Interesting. I have not yet had a chance to read the whole report, but just this statement shows that this 2002 report is not about current studded tires:
The cost of studless tires is significantly higher than studded tires—by approximately 50 percent.
There are no longer distinctly different "studless" tires - there are winter tires which...
- are only available with studs
- are available with or without studs
- cannot be studded
Other than provision for studs, the construction of these tires (tread compound, tread pattern, carcass construction) is similar, and all available in a range of prices. Studdable tires have specific tread blocks which are arranged to be stable to accept a stud; non-studdable tires don't have any of these blocks. The other tread blocks are similar in either case.
A highly regarded brand for winter tires is Nokian. I currently use their non-studded (or "studless") Hakkapeliitta R2
, and I am considering the studded Hakkapeliitta 8
for the next set. They are similar other than the studs, and as these links to the exclusive local distributor show, the price of the studded tires is a few dollars more
than the non-studded... due to the extra cost of the studs.
Although there are many references to the Bridgestone Blizzak (enough to suspect bias), the specific studded tires used in tests was not apparent to me in a quick skim; I doubt any of them were modern winter tires.
I do appreciate the study authors' point that studs are useful only on ice... as we already realize. Ice is a frequent surface condition here.