Mud Terrain tires will do better on gravel roads than they will on pavement, performance tires will be good on a dirt track but not what you need on an asphalt sidewalk, and all-season tires will perform their absolute best only at night and in inclement weather. The exception to this rule is if you live in a climate that never snows and have an ice cold morning, and you can go for months without even applying the anti-icing or snow chains. In this case, all-season tires will do you best. Otherwise, just opt for mud tires.
If you live in a city, where you get 5 ft of snow during the winter and more during the heat of summer, then you don't need a mud terrain tire. You should, however, still consider one as an option. They will give you better traction in soft, medium, and hard conditions. This is true regardless of whether you drive your vehicle to the local country club or simply to work.
All-season vehicles with sealed tires will do best on mud terrain tires. And that's not a recommendation for pavement or street-paved road. Driving on them will make things worse. Think about it: when you are driving on mud, your car tires have a tendency to wear slower than they would on a paved road, simply because of the nature of the terrain. You can compensate for this by increasing your tread life or using anti-icing chemicals.
Of course, that's not true with all vehicles; not all cars have the same suspension system. Some are designed to handle rocks and roll over them. Others are not. And of those that aren't designed to handle rocks, many will still destroy your mud terrain tires if you get into an off-roading accident. You need to buy a vehicle suited for mud terrain tires, even if you drive a four-wheel drive and don't live in the woods.
Mud terrain tires come in different compounds. Some are composed of very fine steel beads. Others come in hardened rubber compounds, sometimes called "thermoplastic" tread blocks. The type you choose depends on your driving environment, the kind of vehicle you have, and the amount of time you expect to spend off the highway. Rubber compounds work best on smooth surfaces, whereas steel beads work best on rough or loose terrains.
The treads in all-terrain tires are important because they will slow you down when driving over rocks, holes, mud, sand, snow, ice, and snowplows. A thin tire with a shallow tread will also absorb any dew, leaving your engine to run harder and longer. You'll get a better gas mileage with all-terrain tires, so they're an excellent choice for trucks, SUVs, and cars. However, they're not suitable for city driving, where you'll have to contend with pedestrians, cars, and trucks.
If you want to drive fast off the paved road, you should get a set of mud tires. They're very hard, almost indestructible, so you can go pretty much anywhere. They also grip the road better than most all-terrain tires, so they make an excellent choice for off-roading. Mud tires usually come in one of two varieties - flat and grooved. Flat Mt tires feature smooth grooves every few millimeters, while grooved Mt tires have ridges every few inches.
These features allow them to be used on most surfaces. They also have treads that allow them to dig into the ground and grip when driving over gravel, sand, mud, and other uneven surfaces. When shopping for a set of mud-terrain tires, consider the driving conditions you'll be driving in most often. Determine what kind of terrain you usually drive on, whether it's smooth or bumpy, and what type of surface you'd like to avoid driving on.