Can't you cause balding though on the middle of the tread pattern?
Yes, but it's neither as prevalent nor as meaningful as popularly assumed. In the meantime, people commonly accept edge wear without a worry, but the edges are where you need tread the most.
Generally, right up to the tire's rated maximum, the amount of extra center wear will be nearly undetectable. When the edges reach the wear bars the center will not yet be bald. In my experience, the total miles you get will be more; so if you ran the recommended pressure and got 30,000 miles before any part of the tire is down to 2/32", at full inflation you might get 35,000 miles before the center is down to 2/32" (and the rest of the tire still has slightly more tread).
Even if you ended up with a bald center that would be ok. It still provides the necessary footprint and contact required to successfully channel water into what remains of the tread voids...and by that time you're not expecting great anti-hydroplaning performance from your worn tire even if it had as much tread in the center as elsewhere anyway.
I've been doing this for at least half a million miles in various vehicles (including compact cars, my full size pickup, and a dumptruck), and have never regretted it.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT
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