What do you like the most about your GMC Sierra 1500? Different users of this vehicle will come up with varying answers to this question. The majority, no doubt, would point to its incredible strength and power, but some drivers purchase this vehicle for its looks and luxurious appeal as well.
Regardless of the purpose you use this powerful truck for, you can ignore the importance of its tires at your peril. People expect this vehicle to perform brilliantly in all terrains and in all sorts of weather conditions – and it cannot do that unless you support it with a good set of tires.
That’s precisely what the best tires for GMC Sierra 1500 are supposed to do. Apart from providing this powerhouse with ample grip and traction in wet and dry conditions, these tires must provide a comfortable ride and should be quiet on all surfaces, including on off-road surfaces.
Best Tires For GMC Sierra 1500
Cooper Discoverer A/T3
Ask your fellow drivers about the brands which make the best all-terrain tires, and there’s an excellent chance that you won’t hear them uttering the word Cooper. However, as the features of the Discoverer A/T3 would let you know, Cooper’s all-terrain tires can stand to those of Bridgestone or Michelin.
Interestingly for an all-terrain tire, the Discoverer A/T3 boasts a well-balanced tread pattern. That is curious because this tread pattern gives the tire excellent traction on the highway, both in dry as well as wet conditions.
At the same time, its brilliant performance on the highway doesn’t mean that the tread pattern won’t be capable of holding its own on varied terrains. Supported by a five-ribbed design and reinforced sidewalls – not to mention the inner steel belts – it will give a reliable performance on the downtrodden path.
The aggressive shoulders of this model serve two purposes. First, they have the biting edges to empower this tire to provide reliable traction on softer surfaces. Second, their enhanced appearance adds to the overall appearance of the tire by improving its looks.
Some of you might notice that there are thick grooves around the circumference of this model. Together with the zigzag sipes, which give the A/T3 more tread wear, the grooves help improve this tire’s wet performance by removing water from within the tread area.
Cooper hasn’t left many stones unturned to make this tire appealing to its potential users. We could say that because we’ve seen its unique venting technology that has punctuated the tire with micro-vents in its tread area. Apart from keeping the tire cooler at high-speed, the vents also improve its looks.
- Excellent traction on soft surfaces
- Sipes reduce its noise
- Neat and sophisticated looks
Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor
Provided the only reason you won’t go for the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 is the anonymity of its brand name, you should have no worries choosing the uber-popular Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor. It comes from a brand which is famous for its all-terrain tires, and has plenty of features to show why.
Three features of this tire are mainly responsible for taking its all-terrain performance to a whole new level. First among them is its silica-enhanced tread compound. Silica, as all tire enthusiasts know, is an ultra-soft substance which provides extreme traction on the loosest of surfaces.
Second, to balance the softness of silica, Goodyear has woven Kevlar into the tread compound. It is there to provide added protection against cuts, abrasion and even punctures. Thirdly, the Silent Armor has an overall symmetric tread pattern, one which is responsible for its added grip on snow-covered surfaces.
Kevlar does much more than increasing this tire’s impact resistance. It also deserves the credit for giving the passengers in the vehicle’s cabin a quiet ride by absorbing road noise. Equally useful are this model’s traction ridges which bite into gravel, wet or snowy conditions.
You also have no reasons to doubt this tire’s snow performance. That’s because its tread area is adorned with the Snowflake/Mountain emblem. This logo is awarded by the US Highway Safety Commission to only those tires whose snow performance matches that of dedicated winter tires.
Keen-eyed observers among you might notice the presence of rim guards outside this tire’s, well, rims. They help the wheel retain its original shape for longer by absorbing damage by curbs. Goodyear takes full responsibility for this tire with a 50,000-mile tread warranty.
- Ultra-quiet on the road
- Above-average tread life
- Excellent on snow, ice and grave
- Average mud performance
Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10
The Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 is similar to the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 in more ways than one. Just like that tire, its brand isn’t famous for its all-terrain products. Similar to the A/T3, it has the features to show you that brand fame, though important, isn’t the most crucial indicator of a tire’s performance.
Off-roading enthusiasts will tell you that the best all-terrain tires boast a) an aggressive tread design and b) a thicker tread compound. The former, they’ll let you know if you lend them your ear, provides better grip and acceleration whereas the latter offer better puncture resistance.
You might find it useful to know that the ATM RF10 has both these features. Apart from that, it has a reinforced sidewall that protects itself against damage from rocks and other cut-inducing debris. So you can count on it to deliver a puncture-free ride for quite some time.
Apart from having two-step sipes (biting edges) which improve grip on wet and icy surfaces, the zigzag tread design has stone ejectors around its shoulder. Together with the centre tread grooves and angled side grooves, the ejectors quickly eject rocks, thereby saving the tire from damage.
Hankook has widened the tire to up to 8% over its counterparts on the market, with the result that it provides enhanced grip and wears more evenly. We aren’t sure how it has managed to do that, but we can vouch that this arrangement manages to do what Hankook intended it to do.
On top of everything else, Hankook offers this tire in sizes ranging between 15 and 22 inches. All the sizes are available in both non-LT and LT versions. You also get a 50,000-mile tread guarantee regardless of the tire size, which, no matter how you look at it, is the above-average warranty for a budget-priced tire.
- Wears evenly
- Provides enhanced grip
- 50,000-mile tread warranty
- Cornering power might suffer due to its stiffer sidewall
Kumho Road Venture AT51
When the Road Venture AT51 was released in June 2015, not many drivers applauded its arrival, mainly because its release meant that its predecessor, the hugely popular AT KL78, would stop getting design updates. Four years on, and not many drivers even remember the name of the model it replaced, a telltale sign of how good this tire is.
Multiple features of this tire are responsible for its users preferring it over its predecessor. Foremost among them is its new dual silica tread compound. Apart from providing added grip on loose surfaces, this compound performs brilliantly when it comes to withstanding cuts, bruises and punctures.
We were also impressed with the decision of its manufacturer to integrate circumferential grooves on the AT51. Apart from reducing the chances of water build-up inside the tread area, they help with off-road traction on gravel and loose dirt.
The circumferential grooves are supported in their tire clean-out operation by its tapered tread blocks, though the latter also helps the tire by enhancing its traction in slush and mud. Hence the reason why this tire doesn’t pack up road debris as much as other all-terrain tires.
One area where this tire has visibly improved over its predecessor is its snow performance. And you don’t need to take our word to believe in this fact, as the presence of the Mountain/Snowflake emblem on the tire tells you everything you need to know about the tire’s high-end snow performance.
Kumho hasn’t spent all its energies on increasing this model’s traction. Instead, as evident by the jointless bead bundles, the two-ply polyester cord body and variable pitch tread blocks of this tire, Kumho has paid considerable attention to making the AT51 comfortable and quiet for highway riding.
- Quiet and comfortable
- Minimum heat build-up
- Longer tread life
- Average mud traction
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
As we were researching the best all-terrain tires for GMC Sierra 1500 and looking for reasons to narrow down our long list, neither our test drive of this tire nor our talks with its drivers gave us any significant reason to exclude it from the final short-list.
As far as its construction is concerned, the T/A KO2 features a tough sidewall rubber which is both wear- and bruise-resistant. It also features a thick (and extended) shoulder rubber, one which shields the tire from disintegrating its shape in the wake of collisions with hard shoulder or curbs.
Furthermore, it has an advanced deflection design which does exactly what its name implies. It makes sure that the debris rising from the road is deflected away from the sidewall. This feature helps the tire last longer by not letting the roadside elements split the sidewall.
To make sure the tire encounters minimum tear and chip during off-road driving, its tread rubber is specially formulated. That is what makes the tire resistant in the face of hard objects that it might have to roll over during your off-road adventures.
Even if some stones make their way inside the tread, the tire’s stone ejectors will not only reject them but also save the tread from stone drilling. Its footprint design is such that as the tire moves on the road, the stress is evenly distributed to promote uniform wear.
You might find it useful to know that its serrated shoulder design offers excellent maneuverability on all types of terrains. This tire lets you seamlessly drive it through snow roads with its 3-D Sipe technology. Its sidewall traction bars, meanwhile, ensure perfect rock, mud and snow traction.
- Excellent maneuverability on snowy roads
- Saves the tread from stone drilling
- Unique tread design promotes even wear
- Loud on off-road conditions
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Similar to other light truck tires that are designed for year-round usage, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S provides better traction on dry tarmac than it does on wet surfaces. At the same time, its price tag is such that you won’t have to exhaust all your savings to land it.
Michelin has never shied away from equipping its tires with the latest technologies, and the Defender LTX M/S is a beneficiary of this approach. This tire is loaded with three state-of-the-art technologies that increase its performance and give you comfortable riding experience.
Foremost among them is its ‘EverTread’ Technology. It increased the tread life of this tire by reinforcing its inner substances, thereby empowering the LTX M/S to withstand road abuse better. Then comes the ‘Comfort Control’ Technology which makes your ride noise- and vibration-free.
Next up is the ‘Intellisipe’ Technology. It equips the tires outer circumference with innumerable biting edges to enhance its grip on wet pavements. This way, you can drive at the tire’s maximum speed rating while also retaining full control over its, and by extension, your vehicle’s movement.
With twin-steel belts supplementing the tread, the LTX M/S won’t wilt under pressure. Equal credit has to be given to its Max Touch Construction which prevents the formation of abuse signs on the tread area by balancing the forces of braking, cornering and acceleration.
Lastly, apart from coming in different sizes, this tire is also available in three different speed ratings. They include the T-Speed rating (118mph max speed limit), R-Speed rating (108mph max limit) and H-Speed rating (130mph max limit).
- Tough tread compound
- Decent level of traction
- Quiet and comfortable riding
- Not for snowy conditions
All-Season Touring Tires
General Grabber HTS60
When General launched the HTS60 all those years ago, it did so to replace the original Grabber HTS. That’s precisely the reason why this tire offers up to 25% more tread life than its predecessor, though it is pricier as well.
To make sure that it stays competitive with its all-terrain competitors, the Grabber HTS 60 comes loaded with three technologies. The most important among them is its DuraGen Technology – mainly because it increases the cut and chip resistance of this tire by introducing cuts in the tread area.
Its Comfort Balance Technology, meanwhile, does exactly what the name implies. It introduces a cushioned layer on top of the tread to prevent the off-road vibrations from making an entry inside the cabin. That, in turn, helps you enjoy a ride in which everyone bar the driver can doze off.
You finally have the StabiliTread Technology whose name betrays its intentions. It is designed to give more stability to the tread by increasing its footprint on the road. Consequently, tread patterns will experience less stress, helping the tire to last long.
Wet and snow performance of this tire is also second to none. The tread area features circumferential grooves which do an excellent job of channeling water away from its diameter. As a result, you won’t have to worry about hydroplaning, a dangerous phenomenon in which tires become susceptible to slippage.
- Precise steering response
- Enhanced wet weather performance
- Noise-free and ultra-comfortable
- Some sizes are pricey
BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
Although it goes without saying that the GMC Sierra 1500 is a luxurious SUV, it can still hold its own in off-road conditions, mainly if supported by mud-terrain tires. The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2, therefore, is for those people who want the best off-road performance from their tires.
Even though the third version of this tire has already hit the shelves, we thought better than recommending it to our readers. That’s because we don’t see any reason why our readers have to pay the high asking price of the KM3 when they can get more or less the same features in the KM2.
Make no mistake, though, there are some areas where the KM3 is better – like the wider footprint, increased traction on snow and quieter ride. Though these improvements are so small that unless you dig very deep, you won’t notice them at all.
Steering our attention back to the KM2, this model has an off-road tread compound plus linear flex zones and independent tread blocks. The linear flex zones are the most crucial as they help the tire contour itself to the impediments it is going to roll over, making it easy for it to navigate the toughest terrains.
The independent tread blocks, on the other hand, provide a quieter ride. This tire also features larger voids which help it with self-cleaning. Its heavy-duty sidewall lugs offer added traction when you’re traversing rocks, whereas the bruise-resistant compound gives it better cut and chip resistance.
You’ll find a 3-ply polyester tread carcass and two steel belts inside the tire for durability and added strength. Also in there is a single-strand bead which helps the tire get a better fit around the wheel, thereby increasing its uniformity.
- Excellent mud performance
- Self-cleaning voids
- Responsive steering
- Remain vigilant on icy road surfaces
Summer High-Performance Tires
General Grabber UHP
Ignoring the claims of some of its users that it performs equally well as an all-season tire, the General Grabber UHP reserves its best performance when used as a summer-high performance model. Only then you can expect this tire to amaze you with everything it has to offer.
Starting with a glance at their tread design, it offers three specific benefits to the drivers of luxury and rugged SUVs like GMC Sierra 1500. First, it has an optimized design that lowers down the tread pattern’s noise levels as the tire moved forward. So you can expect to enjoy a quiet ride.
Secondly, since there are angled grooves beneath the tread, they won’t allow the accumulation of water. Their angle of residence is such that the rate of water entry from the road will be equaled by the rate of its exit from the tread area. This way, you won’t have to worry about slippage.
Thirdly, as is the wont with the best summer high-performance tires, the directionality of this model’s tread design evenly distributes its pressure along the road. That results in a better grip at high speeds, something you cannot take for granted if you aim to test the limits of your vehicle’s speedometer.
To further sweeten the deal, jointless wrapped nylon is reinforcing the inner steel belts of this tire. Both of them complement each other to help the tires retain their original shape in the aftermath of accidental bumps against road debris and hard shoulders.
- Excellent steering response
- Comfortable and smooth ride
- Outstanding traction
- Not for winter conditions
Michelin LTX M/S2
For those of you who aim to fully exploit the luxurious and refined side of the Sierra 1500, you won’t go wrong with the Michelin LTX M/S2. Apart from sporting a world-renowned brand name, it has the tread design, durable construction and low rolling resistance to make it a must-have for highways.
On the whole, there are three features which separate the best highway tires from the also-rans. They include a short braking distance, better handling and performance on dry pavements and extreme cornering power at high speeds.
The Michelin LTX M/S2 boasts all three of them. It is equipped with an all-season, silica-enhanced tread compound which makes the tread flexible to decrease the tire’s braking distance. Its 3D Active Sipes increase this model’s high-speed grip to enhance its handling and dry performance.
Regardless of whether the road you’re driving on is slush, rain or snow-covered, the multiple later grooves around the tread will combine with the four wide circumferential grooves to expel water. Any water that would still remain behind would be discharged by the tire’s shoulder slots.
Apart from that, its Max-Touch Technology gives increases the footprint of the tire on the road. In doing so, it evenly distributes its forces of cornering, braking and acceleration. That, in turn, gives you better steering control and response.
Provided you bought your Sierra 1500 for hauling heavy loads, we recommend that you turn to Range D and E sized LTS M/S2. These two versions have high load ratings and are therefore capable of lugging more haul with less effort.
- 70,000-mile tread warranty
- Small braking distance
- Sure and precise steering control
- Not the latest in its line
How to choose the best tires for GMC Sierra 1500?
Similar to the Dodge Ram 1500, the GMC Sierra 1500 belongs to the family of vehicles that can do everything a driver might ask from it as long as it’s supported by a set of tires that are made for the terrain on which you’re going to use it.
This point is crucial, so we’re going to repeat it. Only select those tires for your Sierra 1500 which are made for the terrain on which you mostly drive your vehicle. As long as you follow this simple (but crucial) tip, you can take full advantage of all the benefits this truck has to offer.
Here are different types of tires that you might select for Sierra 1500:
These tires come with asymmetric tread patterns that increase their footprint on the road. Such an arrangement increases their traction on off-road terrains. Also, they have substantial shoulder blocks which equip these tires with significant impact resistance.
Furthermore, their inner steel belts are mostly covered with a nylon ply cord to take their load rating to a whole new level. You can count on their reinforced sidewalls and a softer rubber compound to help the all-terrain tires retain their grip on smooth surfaces i.e. gravel.
- Open-tread design
- Reinforced sidewalls
- Excellent load rating
- Shorter tread life
All-season tires are the exact opposite of their all-terrain counterparts. They have long tread lives and come with guarantees exceeding 50,000 miles. Also, their tread compound, which is mostly made of silica, increases these tires’ grip on wet surfaces.
Other than that, only the high-performance summer tires provide better road-holding ability and boast a shorter braking distance than these tires. Were it not for their poor winter performance – as they don’t give any traction on snow, the all-season tires would have no significant shortcoming.
- Good road handling
- Short braking distances
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Not for snow
The best thing about the mud-terrain tires is their sipes. These are biting edges which allow these models to claw their way into loose dirt, mud and even snow. Hence the reason why you cannot compare their astronomical traction on loose surfaces with other tires.
What’s more, these tires aren’t only good at handling mud. Since some of the road’s mud will inevitably enter into the tread area, mud-terrain tires have lateral grooves that remove dirt from within (and beneath) the tire. This way, they make sure that you don’t have to worry about hydroplaning.
- Provide a huge grip
- Won’t puncture easily
- Consume more fuel
Those of you who own the P275/55R20 model of Sierra 1500 can afford to supplement it with summer high-performance tires. These models have extreme cornering strength and come with market-high speed ratings. Also, their top-road holding performance is the best in business.
You can also count on these tires to remain remarkably stable at the most astronomical of speeds. Their grip during rapid acceleration is also surprisingly good. However, we have our doubts about their treadlife, as most summer tires exchange the same for their grip.
- Excellent road grip
- Great traction in summer
- Handle aggressive driving style
- Low treadlife
Among all the types of tires mentioned in this review, those with a touring tag are the most popular among GMC Sierra 1500 drivers. Available in three versions – touring, performance touring and grand touring – these tires fit almost every model of the Sierra 1500.
Though their wide-ranging compatibility isn’t the main reason for their popularity. Instead, it’s their excellent traction in all weather conditions, ability to work through a wider temperature range and the control they provide at high speeds that make these tires a popular choice for GMC drivers.
- Traction in dry/wet conditions
- Stable at high speeds
- Wide temperature workability
- Not for winter conditions
Oblivious to the fact that there’s one key difference between both, most drivers confuse touring tires with highway tires. The difference, in case you are wondering, has to do with the load rating – as highway tires are mostly capable of hauling more load than touring tires.
That minor difference is the reason why, while most light trucks use highway tires, passenger car drivers prefer the touring ones.
- All-season traction
- Resist wear for longer
- Higher load rating
- Poor off-road performance
At the cost of repeating ourselves as we had stated this right at the start of this article as well, you cannot hope to exploit all the features that the GMC Sierra 1500 has to offer unless you supplement it with a matching set of tires. And that is what this article aims to do – to recommend you the tires that will help you get the most out of the price you paid for this super-size luxurious SUV.