F-150 Tire Buying GuideLast Updated August 4, 2019 | Alison Smith
As the best-selling truck in America for over 40 years, the Ford F-150 has been in production since 1975. With a major design refresh in 2009, the F-150 has managed to maintain its immense popularity. Whether you’re looking to add 33-inch tires or even 37-inch tires, a lift kit will be required in order to increase the truck’s height and maintain proper spacing. While a lift kit can not only make the truck look even more aggressive, it can add additional ground clearance that enhances off-roading performance. Keep reading for more information on what size tires require what size lifts for the 2009-2018 Ford F-150!
Tire Sizes Explained
- Minimum lift: front leveling kit
33” tires are a great option for entry-level off-road rigs that will spend most of their time on highways and paved roads but would like a more aggressive look and minor off-road capabilities. There is not much required to fit 33” tires on your F-150. A great option would be a Leveling kit, which is both economical and functional, and will allow you the clearance needed to fit larger than stock tires. These are a great option for the truck owner that wants to keep a fairly stock ride height while going off-road for hunting or other outdoor activities that take you off of paved roads.
- Minimum lift: 4.0”
34” tires are the OE tire size that factory F-150 Raptors come equipped with. They are a good option for those who are looking to get the Raptor look on their standard F-150 and require only a mild lift. When installing 34” tires it is important to have enough usable wheel travel, which may require minor trimming to eliminate tire rub.
- Minimum lift: 6.0”
35” tires are extremely popular for the 2009-2018 F-150’s that have larger lifts of 6” or more. They will increase ground clearance and are a good option for those who take their trucks off road. When installing 35” tires it is important to have enough usable wheel travel, which may require minor trimming to eliminate tire rub.
- Minimum lift: 7.0”
37” tires take your 2009-2018 F-150 to the next level by giving your truck an aggressive lifted stance and offer great off-road performance. They will give your truck increased ground clearance and one of the most aggressive looks attainable. Although 37’s will give you more ground clearance, they require a taller lift in order to have proper suspension and tire travel without rubbing. Trimming in some areas may be required in order to eliminate tire rubbing.
Ford F-150 Tires
After you’ve figured out what size tire you want for your off-roading vehicle, it comes time to actually pick out the tire itself. The purpose of your rig is going to be the deciding factor on what type of tires you need. If you are planning on going off-roading, frequenting the trails every weekend, then perhaps some heavy-duty tires or mud-terrain tires would work well for you. While mud-terrain tires work great on the trail and over rocky spots, these tires will not work as well for the highway. Because of the tread patterns on these types of tires, they will be louder on the highway, receive less traction, and decrease fuel economy. Driving mud-terrain tires on the main roads will also wear them out faster. What they do excel at is romping through the mud and down the trail due to the larger channel gaps. This allows mud to escape the grooves in the tires to give you a better off-road driving experience. Airing down the tire pressure when you go off-road will increase the tire’s contact size with the terrain, giving you better traction. So while mud-terrain tires are great for off-roading and trailblazing, they might not be the best tire for strictly highway driving.
If you are using your vehicle to commute to and from work on the daily, then you may want to invest in a nice set of all-terrain tires. All-terrain tires are great for both the road and light off-roading escapades. While the tread pattern is not as large as the mud-terrain tires, all-terrain tires do have larger tread blocks than the traditional stock tires found on most other vehicles. Because the tread gaps are smaller than the mud-terrain tires, the all-terrain tires will not perform as well in mud or snow. For most people, these will be the perfect tire to have on your daily driver. Those who enjoy off-roading frequently may want to opt for the mud-terrain tires instead. There’s also a hybrid-terrain tire if you want the best of both worlds! Do you use your rig to commute every day but still want to hit the trails? A hybrid tire will let you cruise down the highway and give you some added off-roading performance. CJ’s offers several different tires to go along with your wheels, so keep reading to decide which is best for you!
Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
The Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Tire is an aggressive off-roading tire that also performs well on the road. Key features that make this tire great for the trail are alternating shoulder lugs, anti-stone retention, and mud-release dimples. These give the tires increased traction and prevent mud, stones, and other debris from sticking in the treads. Flex Groove Technology not only gives the tire a smoother ride but decreases the impact from unpredictable terrain. With Armor Tek3 Construction, the tires have increased durability with even more tear resistance and protection from impact damage than standard 2-ply tires. Not only will these tires make your vehicle look even more sinister on the trail, it will increase your off-roading performance while still handling fairly well for a mud-terrain tire. With 3-2 inner tread ribs, this tire is not only great for off-roading but offers a decent on-road experience as well without too much added noise.
Nitto Mud Grappler
For the serious off-roaders, you can’t go wrong with the Nitto Mud Grappler Tire. Constructed with a 3-ply polyester sidewall and large side lugs, this mud-terrain tire is difficult to puncture and can withstand even the toughest terrains. Not only do the side lugs give the tire an aggressive look, they add extra protection against any sharp materials you may come into contact with on the trail. A high void ratio between the tire’s tread blocks improves traction by preventing the buildup of dirt and mud. With dual sidewall designs, the Nitto Mud Grappler tire features a lizard-skin design on one side while the other side is just plain. Not only is this an engineering feat since the design doesn’t throw off the balance of the tire, but this lets you choose how you want your tire to look. Since these aren’t built for the main roads, highway driving with these tires will be louder and less comfortable. If you’re looking for a tough tire to take on the trail, look no further than the Nitto Mud Grappler Tire!
Nitto Trail Grappler
Similar to the Nitto Mud Grappler, the Nitto Trail Grappler combines the ruggedness of the Mud Grappler with the comfort of the Terra Grappler, an all-terrain tire. With 3D computer simulation, the tread blocks were designed specifically to reduce tire noise without sacrificing off-road performance. In comparison to the Mud Grappler, the Trail Grappler is 36% quieter at highway speeds and 34% quieter at street speeds. Equipped with a 3-ply sidewall and reinforced shoulder grooves, this mud terrain tire is both durable and capable of performing well in every season. For better traction in wet environments, the tire has central siping that helps reduce hydroplaning. Mud and dirt can easily escape with a balanced void ratio for better off-roading performance. For someone who loves off-roading on the weekends but also needs to drive on the streets from time to time, the Nitto Trail Grappler tire can do both!
Hankook Dynapro MT
The Hankook Dynapro MT is a mud-terrain tire that performs well even in the harshest off-roading conditions. Advertised as an all-season tire, the Dynapro has nylon-reinforced and high-strength belts that increase both strength as well as steering durability and stability. Zigzag shoulder lugs give the tire increased traction off-road, while an under-groove protector and side protection blocks protect the tire from sharp objects, soften external shocks, and prevent impact damage. With anti-puncture capability, multi-directional traction, and a strong grip, the Hankook Dynapro excels both on and off the road. For a tire that can handle any rocky trail or pothole-ridden street, the Hankook Dynapro is an excellent choice that will give you the best possible ride for any driving condition.
General Grabber X3
For the true off-roading enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, the General Grabber X3 tire was created for off-roading vehicles. These tires are both aggressive in appearance and performance. With a symmetric, high void tread pattern with traction notches, this tire excels both on the trail and on the road. Evacuation channels and stone bumpers prevent the buildup of mud, debris, and gravel. Do you live in an area that receives a lot of snow? The General Grabber X3 has full-depth sipes that make driving in the snow and other wet conditions a breeze. Constructed from DURAGEN technology, the tire has ultra-high strength steel belts and a 3-ply body casing for increased durability and performance. Not only does this tire excel off the road, but it also provides a quiet street ride. With multi-angle grip edges, full-depth sipes, and alternating shoulder scoops, this tire maintains grip and traction in every driving condition. Whether you want to conquer the trail or the highway, the General Grabber X3 tire will not let you down!
Mastercraft Courser MXT
Another great off-roading, mud-terrain tire is the Mastercraft Courser MXT. A “side biter” sidewall design, traction edges, and large shoulder scallops improve traction and abrasion resistance. Wide shoulder grooves help prevent mud from sticking in the tire so you can get better traction and performance on the trail. Full-depth, variable siping helps maintain traction when the roads are wet, even when the tire is half worn. Not only great in the mud, deep tread grooves make the Course MXT perfect for winter weather driving with improved snow traction. This tire also looks as good as it performs! With a relatively quiet ride on the main roads, this tire is great for those weekend off-roading trips or a cruise down the highway!
Mudclaw Extreme MT
A mean-looking tire, the Mudclaw Extreme MT is an impressive off-roading tire with a 3-ply sidewall construction. Equipped with a chip-resistant tread compound and reinforced casing that prevents sharp objects from penetrating the sidewall, the Mudclaw Extreme can handle even the toughest terrains. Improved traction in the winter and snowy conditions is due to the tire’s staggered shoulder blocks. Large center lugs increase the tire’s power when driving on loose dirt or mud. Despite the aggressive exterior of the tire, it is still relatively quiet for highway driving. So while this tire is mainly for off-roading, it can still perform well on the highway if needed. If you frequently drive in the snow or on muddy trails, the Mudclaw Extreme MT tire is a great option!
Ironman All Country MT
Constructed with a durable 3-ply sidewall to prevent tears and cuts, the Ironman All Country MT tire was built for off-roading and taking your rig off the beaten path. With a void ratio and shoulder blocks that easily help mud, dirt, and sand escape, these tires can conquer even the roughest terrain. A studdable tread allows for extra traction in winter weather. Featuring a groove design to prevent stone drilling, this tire maintains traction in almost any off-roading situation. Due to being a mud-terrain tire, these will be louder on the highway and provide a less comfortable ride. For those off-roading enthusiasts who spend more time on the trail than off, you can’t go wrong with the Ironman All Country MT tires!
BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3
Both aggressive in appearance and performance, the BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 tire is an off-roading beast! It can power through mud and loose soil with its Terrain-Attack tread design. Its Krawl-TEK tire compound provides traction from every angle while keeping itself clean and grippy with its mud-phobic bars. The T/A MK3 also boasts a linear flex zone which allows the tires to flex over objects with ease when aired down for off-road use. When compared to previous MK series tires, the MK3 has made significant improvements, increasing its mud traction by 5%, it’s rock traction by 8%, and making its sidewalls 27% tougher.
Firestone Destination MT2
Engineered specifically for off-roading, the Firestone Destination MT2 tire is constructed with an even stronger sidewall than the original Destination MT tire. More biting edges increase traction in inclement weather, while mud and stone rejectors help keep your tires clean while traversing the trails. With its rugged tread pattern and sidewall, this tire not only looks tough but is able to conquer even the most difficult terrain. If you’re in the market for a mud-terrain tire that can handle anything and everything, look no further than the Firestone Destination MT2!
Toyo Open Country M/T
The Toyo Open Country M/T is a mud-terrain tire that not only looks menacing, but is a beast when it comes to off-roading. Unusual hook-shaped tread blocks provide traction when off-roading but also enhance on-road performance as well. The tire is constructed from durable 3-ply polyester and equipped with scalloped shoulder blocks that help the tire gain traction in the sand, snow, or mud. Deep sipes enhance traction in slippery, wet conditions. So not only does this tire perform great on the trail, it also drives well on pavement. For the drivers that frequently run the trails but still need a tire for highway driving, the Toyo Open Country M/T is a great choice!
Cooper Discoverer S/T
An all-purpose traction tire that combines all-terrain, high-void, and commercial traction, the Discoverer S/T tire targets high-torque, high-powered light trucks where increased traction and even wear is important. With a scalloped shoulder design and deep tread, the tire has better traction on softer surfaces. Beveled tread block edges help the tire wear evenly and increases self-cleaning capabilities. The Discoverer S/T tire is also pinned for studs to get better traction in winter. This tire is great for those all-purpose commercial pickups who may encounter some occasional rough terrain on the job!
Nitto Terra Grappler
The Nitto Terra Grappler is an all-terrain tire made for every season as well as both wet and dry conditions. With dual sidewall designs, you can choose how you want your tire to look without unwanted vibrations or a weight imbalance. High-density siping improves traction in wet conditions, with lateral voids and deep sipes channeling water away while reducing the potential for hydroplaning. Staggered shoulder lugs can improve traction when driving in loose dirt and sand while off-roading. While these tires aren’t designed specifically for off-roading, they would make a great tire for the everyday driver who takes the occasional trailblaze. Able to conquer most terrains in any weather condition, the Terra Grappler is a great all-around tire!
BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2
For an all-terrain tire that is both tough and comfortable, say hello to the BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2. With CoreGard Technology, the rubber on this tire is both thicker and stronger, preventing splits and bruises. Serrated shoulder lugs increase the tire’s traction when driving in snow, over rocks, or through mud. Driving through the snow is even easier with locking 3-D sipes that enhance traction. With an interlocking tread design, this tire not only has a long wear life but also better stability. An advanced footprint gives the tire even wear by distributing stress equally. The BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tires are great for both the main roads and the trails, making them a perfect addition to any rig!
Nitto Exo Grappler AWT
The Nitto Exo Grappler AWT is an all-terrain tire that is built extraordinarily tough in order to sustain all weather conditions. Built to conquer any terrain in any season, the Exo Grappler is a heavy-duty tire constructed from high-strength polymers that help prevent chips and cuts. To prevent stone drilling, the tire is equipped with spiral-shaped stone ejectors. With a dual sidewall design, you can choose just how rugged you want your tire to look. Sipes and lateral grooves give the tire extra biting edges to enhance traction in winter weather. Great for dry and wet conditions, the Exo Grappler is a tire capable of handling just about anything! Created from a new durable compound, this tire is capable of maintaining traction even in freezing temperatures. If that’s not enough to get you through the winter, the tires are studdable so you can get even more traction in the snow. While this may not be the best tire for the most extreme off-roading, this tire will be able to conquer most trails and handle the pavement like a champ. For an extremely versatile tire, you really can’t go wrong with the Nitto Exo Grappler AWT!
Nitto Terra Grappler G2
The sequel to the Nitto Terra Grappler tire, the Grappler G2 is composed of a completely new compound that makes the tire wear longer while still retaining its versatility. This all-terrain tire is capable of driving in both dry and wet conditions on the trail as well as on the pavement. Providing a quiet and comfortable ride, the Grappler G2 has variable pitch tread blocks that help decrease road noise when driving on the highway. With dual sidewall designs, you can choose just how aggressive you want your tire to look without sacrificing performance. A brand-new option for the sidewall design involves a “blade” design that includes sidewall lugs that begin at the shoulder block and continue further down to the sidewall. The other design mimics the original Terra Grappler’s lightning bolt pattern. Reinforced coupling joints enhance the stiffness of the block edge, which helps ensure that the tire wears evenly. The Terra Grappler G2 is perfect for those everyday drivers who also enjoy taking their rig off-road from time to time!
Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx
Similar to the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro, the Discoverer S/T Maxx is an all-season tire that is tough but still offers great on-road performance and stability. A hybrid 4-5 rib design gives the tire even wear and low tread pattern noise. To prevent stone retention, the tire is equipped with dual-draft and non-parallel groove walls as well as stone ejector ribs. A cut and chip resistant tread compound and Armor Tek3 construction provides more tear resistance and protection in comparison to standard 2-ply tires. In order to get maximum wet traction, the tire is formulated with advanced silica compounds. For a smooth ride on the highway and improved flexibility, the Discoverer S/T Maxx has Flex Groove Technology that also softens the impact of driving on different terrains. With micro gauge siping, the tire has improved traction in both soft and wet surfaces thus increasing mileage and stability. Developed for 50% off-road use and 50% on-road use, this makes a great tire for those daily drivers who like frequent getaways on the trail.
Nitto Ridge Grappler
The next generation of the Nitto Grappler tire product line, the Ridge Grappler truly is the best of both worlds. Performing equally well both on and off the road, the Ridge Grappler tire features a revolutionary dynamic hybrid tread pattern that provides both comfort and aggressiveness. Highway riding is smooth and quiet with the tire’s variable pitch tread pattern that was developed with advanced sound equipment. Like all Nitto Grapplers, the tire offers a dual sidewall design that allows you to customize the look of your tire. The Ridge Grappler has an all-new, aggressive-looking block sidewall design that is sure to make your vehicle stand out! Alternating shoulder and lateral Z grooves enhance traction, while a reinforced block foundation strengthens the tire. You don’t have to worry about little rocks or pebbles getting stuck in your tires since the tire is equipped with stone ejectors. Offering a quiet ride that’s great in all seasons both on and off the road, the Ridge Grappler tire is a great option for those who love spending as much time on the trail as they do cruising on the street!
Toyo Open Country R/T
Not quite a mud-terrain tire or an all-terrain tire, the Toyo Open Country R/T is branded as a rugged-terrain tire. Built to be a midway point between Toyo’s Open Country M/T and Open Country A/T II, the tire is capable of performing well both on and off the road. Constructed from 3-ply polyester with an optimized pattern for reducing road noise, this tire is tough, durable, and quiet. Scalloped shoulder blocks enhance off-roading performance by increasing traction in sand, mud, or snow. Dual sidewall designs offer two different aggressive looks to choose from while protecting against impact damage and increasing traction. With stone and mud ejectors, there’s no need to worry about pesky gravel or mud getting stuck in the tire’s grooves. For those that are looking for a tire that can handle rugged terrain but still maintain a quiet highway drive, the Toyo Open Country R/T is a tire that can do both!
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