Do Low Profile Tires Wear Faster?

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The low profile tire craze isn’t a new one, it seems like it gripped the populace a few years ago and isn’t intent on letting go anytime soon. In such a situation, it seems only natural for you to want to switch over to them too and sure, why shouldn’t you?

Low profile tires

These tires promise better performance, brakes and appearance.

However…there’s one issue:

Word goes that they wear out a lot faster than high profilers. Not to worry though, we are here to confirm whether that is actually the case and why:

In short form, low profile tires do wear out faster than high profile ones. That is mainly because of two reasons: they are made of soft rubber compounds more prone to wear and tear and they have greater surface area in contact with the road because of larger tread widths.

However, the rate of wearing out is partially reliant on some additional factors too, that we’ll get into in a bit.

Science behind faster wearing:

The reason why low profile tires are so coveted nowadays is because they are equipped with stiffer sidewalks to compensate for their shorter height, along with a greater area of contact; this modification allows for a better grasp on the road surface and superior wheel response.

The softer rubber compounds used to create said tires further increases this advantage -as they better traction.

On top of that the tires have simplified tread designs, which betters fuel efficiency and economy.

However, as with everything, there is a downside to these alterations.

The fact that the material used to make the tires is softer means that it is more vulnerable to damage and weathering than harder compounds.

Moreover, the greater surface area of contact of the tires to the road surface allows the rate of wear and tear to be amplified.

The simple tread design, too, ensures that the treads wear out faster and maximum safe tread depth is reached before due time.

Not just the tires?

Some people however, argue that low profile tires may have some factors that work against them and put them at a greater risk of wearing out, but tires can get damaged more quickly due to one’s vehicle and driving style too.

These factors, therefore, are exaggerated due to some accelerating factors on the part of the driver themselves.

The accelerating factors:

  • Overloading of the vehicle: As this increases the pressures exerted by the tires on the road and hence, makes the rubber wear more quickly.
  • Driving at high speeds up altitudes: As resistance is already high driving up altitudes, this further increases friction and damage.
  • Cornering too hard: When you are driving fast, cornering suddenly puts pressure on and damages the rubber.
  • Braking suddenly: If you don’t slow down before pulling the brakes, the tires have to push harder to stop.

How to avoid wearing of these tires?

So, now that we’ve understood that drivers can contribute to the amplification of the tire wear rate themselves, what can you do to prevent it from happening, apart from not engaging in the accelerating factors?

On the sidewall, at the end of the tire size there are numbers that indicate the “load rating” andspeed index”.

Basically, these are the maximum load you can load onto your vehicle and maximum speed you should drive your car at.

If you stay within these numbers, it greatly lowers the risk of your low profile tires wearing out quicker.

Low profile tires come with complementary suspension systems and wheel sizes, which absorb shock due to potholes and other roadblocks.

This, in turn, helps prevent misalignment of tires and rapid wear.

In the car’s handbook the correct air pressure for the tires is given.

This is because under inflated tires cause premature tire wear on the outside edges of your tires, while over inflated tires have reduced traction -increasing pressure on the middle of the tire and causing wear there.

Hence, make sure to fill your tires with the given pressure.

The flat problem:

It may also look like low profile tires wear faster because of the fact that in the instance- a tire punctures, they deflate a lot faster than regular or high profile tires. This is actually because they are thinner and hence, have less air in them, taking less time to become fully flat.

Similarly, as they wear faster, they are also at a higher risk of getting punctured. 

The Run-Flat technology:

To counter such instances, low profile tires are equipped with a run-flat technology; their sidewalls and shoulders are reinforced so they can roll without air. This allows the driver to drive safely for a good number of miles, even when the tire is deflated fully.

However, not all low profile tires are equipped with this technology, therefore, you must make sure to check whether they are before purchase.


In conclusion, low profile tires do wear faster than regular or high profile tires, however seeming as that is only the price of their better performance and this disadvantage can easily be rectified by some practical measures on your part -it should not stand in the way of anyone switching to them.