These tires are a must if you get more then a few inches of snow to trudge through. The grip on loose as well as packed snow is the best I have seen. Its almost like riding on rails. (this doesn't mean you can be stupid) But if you a reasonably safe driver - these will get you through the high stuff. I haven't had a need for studs so I cant comment there. However, these tires have proven themselves to me several times over in 3 Western NY winters! and several NYS thruway and back roads trips.