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To improve the look and handling, I want to get a set of summer tires / wheels. I would keep the stock setup for winter or off-road duty. The goal is to get the most low profile tires and widest wheels without changing the suspension. Stock 18 inch wheels have 7 inch rims and 6 inch of sidewall, with about 9.5 of contact rubber.

I looked at available tire sizes first. Due to past experience, I am only willing to buy tires from main brands (such as Michelin, Continental, and Goodyear...probably in that order of preference). For low profile tires, you can get up to 20 or 21 inch wheels based on tire sizes. A set of summer tires will cost 1200, which is reasonable in my mind...they'll wear 2 times faster than all seasons is the downside. The tricky part is the rim width.

For trucks, 275/45 R20 or R21 summer tire size is common (Goodyear F1 Asymmetric SUV 4x4). 21 inch wheels with these tires would give you 1 inch more diameter than stock, which I think will improve the look and is reported doable. Rims need to be 9.5 inches wide and you'll have 5 inches of sidewall, with about 10.5 of contact rubber.

At the extreme, its possible to get 295/35 R21 or 295/40 R20 (michline latitude sport or continental cross contact uhp). Load drops to near 9k total with the most low profile tires...considering the truck weights 4500 and you can tow up to 5000, even the lowest profile tires should be enough. Rims would need to be 10.5 inches wide and you'll have 4 inches of sidewall, with about 11.5 of contact rubber.

I turned the steering wheel far to the left and discovered that there is only about 3/4 inch of clearance before rubbing. We know adding 1 inch diameter is okay, but how about 1 or 2 inches of width? Maybe okay with a spacer?

Or maybe this isn't worth it and getting a set of michline 265/60 R18 Defender LTX all seasons on stock wheels is a good enough improvement? This setup looks bulky...Logic says the extra rubber here might make highway handling worse, though it would improve appearance and comfort.
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