The 5 Best Tires for the F-150 Lightning: Range, Price, Terrain, and Performance

Upgrading the tires on your new F-150 Lightning can make a world of difference when it comes to capability, range, ride quality and more. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to decide which tires are right for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the key factors to keep in mind when shopping for Lightning tires. We’ll also provide in-depth overviews of our top 5 tire recommendations across various categories and price points.

How to Choose the Best Tires for Your F-150 Lightning

When upgrading your F-150 Lightning’s tires, there are a few key factors to take into account:

Intended Use

First, you’ll want to consider how you plan to use your Lightning most often. Here are some of the main usage categories to keep in mind:

  • Street/Highway Driving: If you‘ll primarily drive on paved roads, opt for a street tire that prioritizes tread life, low road noise and improved fuel economy. These offer better ride quality too.

  • Light Off-Roading: For occasional off-road use, an all-terrain tire is ideal. These balance on-road manners with improved traction off-road through aggressive tread patterns.

  • Heavy Duty/Towing: When hauling heavy loads, look for tires optimized for carrying capacity. These are also ideal if you plan to hitch up a trailer frequently.

  • Extreme Off-Roading: For hardcore rock crawling and mudding, you‘ll need a rugged mud terrain tire. But know these prioritize traction over ride quality and noise.


Also consider the terrain and weather you‘ll encounter. Those in cold climates with frequent winter weather will benefit hugely from winter or all-weather rated tires, as these feature tread compounds and patterns to provide extra grip in ice and snow.

And if you‘ll be heading off-road frequently, seek deep tread depths (10/32" or higher) and sturdy sidewalls for puncture resistance and durability over rough terrain.

Load Capacity

One spec to pay close attention to is load capacity, which signifies the maximum weight a tire can support when properly inflated. Since trucks carry heavy loads, a higher load capacity rating is recommended. Most options for full-size pickups have between a 2,000 to 3,500 pound capacity.

Other Key Specs

Here are some other helpful specs and ratings to keep in mind:

  • Treadwear Rating: This estimates the usable tread life of a tire, with higher ratings lasting longer. Most truck tires rate between 600 to 800.
  • Traction Rating: Scores a tire‘s ability to stop in wet conditions. Look for an "A" rating for optimal traction.
  • Temperature Rating: Dictates the max heat a tire can withstand at speed. "A" is highest.
  • UTQG Ratings: The Uniform Tire Quality Grading standard provides treadwear, traction and temperature ratings all in one.
  • Speed Rating: Shows max speed capability. Truck tires typically rate "S" (112 mph) to "V" (+149 mph) range depending on their purpose.

Keeping these parameters around intended use, terrain, load capacity and other specs will help narrow your search down to tires that meet your needs and budget. Next let‘s dive into our top recommendations across 5 categories.

The 5 Best Tires for the Ford F-150 Lightning

Best All-Around: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

Key Specs:

  • Treadwear: 600 A
  • Traction: A
  • Temperature: A
  • Load Range: C
  • Load Capacity: 3,390 pounds

When it comes to the best all-around tire for F-150 Lightning owners seeking a balance of on-road refinement, off-road capability, long tread life and overall value, our top choice is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2.

This hugely popular all-terrain option offers owners impressive versatility no matter where your adventures take you. It features an aggressive tread pattern packed with interlocking tread blocks, staggered shoulder blocks and wide circumferential grooves. This supplies plenty of bite and mud evacuation when heading off-road while reducing noise on pavement.

We‘re also impressed by BFGoodrich‘s extra tough sidewall rubber compound, which uses CoreGard technology for improved puncture resistance from debris. And the advanced tread rubber compound is designed for long life, with BFGoodrich covering it with a 50,000 mile treadwear warranty (or 6 years from purchase date).

Owners praise the All-Terrain KO2’s compliant ride quality and precise handling both on and off-road. Traction is excellent across varied terrain including dirt, mud, gravel and snow. And the staggered shoulder blocks supply enhanced stability when carrying heavy loads or towing.

For Lightning owners desiring excellent overall performance and longevity across all driving scenarios, it doesn‘t get better than the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2. This category-leading option is our top overall pick.


Best Street/Highway: Michelin Defender LTX M/S

Key Specs:

  • Treadwear: 700 A A
  • Traction: A
  • Temperature: A
  • 65,000 mile treadwear warranty
  • Up to 65 extra gallons of fuel economy savings over tire life

For those who stick primarily to paved roads and value features like long treadwear, a quiet ride and improved fuel efficiency over off-road traction, our top pick is the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.

As part of Michelin’s MaxTouch construction methodology to reduce tread squirm and friction, the Defender LTX M/S runs quiet while improving both handling and rollover resistance. The Evertread compound lasts long too, with Michelin backing that claim with a best-in-class 65,000 mile treadwear warranty.

We‘re also impressed by Michelin’s claims of fuel savings over a set’s lifespan – up to 65 extra gallons. So you may actually save money in the long run by spending a bit more upfront. Further adding value is a 70,000 mile warranty that also covers free flat tire repairs.

While the Defender LTX does fine in light rain and snow, it prioritizes low noise, high comfort and long life over more aggressive off-road traction. So if you stick to the streets, this impressive street tire should last you years before needing replacement.


Best Heavy Duty: Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse AT

Key Specs:

  • Load Range: E (max load rating)
  • Max Load Capacity: 3,860 pounds
  • Treadwear: 560 A
  • Traction: A
  • Temperature: A

Truck enthusiasts looking to optimize their Lightning’s load hauling and towing abilities should look no further than Goodyear’s Workhorse AT. This heavy duty option is built to work, with reinforced construction to handle demanding jobs.

We love its maximum Load Range E rating — translating to a best-in-class max load capacity of over 2 tons (3,860 pounds) per tire. This also meets commercial DOT hauling standards for those who tow heavy trailers. Further enhancing durability is a super tough triple-layer polyester casing.

The Workhorse AT offers enhanced traction too over Goodyear’s standard Wrangler AT Adventure thanks to its rugged tread pattern and durability. Owners report excellent grip and stability when towing in rain, light snow and other slippery conditions. It rides quiet on the highway as well.

Now it doesn‘t come cheap, but for extreme duty Lightning owners who push their trucks to the limit with payload and towing capacity, the Workhorse AT is purpose built for the job. Think of it as cheap insurance to protect your investment while optimizing performance.


Best Off-Road: Toyo Open Country A/T III

Key Specs:

  • Treadwear: 560 A B
  • Traction: A
  • Temperature: B
  • 65,000 mile treadwear warranty
  • 17 inch and up fitments

While the BFGoodrich KO2 is the overall off-road champ, some owners may desire even more aggressive bite and traction at slow speeds over rugged terrain. For hardcore rock crawling and mudding ability, our top pick is Toyo Tires’ Open Country A/T III.

This aggressively treaded all-terrain warrior supplies owners with tenacious grip thanks to its offset tread blocks, deep 31/32” tread depth and durable construction. Reviewers praise the tight traction it supplies during slow speed technical driving — perfect for overcoming obstacles at the brink of traction control.

We also applaud Toyo for backing the A/T III with a 65,000 mile treadwear warranty — which is mighty generous for an MT tire. So you can tackle the trails with confidence knowing premature wear won‘t leave you stranded.

Now it does come at the expense of on-road refinement with ample road noise and wandering at highway speeds. But for intermediate to advanced off-roaders demanding the ultimate rock and mud terrain traction, the Open Country A/T III is specially formulated for the job while still being road legal.


Best Budget: General Grabber AT3

Key Specs:

  • 60,000 mile treadwear warranty
  • Traction: A
  • Temperature: B
  • Light Truck and SUV fitments
  • $150 per tire average

If price is your foremost concern when shopping for F-150 Lightning tires, General Tire’s Grabber AT3 provides drivers stellar performance for the money. For a budget friendly upgrade over stock tires, it‘s a fantastic bargain.

Despite the value pricing, the Grabber AT3 punches way above its class thanks to General‘s durable construction and lug pattern design. Owners report excellent reliability and long tread life — with General backing that with an impressive 60,000 mile warranty.

Traction impresses too with an aggressive open tread pattern, notched shoulder lugs and staggered block edges supplying a tenacious bite on loose terrain. General Tire also adds extra siping for enhanced wet traction.

Comfort does take a bit of a backseat with ample road noise. And max load capacity is mid-range. But for occasional off-roaders or everyday drivers wanting a capable tire that goes and goes, the Grabber AT3 leads the value category while still meeting Lightning owners’ needs.


What To Know Before Buying Lightning Tires

When shopping for F-150 Lightning tires, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stick as close as possible to OEM tire sizes to avoid affecting speedometer accuracy or ABS braking performance
  • Use the manufacturer’s inflation guidance printed on tires to achieve the right pressure for load and performance
  • Rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to maximize tread life
  • Always get wheels realigned after new tires are mounted to prevent uneven wear
  • Dispose of old tires properly when the tread depth wears below 2/32 of an inch

And when comparing options, treadwear warranty coverage is insightful. While a higher treadwear rating estimates longer life, the warranty shows what the manufacturer guarantees if premature wear occurs. For heavy duty Lightning use, look for at least a 50,000 mile warranty.

Choosing the Right Tire Size

The 2021 Ford F-150 Lightning rolls off the assembly line with 275/60R20 tires mounted on 20” wheels upfront, with 275/65R18 tires on 18” wheels for the rear.

While plus sizing to a larger diameter tire is an option for those who customize, we recommend new owners stick to comparable OEM sizes. Going too large can negatively impact acceleration, braking distances, speedometer accuracy and ride quality. It also accelerates wear on suspension and driveline components.

Downsizing to increase EV driving range is not necessary either. Ford optimized the factory Lightning tires to provide owners both ample load capacity for work use along with impressively low rolling resistance. Electing a smaller tire will minimally impact real world range.

Can You Put Different Size Tires on The F-150 Lightning?

Yes, you can install different sized tires on the front and rear axles of your F-150 Lightning. This approach is popular with truck enthusiasts who install large lift kits and wish to upsize for improved off-road traction and appearance.

However this does require extra careful wheel alignment, calibration of advanced driver assistance systems and can accelerate uneven tire wear over time. So we suggest new owners stick to the same sizing all around for optimal EV range, handling and tire longevity. Differing diameters front to rear is best left to modified trucks.

Using Lightning Tires In Various Conditions

Here‘s a quick overview of how upgraded Lightning tires perform in different driving scenarios:

Dry Pavement – Quality street tires excel here with ample grip, stability at speed, low road noise and long life

Wet Roads – Look for responsive water evacuation tread patterns and solid hydroplaning resistance

Snow & Ice – Seek aggressive winter rated treads with temperature flexibility and siping for extra cold weather grip

Off-Road Terrain – Robust construction, deep lugs and reinforced sidewalls add confidence over rough conditions

Heavy Loads – Maximize hauling ability with tires featuring a high weight rating and durable casing

Towing Trailers – Stable, stiff construction optimizes stability with extra tonnage out back

While no tire perfectly balances every scenario, carefully prioritizing key qualities that fit your needs helps narrow the options. Testing tires firsthand also gives you a feel for performance differences.

Maintaining Your Upgraded Tires

To maximize the lifespan and performance of new F-150 Lightning tires, be sure to practice proper maintenance:

Inflate Tires Correctly – Underinflation accelerates wear and impacts handling. Use a quality gauge and fill when cold to recommended PSI.

Rotate Tires – Following Ford’s guidance to rotate every 8,000 miles (or 6 months) evens out wear patterns.

Wheel Alignment – Misalignment causes uneven wear. Anytime you replace tires also realign the wheels.

Inspect Wear Bars – Tires should be replaced as tread depth approaches 2/32”. Wear bar indicators signify its nearly time.

Balance & Rotate – Prevent vibration by dynamically balancing new tires during install. Ask about free future rotations too!

Taking care of your tires properly ensures they’ll take care of you for many miles down the road!

Key Takeaways on the Best F-150 Lightning Tires

Here‘s a quick recap on factors to keep in mind:

  • Carefully evaluate intended usage (street, off-road, towing, etc) to select ideal tires
  • All-terrain tires like the BFGoodrich KO2 provide compelling overall performance
  • Load range, traction rating, treadwear and warranty coverage are revealing specs
  • Stick close to OEM tire sizes for proper EV operation
  • Inflate tires to recommended guidance for balancing wear and safety
  • Practice regular inspection, rotation and alignment to maximize longevity

Equipping your F-150 Lightning with a set of optimized tires unlock its full potential while keeping you safely on course for adventure ahead. We hope these recommendations and tips help you select your ideal set!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the towing capacity of the F-150 Lightning?

A: The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning equipped with the Extended Range battery has a maximum tow rating of 10,000 pounds. With the Standard Range battery, max towing is 7,700 pounds.

Q: What is the off-road capability of the F-150 Lightning?

A: While not a hardcore rock crawler, the Lightning handles moderate off-road terrain well thanks to standard AWD, good approach/departure angles and Platinum trucks adding a locking rear differential eLSD.

Q: Do EVs require special tires?

A: No, you can install regular truck tires on your Lightning. Just be sure load capacity, sizing, inflation pressures and speed ratings match OEM specs.

Q: How long do F-150 Lightning tires last?

A: Properly maintained Lightning tires will last 40,000 to 60,000 miles on average depending on driving style. Rotating every 5K miles (or 6 months) and ensuring proper inflation pressure maximizes lifespan.

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