Has anyone out there bought a set of those new Hankook Optimo 4S tires with the snow flake on the side wall. If so do you know if they are directional tires or not. I was wondering if they must always stay on the same side or can you criss-cross them when doing a tire rotation? Thanks in advance. Honda Bill.

The easy way to tell if tires are directional is by the arrows on the sidewall indicating the direction of rotation. This is not to be confused with asumetrical tires which will have the word “Outside” or something similar.

The obvious question is why didn’t you contact Hankook instead of posting the question here? There are a lot of knowledgeable people here. but we are not experts in the minuitae.

But I did a quick Google search and it appears that the Hankook Optimo 4S is an asymetrical, non-directional tire.

If they’re directional, they’ll say so on the tire.

The Hankook Optimo 4S is an all-season tire, but it isn’t intended for heavy snow.,4S,H730/225,60,R16,102,H,XL.html

i just purchasd the same tires and after looking at the tread pattern had some questions about this too. did you find out anything about the fact that the sipe cures are opposite between the driver and passenger sides ?
What about the center pattern directions ? After that - do you like your tires?


As an expert in tires, I can tell you that the way the tires in the photo are designed only make it look like there is directionality to the tires. For a tire to truly be directional, the groove path (the path the water has to take to get to the outside of the tire) has to be unobstructed. The grooves in the outer rib do NOT line up.

Here’s more about the subject:

They look like they might be noisy.

You would think that after 100 years of making millions of different tire molds the manufacturers would have found the optimum tire tread design by now…it must cost them big money to endlessly design and cut new tire-tread patterns, the new ones always somehow better than the old ones…

“You would think that after 100 years of making millions of different tire molds the manufacturers would have found the optimum tire tread design by now.”

It is not that easy,  What is Optimum?  Is it going to be the same in Alaska, Nevada and Florida?  Will everyone want the quietest tyre or the longer lasting, or better grip???  

There are too many possible variables to say this or that is be optimum.

If you were a tire manufacturer and your competitor stumbled onto the optimum tread pattern, would you copy his or make yours different to differentiate your product?

Is it possible that there’s more than one optimum tread pattern?

Is it possible that the optimum pattern for a 165/65x16 isn’t the optimum tread pattern for a 225/45x18?

Is it possible that the optimum tread pattern for an “S” speed rating isn’t the optimum pattern for a “Z” speed rating?

@Caddyman I owned a similar patterned tire called Nokian WR G2 which was similar in tread design and snow capability in an all year round tire. It was a wonderful tire and very quiet. The only negatives were price and if you neglect rotations they turn very noisy(warning from seller).

I have owned the whole series of Nokian tires(3 sets different models) that were similar in concept from 1997-2010. Each one really improved. The most recent are eco tires and did notice a slight improvement in MPG from OEM. I also noted a slight loss of MPG with the replacement Continentals I regret buying over another set of Nokians

I believe the improvements have been in actual design of tire and materials. Also outsourcing to lower wage countries have helped keep cost in check with more emphasis on design.

I think Hankook knocked off the design and concept. Not sure how they compare but likely more reasonable.

I do agree with you Caddyman that about 90% of drive time it does not matter what tire is on the car as long as relatively quiet.

Optimum tread pattern? Optimizing what? Dry traction? Snow traction? Wet traction? Treadwear? Rolling Resistance? Noise?

The problem here is that different goals results in different patterns. Don’t forget that there is a visual appeal factor that causes folks to buy (or not buy!). Plus, the same pattern becomes boring after a while and the marketing folks always need something new and exciting to sell.

If you factor in that tire molds wear out and need to be replaced, it just makes sense to continually update the tread patterns.

BTW, WHERE a tire is produced has NOTHING to do with the tread pattern. Tread patterns are set in the design phase and would be the same regardless of where the tire is produced.

I remember buying a set of Michelin X tires in about 1966…The first radials sold in America…They had the “X-Stop” tread pattern and they transformed her 1964 Plymouth Barracuda…Summer or winter, wet or dry they were unexcelled…Michelin offered the “X-Stop” tread for a long time but alas no more…

We gave that car to my wifes parents in 1968 and they drove it for years…Always passing the Mass. safety inspection on those same tires.

Have Michelin’s improved over the years?? Maybe, but not by much…But they sure forced American tire makers to get on the ball…