Get a tire that's appropriate for the terrain you're riding on, says the master bike technician at Hovsco. Find a tread pattern that matches the type of riding you do most often. Mountain bike tires with wide-spaced knobs handle loose and wet terrain better. Choose from tires with little tread, called slicks, which are designed for pavement only, to wider, knobbier tires constructed for mixed terrain rides.
Both road cyclists and mountain bike riders are opting for wider tires so they will have better traction as well as a more comfortable ride. Although thinner tires are more efficient, a 28 mm road tire inflated to 100 psi can be more comfortable than a 23 mm tire at the same pressure. Also, gravel riding has led to roadies looking for wider tires to help cushion chatter when the pavement gives way to gravel.
Check your frame clearance to determine how wide of a tire you can run, and match the tire size to the wheel size. Also keep in mind that wider tires tend to be heavier, so there is a tradeoff between speed and traction.