"They're not snow tires anymore — they are winter tires," Mr. Saks said.
"It's less about the snow and more about the temperature. So, you don't want to have front tires gripping at a different rate than the rear tires. And we're pretty adamant about that with our customers."
Mr. Clark shared a similar sentiment. He said one issue he sees in the industry is a lack of standardization.
"I think as an industry, we could all use some support as far as standardizing how winter tires are used and what are the rules and regulations that dealers should be following," he said.
Mr. Spitale agrees for most winter tires, four is the way to go. However, there are some exceptions.
"There are tires that are more designed for ice, and there's tires that are designed just for snow," he said.
"The ones that are designed for ice are the ones with a better grip."
Mr. Spitale said if a customer wants a snow tire, there are some cases where you can get a set of two.
While consumers don't start thinking about winter tires until the temperature drops in the fall, tire dealers start planning for the cold season months in advance. Ordering winter tires can start as early as the spring.
"Because of the way the manufacturing process takes, most of our suppliers want our orders in, in March," Mr. Clark said.
"Sometimes it can push out in mid-April, but most of them are done in the end of March for the coming season…. They want to know what you want before you're done selling them in many cases."
EJ Pribyl, service adviser and partner, Roemer's Points S Tire & Auto Service, Missoula, Mont., agreed.
He said when looking for what to order, he is "mostly trying to find the most popular sizes to fit the vehicles that we service here. And then a different variety of whether they are studded or stud-less, just to give people options."
Mr. Pribyl said about 50 to 60 percent of his customer base are using winter tires.
"Our winters have seemed to be pretty bad the last two seasons, so it seems like more people are wanting that better traction," he added.