The term dedicated winter tyres is often used to tyres that are to be used only during the winter season and not during the summer. There are some all-weather tyres that are winter approved and can be used all year round, so they can be used instead of a winter tyre. Since dedicated winter tyres are not to be used during the summer months, you will need to have two sets of tyres. You will need your summer tyres and your winter tyres and change in between seasons.
When you change between the seasons it is important to get the change done before the winter arrives and it is even enough with the cold temperatures as the winter tyres perform better than summer tyres when the temperature is below zero degrees. This is due to the fact that summer tyres become hard and are not able to provide the same grip as they do in warm temperatures. So you don’t have to wait for the snow to arrive to feel comfortable with having winter tyres on, you should have them even as the temperature drops below zero.
If you change too early it is not dangerous, while a late change can be dangerous as it might force you to drive in winter conditions with summer tyres on the car. The negative effect of having the winter tyres on when it is warm, is a bit higher wear, while if you have summer tyres when it is too cold, you might not have any grip. Obviously the same is true at the end of the summer, that you don’t want to change back too early. You want to make sure that the snow has left and will not return before next winter.
The dedicated tyres will have better performance in winter conditions, as they have been designed solely for this purpose. Their tread pattern is optimized for snow and ice combined with cold temperatures. All all-weather tyre will have to take the full temperature range into perspective as well as anything from snow to wet or hot tarmac. You will always have better grip and performance from the dedicated, but with the all-weather tyre you will have a lot of convenience and the fact that you are always ready to drive regardless of weather conditions. This can be an advantage.