The Best Mud Tires for Off-Road Traction

Aaron Brzozowski
by Aaron Brzozowski

Having the right tires on your ride is critical, and nowhere is that more apparent than off-road, where every stab of the throttle or squeeze of the brake pedal is a fight for traction. And of the several different types of off-road tire on the market today, mud tires are about as particular and purpose-built as they come.

That’s because where all-terrain tires are designed to provide adequate performance across a range of different terrain types, from hardpack to mud to gravel, mud tires are bred to excel at just one thing: mud. That’s not to say that’s all they can do; the hallmarks of a good mud tire tread design are also quite handy on rock faces and other hard, slick surfaces. But mud tires are undeniably more specialized than their all-terrain counterparts, as anyone who’s ever driven mud terrain tires on the pavement can tell you.

With the explosion in popularity of off-roading in recent years, now more than ever, the tire market is chock full of variety. Mud tires are available in just about every conceivable size and at every price point, from low-priced budget entries all the way up to properly-expensive premium options from lauded brands. With so many options, it can be hard to know where to even start looking for a new set of mud terrain shoes for your off-road rig. Luckily, we’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up the best mud tires on the market today, from a range of manufacturers, so you can find the tires you need and get right back to doing what you do best: tearing up the trails.

1. Editor’s Pick: BFGoodrich T/A KM3

If there’s a performance category that BFGoodrich doesn’t excel in, we have yet to find it. The BFGoodrich T/A KM3 is the American tire brand’s rugged, go-anywhere mud terrain tire for passenger vehicles, and it just may be the best mud terrain tire on the market, thanks in no small part to its advanced, proprietary “Krawl-TEK” rubber compound, which delivers 8% better traction on rocks and other slick surfaces, and a “Terrain-Attack” tread pattern with big, beefy tread blocks that provide monster grip in all directions. Add to that a set of mud-phobic bars on the shoulders that help self-clean in the nastiest of conditions and you have a real winner on your hands.

Of course, that’s not all the T/A KM3 has up its sleeve. It also boasts 27%-tougher sidewalls thanks to race-proven CoreGuard Max technology, a Linear Flex Zone that allows it to envelop objects more effectively at reduced tire pressures, and notched shoulders with sculpted sidewalls that provide plenty of side bite.

Product Features:

  • Krawl-TEK compound with 8% better traction
  • CoreGuard Max technology with 27% stiffer sidewalls
  • Mud-phobic shoulder bars
  • Baja champion

Promoted Product: Atturo Trail Blade M/T

Since first bursting onto the scene in 2009, Atturo Tires has produced some truly killer off-road tires. Case in point: the Atturo Trail Blade M/T. Boasting an extra-deep tread with knife-blade shoulder blocks that give it exceptional biting traction and sidewall protection, and beveled center tread blocks that lend it superior edge grip while reducing road noise, the Trail Blade M/T goes every bit as good as it looks. A 3-ply sidewall on all LT-rated sizes grants the Trail Blade M/T exceptional durability and ruggedness too, while wide-open void areas help eject dirt and pebbles as you tear it up through mud, sand, and rocky terrain.

Despite being a relatively young brand, Atturo has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the off-road tire space, and while the company may not have the name recognition of a Nitto or a BFGoodrich just yet, what it does have is tons of drive. Atturo regularly puts their tires to the test in off-road racing – and wins. If you’re looking for one of the best mud tires available today, the Atturo Trail Blade M/T makes a compelling case.

*This is a sponsored placement.

Product Features:

  • Race-proven design
  • Beveled center tread blocks for biting edge grip and low road noise
  • Deep tread blocks with a high void ratio
  • Strong 3-ply sidewall
  • Staggered knife-blade shoulder blocks for lateral grip and sidewall protection

2. Best On-/Off-Road Balance: Nitto Trail Grappler M/T

The Nitto Trail Grappler M/T is a perfect example of clever engineering in tire design, blending stellar mud terrain performance with surprising livability to make a mud tire that’s not completely out of its comfort zone on the street. Among the cleverest tactics employed by Nitto was the use of 3D computer simulations to fine-tune the size, shape, and placement of the tread blocks for 34 to 36% less road noise, and the company’s proprietary manufacturing methods result in exceptional uniformity for a smooth ride.

Of course, it’s not really about the on-road performance; it’s about how well it handles mud. There, the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T is abetted by a tough 3-ply sidewall, aggressive staggered tread blocks, and an optimized void ratio for effective mud evacuation.

Product Features:

  • Puncture-resistant 3-ply sidewall
  • Optimized tread design with up to 36% less road noise
  • Reinforced shoulder grooves and center siping
  • Two unique sidewall designs to choose from

3. Hardcore Performance: Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar

Kevlar is good for more than just bulletproof vests and lightweight race car components; it’s also the perfect tire sidewall protection, elevating the puncture resistance of Goodyear’s Kevlar-reinforced Wrangler MT/R by as much as 35%. Aimed squarely at the most extreme and grueling off-road expeditions, the Wrangler MT/R boasts one of the most aggressive tread designs in the segment, with gnarly tread blocks and a super high void-ratio across most of the asymmetric tread.

Despite how hardcore it is, the Wrangler MT/R still manages to deliver acceptable road manners, with its Kevlar sidewall reinforcements working to keep it responsive, and the low void-ratio section helping deliver a livable ride. It might be the most hardcore tire you can use every day.

Product Features:

  • Kevlar-reinforced sidewalls with 35% better puncture resistance
  • Asymmetric tread design with versatile performance
  • Wraparound tread with sidewall traction in mud, sand, and rocks
  • Proprietary silica-enriched compound

4. Racing Pedigree: Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3

Plenty of tire manufacturers have gone racing, but few have the same laser-like focus on motorsport competition as Mickey Thompson. That passion for performance shines through in the Baja MTZ P3, with its long-wearing proprietary silica-reinforced tread compound, which gives it excellent chip-resistance, its three-ply sidewall, which defends against punctures and makes the tire more responsive in cornering, and its revolutionary four-pitch sidewall pattern, which grips the terrain and doesn’t let go.

Apart from those virtues, the Baja MTZ P3 also boasts a self-cleaning design, variable draft angles and stone ejectors to keep stones out of the tread, and even sipes to enhance its performance on the road. It’s an innovative mud tire from a legendary brand with real pedigree.

Product Features:

  • Silica-reinforced tread compound for wet performance, longevity
  • Responsive, durable 3-ply sidewall
  • Unique four-pitch “Sidebiter” pattern
  • Variable draft angles and stone ejectors

5. Budget Pick: Forceum M/T 08

You may never have considered Forceum, a low-priced brand from Indonesia, for your next set of tires, but if you’re after a decent set of mud terrain tires at a stellar price, you’ll want to give the Forceum M/T 08 a look. The tire represents an outstanding value proposition, with an aggressive, high-void tread, countless biting edges, and alternating scalloped shoulder lugs, all for substantially less than the competition.

Plus, Forceum prides itself on the M/T 08’s on-road usability, with rain and snow grip provided by its excellent water- and slush-evacuating design, and steering responsiveness afforded by a stabilizing rib molded into the center tread. The only thing it’s missing is the big price tag.

Product Features:

  • Deep, high void-ratio tread design
  • Alternating scalloped shoulder lugs
  • Center tread stabilizing rib

6. Peak Performance: Pro Comp Xtreme MT2

Backed by Pro Comp’s extensive racing experience, the Pro Comp Xtreme MT2 is truly deserving of a spot on our list of the best mud tires. The tire features a unique 2-step tread block design that gives it an edge in stability and braking performance, and alternating scalloped shoulder lugs do wonders for its traction through mud, over rocks, and through the dirt. And while other mud tire brands are wary of even mentioning treadwear, Pro Comp is quick to promote its 40,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.

Pro Comp first cut its teeth in the aftermarket truck tire space in 1998, and since then, they’ve ascended through the ranks to become one of the most well-regarded off-road tire manufacturers around. The Xtreme MT2 is a perfect example of how.

Product Features:

  • Unique 2-step tread blocks for stability, braking performance
  • Silica-reinforced tread compound for chip-resistance, wet performance
  • Alternating scalloped shoulder lugs
  • 40,000-mile limited treadwear warranty

7. Toyo Open Country M/T

With its distinctive hook-shaped tread blocks, the Toyo Open Country M/T doesn’t look like anything else out there. It earns marks for styling, then, but what about the mud terrain performance?

Simply put: it’s outstanding. Those hook-shaped tread blocks aren’t there just for looks; they also provide copious traction in a variety of off-road conditions, digging through mud and grabbing onto slick rock faces to propel your rig forward. The tread blocks feature deep sipes to help provide traction no matter how wet it is outside, and over-the-shoulder lugs provide outstanding traction in the deepest of mud and snow, while enhancing off-road handling in hard cornering. In short, the Toyo Open Country M/T performs every bit as good as it looks.

Product Features:

  • Aggressive tread with hook-shaped blocks, siping
  • Scalloped shoulder blocks
  • 3-ply polyester construction
  • Mud and stone ejectors

8. Firestone Destination M/T2

As a brand with extensive experience in agricultural tires, Firestone knows a thing or two about designing a tire that can find traction off the pavement. All the company’s learnings are on full display in the Firestone Destination M/T2, with its aggressive, high-void area tread pattern and deep tread block sipes. The tire features some aggressive serrated sidewall lugs that help deliver traction in deep mud, a tread block attack angle optimized for loose surface traction, and overall, there’s a 20% increase in the number of biting edges compared to its predecessor, the Destination M/T.

On top of all this, the Destination M/T2 delivers outstanding durability, with three puncture-resistant polyester case plies, and two high-strength steel belts with nylon reinforcements. All things considered, it’s a supremely competent and capable off-road ally.

Product Features:

  • 20% more biting edges than its predecessor
  • Tough carcass with 3 polyester plies, 2 high-strength steel belts
  • Serrated sidewall lugs
  • Mud and stone ejectors

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Aaron Brzozowski
Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron is a freelance writer, videographer and car enthusiast based out of the Detroit area. He has a special affinity for the Porsche 944 series, and once owned a Volvo 240 sedan with a Weber carb in place of the factory EFI system. His work has appeared on AutoGuide, GM Authority, /Drive, and VW Vortex, among other sites.

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 1 comment
  • Jeffrey Ross Jeffrey Ross on Mar 14, 2022

    Hello! I'd like to buy a set of 4 "K9 23.8.12 RADIAL" tires mounted on "Venom" 4x100 rims. Also will need the lift kit that will make these tires & rims fit a 1984 Honda Acty. I believe Jonathan said the tire/wheel combo cost is $1650 and lift kit is $350 so looks like 2 grand. Also will need them shipped to California. Please verify that this setup will work and let me know if I'm missing anything and provide a total cost and let me know how to pay. Thank you!

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    • David Traver Adolphus David Traver Adolphus on Mar 21, 2022

      @David Traver Adolphus Our resident expert suggests getting in touch with Mud Bug Mini Trucks at It looks like they have both the tires and wheels you're looking for in stock, they carry lift kits, too.