Snow Socks or Snow Chains?

This post is also available in: Français (French)

During the last snowfall I stopped to help someone who was stuck on the side of the road. They were struggling with their Snow Socks. I’ve always wondered about these things. Do they do the same job as a Snow Chain? This guy had put his snow socks on his front wheels, unfortunately he was driving a Mercedes, which was rear wheel drive. Now he was stuck and seemed to have a big issue on his hands. To move the Snow Socks from the front wheels to the back wheels he was having to jack the car up. In the snow, by the side of the road. Not a good day out. I’ve done a little research and have put the fruits of my labour down here.

snow sock

  1. Driving on snow in Snow Socks is better than using nothing at all.
  2. Winter tyres are better. So if you have newish winter tyres, don’t put socks over the top.
  3. Snow Chains beat them both for traction in very snowy conditions but some people find them hard to put on. My advice is to do some practice! My 12 yr old can get 2 chains on in 2 minutes. He’s available for hire…
  4. If you cannot move your car, you can still put chains on and get going again. You’ll probably need a shovel to dig around the wheels but at least you can help yourself. However you cannot put Snow Socks on the wheels when you are stuck! Not without jacking up your car.
  5. Snow Socks do count as “winter equipment” on the French roads and have done since 2010.

So, learn to put chains on. Put them on before you need them too. If this is beyond you then get some Snow Socks, they are much better than nothing. YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT THEM ON BEFORE YOU NEED THEM THOUGH and obviously on the drive wheels of the car! I’ve made a video here

There is a nice explanation of how to use Snow Socks here

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