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I went from 285/70r17 Toyo AT2, in standard load, to 255/80r17 Coopers in E load.

The tires are stiffer and I feel it sometimes, mainly on washboard or small sharp bumps, but it's also comforting to know how tough they are and it handles much better overall. Off road they are fine and less likely to get a sidewall pinch.

You can reduce the pressure to simulate a softer tire, but there is more to it than that. You have to reduce the pressure a lot and then the tires run warmer and are less efficient. Just be ready for a slightly stiffer ride. It's no big deal.
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