally suited for a lot of off-road use due to the lighter construction and a closed tread pattern.
While there are many excellent tires available in the all-purpose category, there are a couple of tires that receive high marks from a wide variety of publications and review websites; these tires are the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza and the Michelin Cross Terrain SUV tires. These tires normally come in standard sizes, and both of these tires are praised for their accurate load rating as well as excellent year-round traction and performance in many types of weather. Furthermore, these tires are suitable for many types of light 4x4 driving.
Look at All-Terrain Tires
Generally speaking, all-terrain tires are a little better than all-purpose street tires for the purposes of 4x4 off-road driving. These types of tires normally come with a much more aggressive and open tread design that allows for better traction on rocks and sand with decent cleaning in mud and snow. All-terrain tires are generally built much tougher than all-purpose tires to survive the tortuous driving that most types of 4x4 driving provide.
When it comes to all-terrain tires, the Bridgestone Dueler H/T Revo has received high praise and reviews from almost every sector in the 4x4 tire-trade industry. Many people praise them for their tough sidewall as well as their ability to be driven 40,000 or 50,000 miles in very rough terrain. Furthermore, the Revo is praised for its performance in rain, snow, ice, rocky trails, dirt, sand and even mud. Although not a true mud-terrain tire, the Revo does offer above average traction in slippery or muddy conditions.
Consider Mud Terrain Tires
Among types of popular off-road tires available for 4x4 vehicles, mud terrain tires provide the best overall traction and puncture resistance in off-road driving conditions. Mud terrain tires are excellent for use in mud, rocks and sand, but don't normally perform as well on ice and wet pavement. Furthermore, due to their huge sizes and very radical tread design, mud terrain tires are not a good choice for use on pavement surfaces as they don't provide for a smooth or quiet ride.
The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R is known as one of the best all-around mud terrain tires available. The Wrangler MT/R is highly praised for its extremely tough puncture resistance as well as its high traction ability in even the slipperiest mud conditions. The Wrangler MT/R also comes in a wide variety of sizes to fit 15-inch wheels to 17-inch wheels and is moderately priced compared to some other high-end mud terrain tires.