Trucks in Workshop

Side Steps vs. Running Boards on Trucks: Which One Should You Choose?

Truck with Side Steps

When it comes to customizing your truck, there are countless options to consider. Side steps and running boards are two popular choices for adding style and functionality. But what exactly are they and how do they differ? 

In this guide, we’ll discuss running boards vs. side steps on trucks, their similarities and differences and how to choose the perfect option for your truck. Whether you’re a seasoned truck enthusiast or a newcomer, Truckfitters will guide you with our expertise and passion for trucks.

What Are Running Boards?

Running boards are a classic choice for truck owners looking to add a touch of style and practicality to their vehicles. These long, narrow steps extend along the length of your truck’s cab, providing a convenient stepping surface for entering and exiting the vehicle.

What are running boards on a truck? They’re essentially a platform that makes it easier for passengers to climb in and out, especially on lifted or high-clearance trucks. Running boards are made from durable materials like aluminum or steel, ensuring they can withstand daily use and harsh weather conditions.

What Are Side Steps?

Side steps, also known as side step bars or truck steps, are a polar alternative to running boards. These shorter, more compact steps are mounted directly underneath the truck’s doors, offering a convenient stepping point without extending the entire length of the cab.

Side steps are made from sturdy materials like stainless steel or aluminum, providing a reliable and long-lasting addition to your truck. They come in various styles, from simple tube steps to more intricate designs that add personality to your vehicle.

What Are Nerf Steps?

Nerf bars are a type of side step that offers a unique blend of style and functionality. These tubular steps are mounted on either side of your truck and extend from wheel well to wheel well. 

Nerf bars vs. running boards is a common comparison. Both offer a stepping surface, but nerf bars have a more rugged, off-road-inspired look. They also provide added protection for your truck’s sides in case of minor impacts or brush with obstacles.

Nerf bars are typically constructed from heavy-duty steel or aluminum, with a powder-coated or polished finish that resists corrosion and weathering.

Similarities and Differences

There are a few key similarities and differences to consider regarding running boards vs. side steps. Both running boards and side steps provide a convenient stepping surface for entering and exiting your truck, making climbing in and out easier for passengers of all ages and abilities. They also add a touch of style to your vehicle, with a range of designs and finishes to choose from.

Large trucks are more likely to roll over due to high centers of gravity. Side steps and running boards can help improve stability and reduce the risks of accidents when entering or exiting the vehicle. 

However, there are some notable differences between running boards and side steps. Running boards extend along the length of your truck’s cab, providing a more extended stepping surface ideal for many passengers. They also offer a more streamlined look, blending seamlessly with your truck’s body lines.

In contrast, side steps are shorter and more compact, mounted directly under the doors. They offer a more localized stepping point and can be a great choice if you prefer a more understated look or have limited space for accessories.

Nerf bars are a distinct category, offering a unique combination of style and function. They extend from wheel well to wheel well, providing a stepping surface and added protection for your truck’s sides. Nerf bars have a more aggressive, off-road-inspired look, perfect for truck owners who like to take back roads or use their trucks for heavy work.

Another difference is the ease of installation. Running boards often need extensive mounting hardware and may take longer to install. Side steps and nerf bars typically have a more straightforward installation process with fewer components.

The choice between side steps vs. running boards on trucks depends on your preferences, vehicle type and intended use.

Tips for Choosing the Right Side Step or Running Board

Tips for Choosing the Right One

Choosing between side steps, nerf bars and running boards can be challenging with so many options. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

  • Consider your vehicle type and size: Running boards may be the best for larger trucks with high ground clearance, while side steps may be more practical for smaller trucks or those with limited space.
  • Think about your intended use: Nerf bars can offer added protection for off-road travel, while running boards or side steps may be better for everyday use.
  • Evaluate your style and preference: Running boards offer a sleek appearance, while nerf bars and certain side step designs add a rugged touch.
  • Consider ease of installation and maintenance: Look for options that are easy to install and maintain, with clear instructions and minimal modification required. Ensure you have expert help to avoid damaging your truck. Truckfitters offers expert installation services for all brands to ensure a perfect fit and hassle-free experience.
  • Remember durability: Invest in well-constructed truck steps and running boards made from sturdy materials like stainless steel or aluminum. Check that they have corrosion-resistant finishes that withstand the elements and daily wear.
  • Think about grip and traction: Look for options with slip-resistant surfaces or textured steps to provide secure footing, especially in wet or muddy conditions. Some running boards and side steps even feature built-in LED lights for added visibility and safety.
  • Consider your budget: While investing in exceptional truck accessories is important, options are available at various prices. Determine your budget and look for the best value within that range, considering the other factors.

By considering these factors and working with a trusted partner like Truckfitters, you can confidently choose the perfect side steps, nerf bars or running boards for your truck.

Contact Truckfitters for Quality Running Board or Side Steps

At Truckfitters, we understand that your truck is an extension of your personality and lifestyle. That’s why we’re passionate about helping you find the perfect accessories to make your truck uniquely yours. With our wide selection of running boards, nerf bars and side steps, we have the expertise and inventory to meet your needs. 

We’re not just a retailer — we’re your partner in truck customization. You’ll find solutions from major brands like Ranch Hand, Aires, Westin, N-Fab, Amp Research and many more. We pride ourselves on our fast turnaround times, ensuring that you can get back on the road with your newly upgraded truck as soon as possible.

Trust Truckfitters to provide you with the personalized service and top-notch products you deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can help you take your truck to the next level with the perfect side steps, nerf bars and running boards.

Contact Truckfitters for Quality Running Board or Side Steps
Previous PostTypes of Trailer Hitches for Your Truck Next PostWhy Is My Suspension Squeaking?