I ran old school style snow tires for the first fours seasons: Firestone Winterforce
I loved them, but then again I am an old ranch kid; so the big knobby tires are what I am used to. And the fun part was whenever some butthead would tailgate me in the winter, all I would have to do is stab the throttle briefly and kick a rooster-tail of snow all over his front windshield.
That tended to result in the tailgating issue going away.
Overall, the Winterforce Tires provided very good traction in snow and ice conditions. It would be common for me to be able to launch from an ice and snow packed stoplight, when the cars next to me were spinning out. But part of this is also knowing how to drive in the conditions. When necessary, start out in 2nd gear. (with the snow tires, this is not usually required) Allow plenty of stopping distance when driving, etc. etc. I run a separate set of 17 inch winter rims with 225 width snow tires. The narrower tires help with plowing through the snow. (wider isn't a good thing in snow, you push snow banks in front of the tires) The knobby Winterforce tires do make more noise on the highway, and of course they will wear down quickly if you install them to soon in the season and drive on dry pavement.
This season is the first time I am running the new age snow tires: Bridgestone Blizzaks
I have only been through one mild snow storm so far, so not enough experience yet to report. However, I will say this: Thus far I find the Blizzaks superior in cold/dry weather. Snow tires in general will tend to stick better in cold weather, on dry pavement because the tire compound is designed to not "freeze up" in cold weather like summer tires. Summer only tires are pretty much useless in the winter on our cars. The summer only tires start to "freeze up" at about 45 degrees. Which means the rubber gets so hard that you no longer have near the traction as you did in the summer. And that is a bad combination with 340 lbs of torque.
The Winterforce always seemed pretty good to me. But I must say after experiencing the Blizzaks that they are definitely superior in these conditions. They really stick very well in cold weather; still not like a hot summer day on good summer tires; but surprisingly close. The Blizzaks are a heavy stippling block style tread design. They are much quieter on the highway and probably won't grind down as fast on dry pavement. I have a bad feeling that I won't be able to kick as big of rooster-tails though.
And I have to see how they will perform in heavier snow.
I have driven my car in snow deep enough that the front bumper is pushing like a v-plow without issue.
Not necessarily a recommended procedure, but I have not a problem. Keep in mind, that out here in CO, the snow is light and fluffy. If your snow is heavy and wet, you would not want want to be driving in that deep of conditions.
And above all: Get snow tires on all four wheels. I see knuckheads all the time put snow tires on the drive wheels only (rear only for rear wheel drive or front only on front wheel drive)
This is a recipe for problems. You want the snow tires on all four wheels, because that provides you the best traction at all four points of the car. It isn't about just getting going, it is about stopping and handling as well.