Non-studded winter tyres
Non-studded winter tyres or studless winter tyres, allow more flexibility in deciding when to change tyres, both in autumn and in spring. One characteristic of non-studded winter tyres is lower tyre noise, as they roll smoothly and silently on the road surface. This is not to say however that non-studded winter tyres are recommended for year round use, as these tyres are primarily winter tyres with characteristics suited to winter conditions. In warmer conditions non-studded winter tyres wear rapidly, and as the rubber compound softens their performance becomes impaired.
When correctly used however, non-studded winter tyres can actually increase safety during those times of the year when conditions may change rapidly, particularly in terms of changes in temperature. With this in mind it is a good idea to fit non-studded winter tyres well before conditions actually become slippery, and to use them until winter is definitely over. The performance of non-studded winter tyres is based on the principle of steeply angled laminae, that open during acceleration or braking. In many European countries non-studded winter tyres are the only winter tyre option, as the use of studded tyres is not permitted.
If you are wondering whether or not non-studded winter tyres might suit your needs, you can read more about the differences between non-studded winter and studded tyres here.