Are All Terrains Good in Sand?

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A/T tires are known for their impressive durability in virtually any type of terrain. So are All Terrains good in sand as well? 

With the quick advancements the tire industry is making along with equally skyrocketing prices, it can be quite the cost to get a set of sand tires. That’s why drivers are now questioning whether A/T can cover this problem as well. 

After scouring the web, we gathered info for driver experiences with using all-terrains on the sand. In this article, we’ll be going through said info to determine whether A/T tires are suitable for use on sand. 

Are All Terrain Tires Just as Good as Sand Tires? 

Even though most A/T say they have great sand traction, in most cases, they serve to be more of a hassle than just using sand tires. 

Great sand tires are manufactured according to their use on sand, and therefore have differences from A/T tires. Here are a few things A/T might struggle with on sand –


All-terrain tires put a lot of importance on durability when they’re being manufactured. As they are required to be functional in almost any terrain, they need to withstand a lot of wear and tear. A/T is made with thick, tough, and heavy material that can negatively affect sand to bring about this feature. 

On the sand, you will need as much floatation as possible to move through without lag. Heavy tires will weigh down your vehicle, and the tires may sink, which will take additional time to push off from. So, unless you can expand the air chamber of your A/T tires, it’s best to switch to sand tires for the dunes.


Unlike regular sand tires, Top All Terrain tires are known to have bulky tread blocks with deep grooves for ultimate traction on multiple types of terrain. Although these are great for off roads, they can slow you down on the sand.

Sand and mud quickly get stuck inside the grooves of these tires and form a “slick,” which reduces traction. And as we all know, without traction, there is very little movement. However, if your A/T tires have shallow sipes, they can be a somewhat close alternative to sand tires. Depending on their mass, of course.

Read Related: How to Get a Car Unstuck from Sand

Fuel Efficiency  

If A/T tires with chunky tread blocks, deep sipes, heavy material, and inadequate air pressure are put on sand, you might not be getting anywhere at all. The tires are likely to sink into the surface, and they might not even rotate properly. 

This will eventually consume a lot of energy from fuel, as your vehicle will continuously try to push off but hit a dead-end. That is why sand tires have a large air chamber and little to no tread.


Are all terrains good in sand? If the A/T tires have minimum tread, not too heavy material, and an expandable air chamber, they can definitely be worth the shot on the sand. We recommend opting for the A/T tires promoted to be specifically compatible on the sand; that way, there’s no risk.

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