How to Find the Best RC Rock Crawler Tires for You

With the best RC rock crawler tires, you get better traction and thus performance. Check out this guide to make an informed decision.

What do you expect from your RC rock crawler? But to crawl, of course. That is if you are into recreational rock crawling. On the other hand, many enthusiasts also compete. When it comes to cars, a recreational hobby can easily turn into a competition. After all, how will you know the real ‘performance perks’ of your remote control vehicle if you don’t witness others running their RC crawlers?

And when we are talking about performance, the first thing which comes to mind is the tires. All features are important but finding the best RC rock crawler tires for you is essential. Without the right tires, there is not good traction, curving, climbing, and crawling. And thus not good performance. Here’s where we jump in to offer answers, information, and some important features with our RC rock crawler tires reviews.

2017’s Reviews of the Best RC Rock Crawler Tires

A Fair Comparison

Think of your street car tires. There are all-season, all-weather, and winter tires. You don’t just install any tires, especially if you live in a region suffering really harsh winters. And then there are the off-road jeeps, which ought to have big tires with deep treads, quality compound, and durable sidewalls to ride on all terrains. Right so far? Now, keep these things in mind because they will help you choose the best RC rock crawler tires too.

Why Choosing the Best RC Rock Crawler Tires is Crucial

When you are trying to enter the RC rock crawler world, you are told to consider several things. Seeking RC crawlers for beginners? Are you interested in on-road or off-road RC crawlers? Are you an adult or toddler? So, based on your experience, plans, and expectations, you choose nitro or electric RC rock crawlers with special features.

Steering, traction, and suspension are some of the main features you consider. Now, if you think about it, they all have to do with the tires.

  • 2WD and 4WD steering indicate whether only the front wheels or all four of them will be powered. And it's not accidental that most RC crawlers are designed with 4WD. They allow enhanced traction.
  • So traction is important and has everything to do with the tires. Their compound and treads will determine how soft they will be and in turn, this will enable them to have a better grip. But traction is also subject to the rims and how well they are bead-locked or glued with the tires.
  • The suspension system is also important. When it is soft, it will absorb shocks better and will help the tires to remain on the terrain.

So, why is it crucial to choose the best RC rock crawler tires? For performance purposes. Whether you want the RC crawler for recreational or competition purposes, it must perform well. It must climb rocks, crawl on sand, or even speed up without rolling over or failing your expectations.

How to Choose the Right RC Rock Crawler Tires

There is no one type of tires fits all RC crawlers. Just like regular, street cars and off-road vehicles, your RC crawler must have the right tires. Although there are differences in qualities, there is not a single best tire out there. It depends on the RC crawler, whether or not you want it for recreation and the terrain. The latter is perhaps the most important factor.

Since the tires come in contact with the terrain, it makes a difference if the terrain is rocky, sandy, wet, and muddy – you get the picture. And then there are differences between rocks. Some are soft, some are coarse. Some terrains are slightly sloppy, some are steep. Don’t forget that most terrains combine rocky surfaces along with smooth pavements, & sloppy and coarse sections. And your RC rock crawler tires must be able to run on any surface with ease.

Things to Look for When Buying RC Rock Crawler Tires


There are two ways of checking the size:

  • Obviously, the first way is to get the right tire size. Just like real car tires, RC crawler tires come in different heights and widths. With taller tires, you get a better ground clearance. With wider tires, you get a better grip. But if you decide to get bigger tires, remember that you have to make other modifications too. You might need to make changes in the suspension, gearing, and body mounting. The downside of big tires is that they can cause premature wear to the motor, steering, speed control, and battery.
  • Another size aspect has to do with the diameter of the wheel. You get to choose among 1.9 and 2.2 wheels and must make sure the inside diameter of the tire will fit. At first thought, this seems to be a small difference. But it's not. 2.2 wheels are rather large. The good news is that some 2.2 wheels can accommodate smaller tires and vice versa. But beware: large tires in smaller wheels might look disproportional. And adjustments must always be made (with shocks for example).


The compound defines the material of the tires. The most common one used is rubber because it is durable and thus lasts longer. Soft rubber might wear rather fast but it allows tires to stick better on the ground.


The tread of the tires is very important to the performance of your RC rock crawler. In order to choose tires with the right tread, you must take into account the terrain you plan to drive the crawler.

The pattern of the tread and the voids in between lugs will either enhance or make the performance poor. If you plan to drive your rock crawler in muddy surfaces or dirt, it’s better to choose tires with large voids between lugs.

If you are planning to drive on wet and muddy surfaces, directional tires are a good choice because they sling dirt and mud out. For higher speed or smooth surfaces, the voids should be smaller.

Foam inserts

If you want to drive the RC crawler on all surfaces, it’s best to get tires with standard foam inserts. They will last long and perform well whether your crawler runs on mud, rocks, pavement or sand.

Another option is memory foam inserts. These ones are ideal if you compete or only run on rocks. They are denser and thus heavier and so they perform excellently on rocky surfaces. You can also find hybrid products on the market which use both memory and standard foams.

Now that you have an idea about foam inserts, let’s explain them in real terms. While trying to find the right tires, you might come across two terms related to foam inserts, open- and close-cell.

  • Open-cell foam inserts have the shape of the donut. They contract and expand better, breathe well, but also absorb water and wear fast.
  • Closed-cell foams are surrounded by a solid material, which makes them more durable and water-resistant.

Which ones are the best?

It’s really hard to say unless you always run the crawler in wet environments and want waterproof foams. You need the soft touch of open-cell foams to enhance traction and get easy turns – and this is the cheapest option too.

On the other hand, the firm material of closed-cell foams with limited expansion and contraction will ensure that the tires keep their original shape for longer and won’t get soaked. Perhaps you want to test them both and then make up your mind.


Wheel weight is important to the stability of the RC rock crawler. The secret is to have a heavier weight where you want it – which is usually at the front wheels. Take it easy with rear wheels because you don’t want the RC crawler having a hard time climbing on rocks and hills. When the front wheels have more weight, they provide greater traction. And that’s good.

How to add weight to RC rock crawler tires? It’s not what we call rocket science but you will still need to know the wheel’s weight before to know how much weight to add so that you won’t compromise the crawler’s performance. It’s best to get ¼ oz. pieces and add 7.5 oz. to the front wheels and 3.5 oz. to the rear ones. Make your life easier by choosing stick-on weights.

Since there are bead locked and glued wheels, you are probably wondering how easy is to change the tires based on wheel type!

  • Wondering how to mount tires on beadlock wheels? The idea is to remove the foam of the tire and adjust it so that the rubber will have perfect contact with the bead lock wheel. If the foam gets in the way, the tires won't be mounted well on the wheels. So, you should follow instructions to avoid mistakes and watch how to disassemble the wheel, remove the foam from the tire, and modify it. The most significant part is when you put it back and insert the wheel. Watch the following video.
  • What about if you have glued wheels? You probably think that it will be a nightmare removing the tires. Don't you? However, learning how to unglue RC tires is a piece of cake (literally). All you have to do is put them in the oven for about 20 to 40 minutes at about 325 degrees. The glue will melt. If you see any tire distortions, don't panic. As soon as the tires cool, they will regain their initial form.

Reviews of the Best RC Rock Crawler Tires

#1. Proline 117013 Trencher 2.8'' Terrain Electric Stampede


Proline 117013 Trencher 2.8'' Terrain Electric Stampede

This product comes bearing great news for you! Not only are all terrain tires but also pre-mounted to Desperado Black wheels so that you won’t have to bother gluing them.

They feature ¼” tall H shaped tread horizontally shaped to enhance stability and traction. These 2.8” tires are designed for the front wheels of Traxxas, Jato, Nitro Stampede, and Nitro Rustler trucks.

What’s great about them is the lug shape, which allows the tires to dig into snow, water, mud, dirt and crawl on smooth surfaces free of problems. So you can use them everywhere you go and have fun, fun, fun!


What We Like:

  • Nice traction
  • Run on any surface

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not ideal for speed
  • Not good for brushless motors


#2. Traxxas 3773A Anaconda Pre-Glued Chrome Wheels

Traxxas 3773A Anaconda Tires Pre-Glued on All Star black chrome wheels (pair)

If you are looking for durable, out-of-the-box products, these tires are for you. They come in a pair (one left, one right) and are pre-assembled and glued on All-Star chrome wheels.

So, you get a hassle-free product without having to worry about durability. The compound of the Anaconda tires is of excellent quality ensuring great traction. The stability is enhanced by the directional tread and great foam inserts.

They are mainly designed for on-road use. If you are interested, All-Star wheels and Anaconda tires are also sold separately. But you get a great deal from this product since the tires are ready-to-go and offered at an affordable price.

What We Like:

  • Good grip
  • Nice street tires

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only run well on asphalt
  • Not good for high speeds


#3. Proline PRO1182-01 Badlands Tires Medium

Proline PRO1182-01 Badlands SC 2.2/3.0 M2 Tires, Front/Rear, Medium

This pair of Badlands SC 2.2”/3.0” tires are great if you want to run the RC crawler on mud and dirt and see the tires sling it out. Perhaps their best feature is the tread with its motocross style and the large lugs, which make crawling on harsh surfaces easy.

They are designed for all terrain performance and made to last for long. The tires are made of a durable, yet soft M2 compound. They feature the new generation V2 SC carcass, and re-usable and soft closed cell foam inserts, which are also waterproof.

They are designed for 2.2”x3.0” wheels. Get them for Slash 4×4, Traxxas Slash, HPI Blitz, Associated SC10, and Kyosho Ultima. Affordable too.


What We Like:

  • Great grip
  • Runs fine on dirt and grass
  • The best for climbing hills

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit larger. Have to gear


#4. Proline 115817 Sling Shot SC 2.3.0 XTR Tires


ProLine 115817 Sling Shot SC 2.3.0 XTR Tires (2 Piece)

It only takes one closer look to see the different pattern of these tires. The paddle design enables hours of fun in the sand and snow or even in muddy surfaces.

So this is an all-weather product for your short course truck. No wonder why they are called sling shot tires. They actually sling dirt and allow you to run the RC crawler in such harsh terrain. There are 10 paddles and each is ¼” tall.

They also include a closed cell foam insert. Two pieces are included in the package. As for the price, it’s a bit more expensive than other products but definitely worth the extra buck if you are planning to have some fun at the beach or during the winter.

What We Like:

  • The best for sand & snow
  • Come glued
  • Good traction

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not the best compound
  • Not for pavement


#5. Proline 118213 Badlands SC 2.2/3.0 M2 Tires Mtd on Renegade Wheels


ProLine 118213 Badlands SC 2.2/3.0 M2 Tires (2) Mtd On Renegade Wheels

If you like the aggressive design and motocross style, these Badlands tires are a great product for you. What’s special about them is the pattern of the tread!

They righteously gained the Readers’ Choice Winning Award. The huge lugs allow the tires to spit the dirt and mud as your RC car crawls. So, they enable you to run the crawler in all terrain conditions and all surfaces.

They are long lasting, though a bit more expensive than regular tires. You get very good traction with the soft M2 compound and are sure of their durability. And don’t forget that the tires are mounted to Renegade wheels, which are the exact replica of the full size racing wheels pros use.


What We Like:

  • Great for off-road use
  • Minimum ballooning
  • Very durable

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not so great on asphalt
  • Too much traction for your own good


#6. SkyQ RC 108mm Tires & Aluminum Wheels for 1/10 Scale HPI Redcat Climbing Car

SkyQ RC 108mm Tires Tyre and Aluminum Wheels for 1/10 Scale HPI Redcat Climbing Car Black 4pcs

Let’s start with the basics. Since this is a 4-wheel package, the price is really affordable. As for the quality of the product, you get high grip tires made of durable rubber and designed for many rock crawlers and trucks.

The wheel rim is made of aluminum alloy and thus is strong and long-lasting. The extra soft compound ensures great traction on any terrain. And since the tires have deep and large lugs, they are great for muddy and rocky surfaces.

The foam inserts are included in the package. Although the tires are mounted to the wheel rim, they must be glued by you before use.


What We Like:

  • Good sticky traction
  • Great performance
  • Excellent for dirt track racing too

What We Didn’t Like:

  • You need to glue yourself
  • The wheels are not very heavy


Time to Wrap Things Up

Tough to decide which are the best 2.2 crawler tires! Isn’t it? We liked the Proline 118213 Badlands with the Renegade wheels because who can say no to some innovative designs and excellent performance on dirt and mud! But then again, when you have RC rock crawlers, you might be tempted to use them on asphalt too. So, we are inclined to choose the Proline PRO1182-01 Badlands tires. These tires integrate the features more or less all crawler enthusiasts would want.

But don’t mind us! We prepared these RC rock crawler tires reviews to give you an overview of the best available products out there. Decide whether you want pre-mounted tires & wheels and whether you want tires for all terrain performance or not. Once you have the answers to these questions, you should consider the rest of the features to reach the final verdict. That is, which are the best RC rock crawler tires for you.  


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