Studded tyres began to become common in the 1960s, and still hold a very strong position in the winter tyre market. Studded tyres come into their own on icy winter stretches of road, where the tyres can dig in to find suprising levels of grip on even the most the slippery surfaces. Studded tyres are a good choice for drivers with little experience of winter driving, as they smooth out changes in driving conditions.
New studded tyres should be driven in for the first 400 or 500 kilometres by avoiding rapid acceleration, high cornering speeds and violent braking. The studs will then be able to properly settle into their holes and will function correctly for the lifetime of the tyre. New studs can not be fitted to replace lost ones, as they will not stay in the holes formed in the tyre. The stud holes are formed during the vulcanization process, by means of plugs in the tyre mould. The stud holes in tyres for heavy machinery are generally drilled after manufacture.
A winter tyre can be recognised by the M&S mark, which indicates that it is suitable for use on snow (mud and snow). If you are wondering whether studded tyres might be the best choice for you, you can read more here, and see whether studded tyres or non-studded winter tyres best suit your needs.