Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 vs. Firestone Winterforce 2

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and Firestone Winterforce 2 are both winter tires that are specially built for performing well over ice and snow. Winterforce gives a satisfactory performance in winter months with its broad tread design enables it to roll easily through the snow.

On the other side, Blizzak has a unique composition and tread pattern which offers great traction on the wet and icy surface. Detailed analysis of their tread qualities and durability is presented below;

Comparing WS80 with Firestone WinterForce 2

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80


Firestone WinterForce 2

WS80 shows a denser tread pattern characterizing two central grooves and two disjointed, longitudinal grooves formed by notches over shoulder lugs, blocks having saw-tooth edges and multidirectional, zigzag sipes marked all over the tread circumferentially. Due to the presence of only a few narrow grooves, its contact patch is relatively higher and accounts for better traction on a dry road. Saw-tooth edges of its blocks enhance its biting capacity even more. Frequent, full depth, zigzag sipes are present on the blocks in multidirectional orientation and support deep grooves in removing water and providing resistance against aquaplaning. These tread elements account for its awesome traction on a wet and icy surface. Its deep channels present optimum capacity to evacuate snow through tread and account for its decent traction in snowy areas.

The open tread design of Winterforce 2 possesses five deep grooves, comparatively smaller blocks, and a zigzag siping pattern. Its relatively high void ratio causes redaction of contact patch which eventually leads to minimal traction on a dry road. Its deep grooves and zigzag sipes provide resistance against hydroplaning by wiping the water away from the surface. Nonetheless, its wet and ice traction remains below its competitor as it has less number of sipes in comparison. Its grooves efficiently evacuate snow from the tread, however, lack of hydrophilic compound and bite particles in tread rubber makes its snow traction lesser the competitor.

Road Grip Comparison

Owing to its higher contact patch, WS80 offers a better grip on the dry road as it has a lesser number of narrow grooves and its blocks are closely arranged over the tread. The additional biting ability is provided by the saw-toothed edges of lugs which further enhances its dry traction. When moving over the wet or icy path, deep grooves along with frequent, multidirectional, full depth, 3D sipes present space for water to move out and result in better traction, comparatively. On the snow-covered road, its deep grooves efficiently do their job to evacuate snow, moreover, Blizzak has the advantage of its NanoPro tech Multicell tread compound which has a hydrophilic coating, silica enhancements, and microscopic bite particles to provide better snow traction than its competitor.

Winterforce 2 has a comparatively minimal contact patch due to a higher voids ratio and it also lacks texturing over blocks’ edges to support biting action, hence, its tread grips on the dry road is less firm than its competitor. While rolling over the wet or icy road, its open grooves and sipes wipe away water and provide resistance against aquaplaning but due to a lesser extent of siping, it loses from its competitor in this respect. Its grooves are efficient in snow evacuation and provide confident movement on snow-covered paths, however, its tread composition lacks microscopic bite particles and hydrophilic properties due to which its snow traction becomes lesser in comparison.

Handling Comparison

WS80 presents a superior handling experience as the vehicle turns around a corner on a dry road because it has comparatively large shoulder lugs which are also marked with traction notches along their edges to enhance biting capacity. Full depth, zigzag sipes, and horizontal grooves provide sufficient space for removal of water from the tread and account for firm traction and fully commanded handling as the vehicle steers along the turns on a wet and icy road.

While turning about the corner on dry paved road, Winterforce offers less controlled steer management in comparison, as its shoulder lugs are relatively smaller and their edges do not have any notching pattern to enhance dry traction. Lateral grooves and shoulder sipes play their role in removing water to avoid slipping off during cornering on a wet or icy track, however, less frequency/number of sipes makes its wet handling minimized in comparison.

Comparison of Hydroplaning Resistance 

WS80 shows superior resistance against aquaplaning on the wet road because water over these surfaces is quickly wiped away by its multidirectional, full depth, zigzag sipes, and deep grooves, resulting in firm traction on ice and wet road.

Open voids and zigzag sipes of Winterforce offer dependable hydroplaning resistivity on wet tracks as water can squirm out easily through these spaces but in competition, it stands behind as its siping is less frequent and the competitor has got better ability to resist aquaplaning.

Comparison of Rolling Resistance

Large shoulders, denser arrangement of tread blocks, and only a few grooves make contact patch of tread relatively higher in WS80 which results in high values of rolling resistance. It consumes more fuel in comparison as it requires more energy to overcome high rolling resistance.

As the void ratio of Winterforce 2 is high, the surface area of its tread in direct contact with the road is decreased and less energy is used to roll over. Reduced hysteresis (energy loss) leads to low rolling resistance which in turn reduces energy requirements and makes its fuel efficiency comparatively better.

Comfort and Noise Comparison

Blizzak offers more driving comfort with decreased noise production owing to its low void ratio. Less number of narrow grooves in WS80 offer only a little space for reflection and resonation of sound waves resulting in relatively less noise. A relatively high contact patch of tread makes its on-road traction Superior resulting in a more comfortable ride on a paved track.

Winterforce has a lower position when compared to noise production and on-road comfort due to its high void ratio. Its broad grooves allow free space for the movement, collisions, and resonation of wind particles resulting in much loud sound. Decreased contact patch due to open voids minimize on-road traction and makes driving less comfortable.

Durability and tread wear

WS80 can be used for many seasons and its tread lasts for a longer duration than the competitor as its strengthened tread has more chip and wear resistivity. Its composition employs a dual compound structure in which the first 55% of tread is made up of NanoPro tech Multicell compound having a hydrophilic coating, silica enhancements, and microscopic bite particles for supreme ice and snow traction while remaining 45% is Bridgestone’s standard winter tire compound. After consumption of the first half of tread, a built-in indicator signals that the tire is reaching the end of its ability sooner.

Like most winter tires Winterforce 2 has a short tread life and stands below its competitor in terms of durability because its tread composition does not include any specialized polymer to strengthen the soft winter tire compound as a result it wears out relatively quickly.


WS80 is priced higher than its competitor, nevertheless, its supreme winter performance makes it worth the amount.

Winterforce is a budget-friendly winter tire that offers fairly dependable performance.

Quick Summary

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and Firestone Winterforce 2 are both winter tires.
  • Blizzak shows better traction on a dry, wet, and icy road.
  • WS80 has specialized tread composition optimized for superior traction in snow.
  • Winterforce produces loud sounds while rolling over the road.
  • Winterforce faces less rolling resistance and consumes lesser fuel.
  • WS80 wears down more slowly in comparison.
  • Winterforce is priced lesser than its competitor.