Symmetrical tyres have a tread pattern that is the same across the inner and outer portions of the tyre.Most non-high-performance passenger vehicles will use symmetrical tyres. Symmetrical tyres are typically quiet and long lasting. Their tread patterns allow them to be rotated in many different ways, which substantially increases the life of the tyre. These tyres are best suited for the average driver around town and away for the weekend.
Asymmetrical tyres have a tread pattern that is different across the width of the tyre. When looking at an asymmetrical tyre the inner and outer tread patterns will not be the same. Asymmetrical tyres are designed with vehicle performance in mind and are commonly found on sports cars. Asymmetrical tyres have large blocks of tread on the outside to increase cornering stability and narrower blocks of tread along the inside of the tyre to aid winter or wet weather driving. They are also known for their low road noise.
Directional tyres have construction and tread designed to rotate in only one direction. Directional tyres will have an arrow with the word “rotation” on the sidewall showing the proper rotation direction. Generally acknowledged to be derived from wet racing tyres these directional road tyres have excellent wet weather performance due to their ability to remove water from the road surface. There down side being that they can cause a vehicle to drift left or right on a straight road.