Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 vs Michelin X Ice Snow

Bridgestone WS90 and Michelin Ice Snow are aggressive tires optimized for providing reliable performance in winter time. Blizzak offers good grip on paved paths along with stable steer handling on dry, wet, and icy paths as well. 

X Ice Snow makes its way through snow very efficiently owing to its high void ratio and offers a quieter ride due to the specialized sound-canceling design of its grooves. Find out more information about their traction abilities and durability in the article below;

General Comparison

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90


Michelin X ICE SNOW

WS90 characterizes a symmetrical tread pattern having a distinct continual, crisscross rib in the mid with two broad grooves on its sides, multidirectional zigzag sipes, and disjointed grooves that are created due to traction slits along the shoulder lugs. Its contact patch is higher due to relatively less number of grooves which leads to a reduction in its grip over the paved tracks. Deeper channels and full-depth sipes remove water and provide good aquaplaning resistivity over the wet and icy road. A relatively smaller void ratio reduces its snow traction in comparison as a lower number of grooves account for snow evacuation capacity that is lesser than X.

X has a directional tread design with five grooves, two types of sipes, an angled arrangement of square-shaped blocks, and relatively smaller shoulders. The void ratio is higher in comparison, leading to a lesser contact patch which eventually reduces the on-road grip of the tread. Grooves along with a unique siping pattern which includes rectilinear wide sipes and multidirectional zigzag sipes, provide reliable ability to wipe away water and resist hydroplaning over wet and icy tracks, however, lesser depth of voids makes it less efficient than the competitor in this respect. Larger void ratio provides effective evacuation of soft snow through the tread and accounts for its better snow traction as compared to its competitor.

Tread Grip on road

Blizzak has a better capacity to grip dry roads strongly as more of its surface area is touching the road directly. It covers a braking distance of only 88.10 feet when it stops from 50 mph  speed on a dry track. Over the wet and icy surfaces, deeper grooves, and multidirectional, full depth, twisted sipes wipe off water and account for superior traction.  It has a wet decelerating distance of as little as 128.6 feet when stopping from 50 to 0 mph. On the ice, it covers 30.80 feet when coming to rest from 12 mph. However, on snow-packed pathways, narrow grooves decrease its evacuation capacity and lead to reduced snow traction, comparatively. When going from 25 to 0 mph it covers 51.00 feet over a snowy lane.

For X, wider grooves minimize contact patch, as a result grip of tread on the dry surface is reduced. It has a relatively large braking distance on road. Its dry stopping distance is 91.90 feet when it stops from 50 to zero mph. Although it has sipes and grooves to minimize hydroplaning yet its channels offer comparatively less space for water removal, resulting in decreased grip on a wet and icy road in comparison. Its braking distance on a damp path is 136.10 feet when brakes are applied from 50-0 mph while it covers 31.70 feet when stopping from 12 to 0 mph on icy surfaces. An elevated void ratio gives it the favor of better traction on snowy paths as more voids are available for evacuation of snow from the tread. On snow-covered paths, it shows a relatively minor braking distance of 46.4 feet when stopping at the speed of 25 mph to zero mph. It is both M+S and three-peak mountain snowflake rated.

Handling Comparison

WS90 performs better with respect to steer handling over the dry road as its shoulder blocks are relatively larger and traction marks over them form a disjointed groove, accounting for firm traction while taking turns. Discontinuous longitudinal grooves along with deep lateral channels and in-depth sipes provide enough space for the removal of water, resulting in stable traction as the automobile moves around the corner on a wet/icy road.

When it comes to dry handling on-road, Michelin loses from the competitor as its square-shaped shoulder lugs are comparatively smaller and offer limited traction over turns. Full-depth sipes and lateral grooves among shoulder lugs scrub off water, offer dependable traction while cornering over wet or icy paths. However, a lower depth of grooves makes its performance lesser than the contestant.

Hydroplaning Resistivity comparison

Both of these tires are competent for resisting hydroplaning due to the distinct design of voids and sipes, however, WS90 takes the lead due to increased depth of its grooves, for tested sizes, its tread is 1.5/32’’ deeper than its competitor. Water is quickly wiped off by its wider grooves and multidirectional zigzag sipes, resulting in better aquaplaning resistance. The crisscross structure of the internal rib further enhances its water wiping ability.

Michelin X ICE presents dependable slip resistivity because its grooves, wide linear sipes, and multidirectional zigzag sipes are proficient in wiping the water away from the road. Nevertheless, it stands behind in the competition as its relatively narrow grooves have decreased space available to hold water due to their lesser depth in comparison.

Rolling Resistance Comparison

Blizzak come across more friction while rolling than its opponent as the contact patch is higher due to narrow grooves. Its tread have a large surface area in direct contact with the pavement, utilizing more energy to roll over, hence,  additional fuel is expended.

ICE SNOW has a compact contact patch due to the higher void ratio which eventually leads to a lower rolling resistance in comparison. As the surface area of tread touching the road is quite limited, less hysteresis (energy loss) is caused while rolling and its fuel efficiency is also superior to its contestant.

Comparison of Drive Comfort and Noise

WS90 presents more noise on road due to the enhanced depth and straight-line structure of central grooves. Although its void ratio is comparatively low yet its grooves are deeper and linear, offering vast room for collision, resonation and reflectionof wind particles, leading to loud sound while rolling along. However, an enhanced contact patch and enhanced biting ability of tread lead to better traction and standard comfort while driving on road.

Although X ICE SNOW has higher void ratio than its competitor yet its lugs are arranged in a V-form design and grooves among them are formed in such an orientation so that noise waves passing through them automatically cancel each other and less noise is produced as a result. However, a massive void ratio and less contact patch tend to minimize its road traction, hence, it offers comparatively less comfort on hard paved paths.

Durability and Treadwear

WS90 comes from the Bridgestone Blizzak series and a twin compound structure is utilized for its tread composition; the first 55% contains NanoPro Tech multicell complex with hydrophilic properties and enhanced traction capacity over snow while the rest of 45% features Bridgestone’s winter standard compound. Its tread wears down quickly as it faces high rolling friction due to the increased contact patch of the tread. Wear is even faster after the upper 55% tread which contains a hydrophilic multicell compound, is consumed. Its manufacturer does not give a mileage warranty for treadwear.

Michelin has used its innovative EverGrip technology for the composition of X ICE SNOW which employs rubber inclusions and Flex-Ice 2.0 compound for enhanced tread life and traction over snow and ice. Owing to this sturdy tread composition and low rolling resistance due to the larger void ratio it wears down slowly and keep on many seasons. 40,000 miles of manufacturer’s treadwear warranty proves its extraordinary durability among other winter specialized tires.

Price comparison

X Ice Snow is priced higher in comparison but superior snow traction and a longer tread life warranty make it worth the additional amount. While the WS90 provides enhanced road traction without putting a burden on the budget!


  • Both Blizzak WS90 and X ICE SNOW are dedicated winter tires.
  • Bridgestone WS90 shows improved traction on the pavements (dry, wet, or iced roads)
  • X ICE SNOW can roll over snow-packed paths relatively easily.
  • Tread of Michelin X ICE is designed for offering quieter driving on road.
  • Blizzak WS90 shows better aquaplaning resistivity.
  • X ICE faces low rolling resistance in comparison.
  • Michelin is expensive but it comes with a longer, warranted tread life.