Best Running Boards

10 Best Running Boards in 2022 – Reviews & Buying Guide

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According to the NHTSA, falling when entering or exiting vehicles with high ground clearance is the number one cause of non-crash injuries. This mostly happens to short people, kids, seniors, or adults with walking challenges. If these statistics mean something to you, then you understand why you need the best running boards in your truck or SUV.

Now, when you hear of running boards, what comes to mind is style and aesthetics. But, other than the beauty part of it, running boards offer functionality by providing a safer means of getting on or off a raised vehicle.

In fact, most modern vehicles are equipped with specified mounting points where you can bolt aftermarket running boards. This means that you won’t modify your vehicle by drilling holes just to fit them. Finally, running boards come in an assortment of different choices from cutout steps to longer boards that fit the length of your cabin. That said, this short post will walk you through the best running boards to have a clear understanding of what they are.



Best Running Boards: Editor’s Top Picks

What Are Running Boards

If you own a lifted truck, SUV, or crossover vehicle, then you’re aware of what running boards are. Also known as footboards, running boards are metal steps that sit right below your vehicle’s doors. They’re mounted flush against the rocker panels and extend along the side of the truck’s cabin to serve as steps when entering or exiting the truck.

In most cases, running boards serve three main purposes in any raised vehicle. The first and obvious function is to serve as steps. The second benefit is to protect the car’s chassis from scratches caused by road debris. You see, when driving, your tires kick up all sorts of road debris that can scratch and damage the body. With running boards, some of this debris can be blocked thus minimizing the level of damage.

Lastly, running boards act as doormats where passengers can wipe their feet before entering the vehicle. This helps to keep the car’s interior clean, which is something you all wish to achieve.

If you have running boards installed in your vehicle, you need to keep them clean and dry at all times. Since they act as ladders, leaving them wet can result in serious slipping injuries. Therefore, you need to keep them dry and remember to improve traction when the stepping surface wears out.


Nerf Bars vs Running Boards

Now, we’ve already discussed what running boards are so we won’t get back to that. As for Nerf bars, these are tubular or oval. About the function, Nerf bars perform the same function as running boards where they serve as steps when entering or exiting a raised vehicle.

Now, from what we’ve seen, it’s clear that both Nerf bars and running boards perform the same function of allowing you and your passengers to get in or off a raised vehicle. They also make your car appear close to the ground giving it a streamlined appearance from the side.

But, despite being similar in function, Nerf bars and running boards have a few differences that set them apart. So, in this section, we’re going to put these two side-by-side to see how they differ from each other.

  1. Shape

The first main difference between nerf bars and running boards is the shape. Running boards are flatter and wider while nerf bars are tubular or rounded.

  1. Style

When it comes to style, both nerf bars and running boards offer something exclusive for truck owners to choose from. Nerf bars, for instance, come in two variants that comprise standard nerf bars and sport tubes.

Running boards, on the other hand, come in four main styles that comprise standard, lighted, retractable, and custom-molded running boards. Here, running boards offer a wider range of options to choose from as compared to nerf bars.

  1. Material and Finishes

When it comes to the material and the finish, nerf bars are made from thick-walled steel tubing that’s either polished or powder-coated. When polished, these tubes have a reflective appearance that doesn’t corrode or tarnish.

When it comes to running boards, these are made from either aluminum or high-strength plastic reinforced with an aluminum frame. They’re mostly polished with matte black or dark grey colors to make them scratch resistant.

  1. Weight Capacity

Nerf bars made from heavy-duty steel tubes and installed using steady mounting brackets have a weight rating of around 300lbs. As for running boards, these have a higher weight rating of up to 500lbs thanks to the supportive frames that run underneath them.

As you can see, both nerf bars and running boards have a lot of similarities with just a few differences between them. For instance, running boards are wider and flatter and have a higher weight capacity. On the other hand, nerf bars are narrower and have a sportier feel, which makes them good for aesthetics.


Running Boards Top Brands

  • Steelcraft

Steelcraft is one of the premier manufacturers of aftermarket truck and SUV accessories. Established in 1998 in Corona California, this brand has built a name in the automotive business by designing and developing some of the best automotive accessories such as running boards, nerf bars, grilles, bull bars, and tonneau covers among other products.

  • Go Rhino

Established in 1975, Go Rhino is another brand that operates in North America. As a family-owned business, this brand is among the companies that focus on off-road products and accessories. As an industry leader, Go Rhino focuses on designing, engineering, developing, and manufacturing high-demand aftermarket accessories such as sports bars, bumpers, hitch steps, side steps, and running boards.

  • TAC

Abbreviation for Trucks Accessories Company, TAC is a brand that specializes in the manufacture of high-quality car and truck accessories. With over 2 decades in the business, TAC designs and develops truck parts and accessories with unparalleled quality and value.

  • Bully

Bully Truck is another brand that focuses specifically on off-road aftermarket parts and accessories. Established in 1995, this brand is exactly what you need to think of when you’re looking to enhance and upgrade the looks of your truck or SUV. Other than developing some of the best side steps and running boards, this brand also focuses on building some of the best interior, exterior, and lighting accessories for trucks and SUVs.

  • Westin

Westin Automotive is another brand that deals with the manufacture of aftermarket products and accessories. A parent company of FEY®, Brute™, and Superwinch, Westin has over 40 years of experience in the manufacture of automotive products, making it a leading company. All their products are tested, designed, and engineered in San Dimas, California meaning customers get the best quality automotive parts to fit their active lifestyle.


Top 10 Best Running Boards Reviews:

1. Tyger Auto TG-JA2J2239B Star Armor Kit


Tyger Auto Star Armor Compatible with...

Give your Jeep a sleek look and get in and out of your vehicle without a hitch with the TG-JA2J2239B Star Amor Kit. The kit includes two-step pads that feature a unique patented star design in a textured black finish that’s sure to make your Jeep Wrangler stand out. The step pads are designed to fit 2007-2018 4-Door Jeep Wrangler JK, save for the 2018 Wrangler JL models.

These step pads from Tyger Auto are crafted by laser-cutting technology and are welded to heavy-duty 2” diameter & 0.12” wall thickness tubes. All tubes come with sealed end caps to lock out dirt, dust, and water, and also to extend the life of the step pads. Also featured is a double girder system that offers superior wheel-to-wheel protection for both the underside and the rocker panel area from destructive blows.

Aside from the stylish design, Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts and hobbyists will also love how easily the TG-JA2J2239B Star Amor step pads can be installed. They feature a 1-piece design that allows for an easy bolt-on installation that doesn’t require any drilling. This means that you don’t need any specialized skills to install it. Once installed, you can expect your step pads to last for a long, since the black bars are pre-treated to remove impurities and to increase rust resistance.

Highlighted Features:

  • Designed for 2007-2018 4-Door Jeep Wrangler JK, except the 2018 Wrangler JL models
  • Features a unique patented star design
  • The dual-stage black powder finish
  • Crafted by laser-cutting technology and welded to heavy-duty 2” diameter & 0.12” wall thickness tubes
  • Double girder system that offers the best possible protection to the underside and rocker panel area
  • Allows for an easy bolt-on installation that does not require drilling
  • Limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects

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2. APS Premium 4-inch iBoard Running Boards


APS Premium 4in iBoard Running Boards...

When looking for running boards that will make it easier for children or shorter passengers to get into and out of your vehicle more easily, you’ll come across many options. iBoard running boards from APS are one choice you’ll definitely love. Unlike many other running boards that are oval or round in shape, the APS Premium 4-inch iBoard Running Boards boast a flat profile design that’s quite unique.

When you buy an iBoard package, you get 2 black running boards that come complete with brackets and hardware for a hassle-free bolt-on installation. The massive boards are 4-inch wide long, thus providing a broader step area for secure footing. The boards are designed to fit a wide range of vehicles, including the 2007-2018 Chevy Silverado, Extended Cab, and GMC Sierra Double Cabs.

Aside from the unique shape that’s designed to look and feel different, the iBoard running boards come with various features that make them a valuable add-on to your jeep. This hairline texture polished 6061-t6 aircraft aluminum boards meet the highest standard of corrosion and rust resistance. Their surface is coated in full-length, premium quality ultra-violet-resistant non-slip rubber. These heavy-duty brackets are capable of supporting up to 300 lbs without curving.

Highlighted Features:

  • Designed to fit a wide variety of vehicles, including 2007-2018 Chevy Silverado, Extended Cab, and GMC Sierra Double Cabs
  • Features a flat profile design that gives your truck a unique look
  • Easy bolt-on installation with mounting brackets and hardware included
  • 4”-wide solid 1-piece bars that provide a broader step area for secure footing
  • Hairline texture polished aircraft aluminum boards that meet the highest standard of corrosion and rust resistance
  • Covered in full-length, premium quality ultra-violet resistant non-slip rubber

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3. APS 5-inch iBoard Running Boards


APS iBoard Compatible with Ram 1500 2009-2018...

Besides making it easy for you to climb in and out of your vehicle, running boards also protect your vehicle’s side panels, doors, and windows from being hit by road debris. If you’re looking for this kind of protection, then the APS 5-inch iBoard Running Boards will provide you with that and so much more. These running boards are made using 100 percent aluminum (no plastic parts included), thus offering superior strength, durability, and corrosion protection.

Just like the 4-inch iBoard running boards, these sleek, low-profile 5-inch boards flaunt a unique and sleek design that’s sure to augment your vehicle’s look. Furthermore, the boards are entirely covered by corrugated rubber step pads that provide a comfortable, secure, and slip-proof step. The 5-inch iBoard running boards are also sturdy and durable and feature heavy-duty brackets that are capable of supporting up to 300 lbs without curving.

Whether are an adept DIYer or you’re not quite mechanically inclined, you’ll find the 5-inch running boards pretty easy to install. Installation manual, brackets, as well as all the necessary hardware are included in the package. You’ll find out that the rocker panel mount is easy to install, though some drilling may be required on certain models.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made to custom fit 2010-2018 Ram 2500/3500, and 2009-2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Pickup 4Dr
  • Made using sing 100 percent aluminum for superior strength, durability, and corrosion protection
  • Low profile design that’s gives your truck a remarkably distinct look
  • Heavy-duty brackets that are capable of supporting up to 300 lbs
  • Has a ridged rubber top that provides a solid, non-slip and secures footing
  • The package is inclusive of brackets, installation manual, all the relevant hardware

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4. MaxMate Custom Fit 2009-2018 Ram


MaxMate 4' Nerf Bars Compatible with...

When it comes to your vehicle’s accessories, running boards are of utmost importance. MaxMate Custom Fit 2009-2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab/2010-2019 Ram 2500/3500 Crew Cab 4 inch Oval Stainless Steel Side Step Rails Nerf Bars Running Boards (2pcs with Mounting Bracket Hardware Kit) are among the best running boards for Chevy Silverado. It has been tested, and you can use it with confidence as it comes loaded with all the great features you could be looking for in a running board.

It has been well crafted to cover both the driver’s and passengers’ sides, ensuring that everyone gets to feel safe. It is made to survive even in the harshest weather condition, and that’s not all; it has been made with a unique styling that will turn heads as you drive. It is reluctant to UV to offer you a non-slip step each time you stride on it.

MaxMate Custom Fit 2009-2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab/2010-2019 Ram 2500/3500 Crew Cab 4 inch Oval Stainless Steel Side Step Rails Nerf Bars Running Boards only fits on crew cab with four full-size doors, and you should therefore not try to use it on a Mega cab or Quad cab as it may not carry out its intended purpose. If you are a DIY person, you will be happy to know that this running board is easy to install and you can do it in minutes. It is affordable, and its functionality will amaze you as it exceeds the value of the amount you pay for it.

Highlighted Features:

  • It is easy to mount and install as it requires no drilling
  • Fit: crew cab with four full-size doors
  • Comes with mounting hardware and DIY instruction, making it easy to use for everyone
  • It is UV resistant
  • Material: its step bars are made of heavy-duty 4-inch oval stain-resistant tubing covered with stain-resistant steel end caps

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5. Tyger Auto TG-AM2D20078 Star Armor Kit


Tyger Auto Star Armor Compatible with...

Designed by TYGER AUTO, this running board is a new generation of running boards that have been designed to look, feel and function differently. One of the first things to notice when you lay your eyes on them is that they are unique, modern, and clean which provides them with a glamorous and distinctive look that you could be looking for. Do not let their cute look deceive you; with its iconic running board review, this board’s functionality will surprise you. Even better; they are very affordable.

This auto accessory is among the best APG running boards which have been made to fit only the Crew cab with 4-full size doors, and it is made to offer maximum coverage for optimum comfort and safety both to the driver and the passengers when stepping out of the cab. It is not only well-built but also, you will not have to worry about it bending any time soon.

The running boards are resistant to rust and UV and even better; they make your vehicle look like it is brand new. Installing them is a breeze, and you can do it yourself within hassle-free minutes. Maintaining them is very easy as all you need to do is perform a non-abrasive cleaning and they will always be in their tip-top condition. They also have a dual girder system that protects the underside from any damaging impacts ensuring that they get to serve you for an extended period.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: they only fit crew cabs with four full-sized doors. You should not try to use them on quad cabs with two full-size doors or mega cabs as they will not function as intended
  • They are easy to install
  • They offer up to 500 LBS weight capacity on each side as they are made with heavy-duty 2’’ diameter tubes
  • They come with a five-year warranty

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6. Tyger Auto TG-RS2D40068 RISER


Tyger Auto 4' Riser Running Boards Compatible...

These are considered as one of the best nerf bars for Chevy Silverado crew cab, and if you really want to get in your car easier and safer, then you should get them. Tyger is known for its incredible job when it comes to automotive accessories, and this is one of them. You can use it with confidence as it has been fully tested and proven to be reliable. It is well crafted with the step bars being made of 4” heavy-duty mild steel tubing meaning they will stay on and serve for as long as you wish. The step bars are powder-coated, making them rust and UV resistant with non-slip step pads. What else could you probably ask for?

They are waterproof and you will be glad to know that they make your vehicle look like it is brand new. They are meant to offer safety and comfort when getting in and out of the cab and provide full coverage from one end to the other. They are easy to mount and install as they come in handy with all mounting hardware and DIY instructions. Their benefits do not end there as they come with a five-year warranty against any damages.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: the quad cab with two full-size front doors and narrow rear doors. You should not mount it on a crew cab or mega cab
  • Easy to mount and install
  • It is made of heavy-duty  mild steel tubing coated in black powder for rust and UV resistance
  • It provides optimum safety and comfort with its non-slip step pads
  • Easy bolt-on installation
  • Comes with a warranty

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7. APS iBoard Running Boards


APS iBoard Running Boards 5' Black Custom Fit...

The iBoard FBA_IB-C5071B by APS is as good as advertised. These running boards are better than stock ones in every shape and form. When it comes to aesthetics, they give your Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra a completely new side profile. While not everyone might notice the upgrade, you and every Sierra or Silverado enthusiast will definitely take note of them.

So, what makes these particular iBoard running boards unique? Well, for starters, the iBoard brand has been around for over 20 years, and they specialize in making the best running boards for trucks and SUVs. But, this information might be irrelevant to you; you are only interested in the quality of these boards.

When you see these running boards for the first time, you will hardly believe that they started as solid blocks of aircraft-grade aluminum. Aluminum undergoes a series of industrial processes to shape it. The aluminum is then coated with matte black powder paint to protect it from corrosion. Finally, it is enclosed in a durable 5-inch wide corrugated rubber pad for slip protection.

When it comes to functionality, this particular iBoard is up there with the best running boards in the business. Its lightweight nature means that it does not add any unnecessary weight to your truck. It comes with mounting brackets and an installation kit for an easy DIY job. And lastly, it can support a maximum load capacity of 350-pounds, which should be more than enough for most people.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 2007-2018 GMC Sierra Crew Cab and Chevy Silverado
  • Easy DIY install
  • Material: Solid aluminum build for strength
  • Finish: Matte black powder coat for durability
  • 350 LBS load capacity
  • 5″ wide corrugated rubber pad covers for a secure, slip-proof step
  • Unique low profile design
  • Package includes: Two iBoard running boards with mounting brackets and an installation hardware kit
  • Item Weight: 42-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 88.2 x 11.5 x 7.6 inches

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8. Auto Dynasty Oval Side Step Nerf Bar


5 Inches Oval Tubing Side Step Nerf Bar...

These particular Auto Dynasty Oval Side Steps are considered as one of the best Nerf bars for Chevy Silverado Crew Cab. If you own a 2001 – 2018 GMC Sierra Crew Cab, you can take solace in knowing that you can install these Nerf bars in your truck. How are they? Well, the first thing you notice when you unbox these running boards is their heaviness which comes from their high-strength stainless steel build.

When these oval-shaped tubes were constructed, the main agenda was to create high-strength Nerf bars that would protect your truck’s underbelly from damage. And to that end, these running boards don’t disappoint. Their heavy-duty nature gives the impression that they can take a beating in off-road terrain and protect your vehicle from damage.

However, despite their robust nature, these Auto Dynasty running boards are not just about grit and toughness. They are not a one-trick pony. These Nerf bars have other features and properties that have made them one of the favorites among truck users. They have slip-resistant rubber steps pads to correspond with each door for easier and safer truck access.

The team at Auto Dynasty realized that some people installed after-market Nerf bars purely based on their appearance. For this reason, they rounded the edges of the steel tubes to create an appealing symmetrical oval shape and added a chrome coat to enhance the style of your rig and also protect the steel tube from corrosion.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 2001 -2018 GMC Sierra Crew Cab and Chevy Silverado
  • Material: Durable, Rust-Resistant, Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Corrosion resistant polished chrome coat with Large Slip-Resistant Step Pads
  • Design: 5″ Wide Oval Tubing Nerf bars
  • The maximum load capacity of up to 500-pounds
  • The package includes: Two running boards with mounting brackets and an installation kit
  • Easy DIY Installation

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9. Genuine Toyota Accessories PT938-89100 Running Board


Genuine Toyota Accessories PT938-89100...

The main appeal of the Toyota PT938-89100 Running Board is that they are designed for functionality, and they do that exceptionally well. These running boards are designed for you to step up and step into your Toyota effortlessly. They are built for Toyota owners who are not interested in stylish or gimmicky running boards.

These running boards are meant as replacement boards for contractors that own Toyota trucks or SUVs who might have damaged their running boards on their work sites. Toyotas are known across the globe for their reliable products and being genuine Toyota running boards; you can trust these will be the last replacement boards you will ever have to buy.

What these running boards lack in style, they more than makeup for it in practicality and functionality. You get super-light running boards that reduce your vehicle’s overall weight. You also get an easy installation where no drilling is required as each nut, screw, bolt, and washer fit seamlessly in their dedicated spot.

Lastly, you can step up and step into your Toyota effortlessly with the help of the skid-resistant step pads which also protect the running boards from corrosion. To wind up, these Toyota running boards are ideal replacements for professional-based rigs where their users value functionality over style.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: Toyota 4 Runner Trail Edition
  • A high-quality OEM running board replacement for Toyota trucks and SUVs
  • Protected by a one-year or 12k warranty
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Item Weight: 40.4 pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 71 x 12.7 x 9.8 inches

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10. Westin 23-1680 Polished Step Bars


Westin 23-1680 E-Series 3 Nerf Step Bars fits...

The Westin 23-1680 is part of the Westin Signature Series of Nerf bars. The Signature Series is a favorite for DIY GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado enthusiasts as they are designed to fit perfectly in these rigs. This package comes with two running boards, mounting brackets, and an installation kit. Installing this particular step bar in your Sierra or Silverado could not be easier as no drilling or welding is required. What’s more, all holes align perfectly, and all bolts, screws, and washers fit perfectly in their dedicated spots.

When it comes to design, these side steps are not much to look at. The tubular design is a little tasteless, but its polished chrome finish/coating will sure add some vibrancy to your Sierra or Silverado truck. One thing to keep in mind is that the buyers of this particular set of running boards bought it for its excellent practicality and durability.

To start with, these running boards are made of marine-grade stainless steel for maximum protection of your rig’s underbelly. Next, the conspicuous chrome coating is designed to increase the durability of the running boards by protecting the steel frame from corrosion. Lastly, each running board is fitted with a polymer step pad in each of the doors to facilitate a slip-resistant entry point.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 2001 -2018 GMC Sierra Crew Cab and Chevy Silverado Crew Cab
  • Material: High-strength, marine-grade 3″ stainless steel tube
  • Finish: Polished chrome with a UV-resistant molded polymer step pad
  • The package includes: Two running boards with mounting brackets and an installation kit
  • An exclusive 5-year protection warranty
  • Easy bolt-on installation that does not require drilling or welding
  • Item Weight: 43-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 84 x 17 x 5 inches

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Things to Consider When Buying Running Boards

When buying running boards for your rig, there are a few things you ought to know and consider before executing the purchase. Below is some knowledge that will go a long way in helping you figure out the best running boards for your rig:

  • 1. Purpose

What is the motivation behind installing a new set of running bars? Different people have different reasons for replacing their running boards. Some people simply want to enhance the look of their rig; others want to beef up the underbelly of their rigs for their off-road excursions. For instance, Ionic factory-style running boards are an excellent option for people that want the best of both worlds. They get a stylish look without sacrificing safety and functionality. The bottom line is that you can find a set of running boards to address your purpose.

  • 2. Build Material

Running boards are primarily built from steel or aluminum. Each metal has its pros and cons. Steel running boards are known for their rigidity and their ability to take heavy beatings in off-road terrain. However, their heavy-duty nature further adds weight to your rig resulting in poor gas mileage.

On the other hand, aluminum running boards are lighter and help improve your rig’s gas mileage. They are however not ideal for off-road terrain as their light-duty nature can’t offer the same level of underbelly protection as steel running boards.

  • 3. Type of Finish/Coating

The two main types of coating used on running boards are shiny polished chrome coats and matte black coats. These coatings are vital in prolonging the lifespan of these running boards. They protect the running boards from corrosion and harmful UV rays. You can use the finishing to differentiate between steel and aluminum running plates. Often, most steel boards have a shiny chrome finish while aluminum boards have a matte black finish.

  • 4. Side Step Material

Good running boards are built for strength, support, durability, and protection. But just as important, running boards are supposed to provide safety in all weather conditions. You should look for running boards with thick and wide tread pads in your rig’s access points. The treads are designed to keep you safe even in rainy and snowy weather conditions. The grip in the tread keeps you planted by creating maximum friction between the running board and the sole of your shoe.

  • 5. Length

The length of your new running boards should be dictated by the length of your vehicle’s wheelbase. Remember that the maximum length board you can choose for your car is one that runs the entire length of your vehicle’s wheelbase. However, depending on your needs and preference, you can install shorter running boards.

  • 6. Weight Capacity

Fortunately, most running boards have a maximum weight capacity of above 300-pounds. While this load capacity should be more than enough for most people, you can choose reinforced running boards for heavy-duty use. These high-load capacity running boards can support weights of up to 600-pounds, but also cost significantly more than standard variants.

  • 7. Cost

The cost of running boards is affected by many factors. To avoid overpaying, make a comprehensive list of everything you want in your new set of running boards. Be as specific as you can when listing down the style you want, the material, weight capacity, and so on. Finally, make a shortlist of the products that have met your criteria, and select the winner based on its price.

  • 8. Ease of Installation (DIY)

Installing running boards is a straightforward process. All you need are tools. If you’ve decided to save money and install the running boards yourself, you want to buy a set of running boards that are compatible with your rig. A wrong size running board means you have to drill, cut, and even weld some pieces into place. I can tell you for a fact that you don’t need that extra work. Therefore, select a running board that aligns perfectly with your rig. The whole installation process should be an easy bolt-on procedure.


Advantages of Running Boards

Advantages Running Boards

Running boards have different appeals for different people. The diverse tastes and opinions of car enthusiasts mean that what you consider an advantage might not necessarily be viewed as an advantage by another person. With this in mind that we compiled a list of benefits that most car enthusiasts will agree upon. Here they are:

  • 1. They are Stylish

While style is subjective and varies from person to person, most car enthusiasts can agree that running boards add an element of style to your rig. If you are planning to take the standard look of your truck or SUV and convert it to an imposing off-road menace, running boards will play a huge role in achieving that look. They play a major role in enhancing your rig’s side profile and widening/beefing up its stance.

  • 2. They Offer Easy Access

Everyone agrees that running boards help improve the accessibility of your rig. If you have a lifted rig, getting in can be a huge challenge for young children, elderly, weak and short passengers. Running boards provide a lowered step to help people get into the vehicle more efficiently.

  • 3. They Protect Vehicles’ Sides and Underbellies

A lot of things happen to the wheels of your vehicle when it’s in motion. Most enthusiasts will agree that the tire tends to launch rocks and other debris into your vehicle’s side and underbelly. This happens in varying degrees in both paved and unpaved roads.

The speed at which these objects are projected can dent the body, chip the paintwork, break glass or even damage vital components found in the underside of your vehicle. Running boards protect your vehicle by blocking and deflecting these objects.

  • 4. They Promote Clean Interiors

When a vehicle is in motion, its wheels launch various objects towards the car. When sand and dust are kicked up by the wheels, they creep into a vehicle’s interior making it dusty. To some small extent, running boards block the dust from getting into the interior. That said, running boards also act as doormats where passengers can wipe off mud and other debris before entering your rig.


How to Install Running Boards

Installing running boards is a simple procedure that anyone can do with the right tools. It’s a two-hour job that shouldn’t take you more than an hour to install on one side. Below are the tools you need and the procedure to follow:

Tools Required

  • Ratchet and Socket Set
  • Wrenches (Box end)
  • Safety Gear: Protective glasses and gloves
  • Creeper
  • Jack Stands (if your vehicle has a low ground clearance)

Step-by-Step Procedure

Step 1: Raise your rig for better reach under the vehicle

Step 2: Detach the stock OEM board by undoing its bolts

Step 3: Install bolt plate into factory holes then attach all (front, center, and rear) brackets

Step 4: Fasten the bolts into the underside of the board channels

Step 5: Place the board with the bracket using the provided hardware set

Step 6: Once the board, brackets, and truck align, feed the bolts through the appropriate slots

Step 7: Tighten the bolts to hold the new install in place securely

Step 8: Make sure the board is firmly in place before lowering the vehicle

Step 9: Repeat the process on the other side


Tips for Running Boards

  • When choosing running boards, always make sure the weight capacity is between 300 to 600 pounds.
  • Avoid plastic molded running boards at all costs. Though affordable, these running boards are not stable and they have poor grip, especially in cold weather.
  • To give your truck enough ground clearance when off-roading, it’s wise to get retractable running boards.
  • To improve safety, it’s recommended that you get running boards with LED lighting. Such boards illuminate the stepping surface making it safer for you and your passengers to enter or exit the vehicle in low-light conditions.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can Running Boards Void My Vehicle’s Warranty?

The answer is No. Running boards can’t void your vehicle’s warranty. In fact, most vehicles have specified mounting points where you can bolt aftermarket running boards. Also, there’s a Federal regulation act known as the “Magnuson Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act” that states that car dealerships must prove that indeed an aftermarket part is responsible for a vehicle’s failure.

So, before they point fingers at the running boards, manufacturers must prove that indeed a failure was caused by installing aftermarket running boards. Now, there’s a burden of proof here because a dealership cannot claim that your running boards caused a transmission failure. Since that’s a baseless claim, this, therefore, makes running boards safe to install.

Q2. Are Running Boards Worth it?

Well, yes they are. Although they’re not a crucial part of your truck or SUV vehicle, running boards offer some noticeable benefits that are worth considering. One of them is serving as stepping surfaces when you’re getting in or out of a raised vehicle.

Another benefit is serving as doormats where passengers can shake off dirt and mud from their shoes before getting on the vehicle. The last benefit of running boards is blocking road debris kicked by the tires from damaging the car’s body.

Q3. Should I Get Steel or Aluminum Running Boards?

Well, this will depend on your choice. But, in general, steel is known to have greater strength, good wear resistance, and higher weight capacity than aluminum. Aluminum, on the other hand, is known to be lighter making it a better alternative if you don’t want to weigh down your vehicle.

Q4. Do Running Boards Improve the Looks of Your Vehicle?

Yes, they do. Running boards give the illusion of low ground clearance when your vehicle is raised. Combining them with other aftermarket modifications gives your truck or SUV a nice look and a more streamlined appearance.

Q5: Do retracting running boards actually work?

  • Yes, they do. APG running boards are some of the best in the industry in this regard.

Q6: What is the maximum load capacity of Nerf bars and running boards?

  • The maximum weight capacity differs with each model. However, standard Nerf bars and running boards can easily support 300-pounds and below.

Q7: Can I get a running board that supports more than 500-pounds?

  • Yes. These variants are commonly referred to as heavy-duty running boards exist. They feature reinforced steel and generally cost more than standard running boards.


Final Thoughts

Final Running Boards

As you’ve witnessed throughout this post, running boards and Nerf bars have many benefits. As a vehicle owner, installing a running board increases your cool factor. Your vehicle’s improved stance and aggressive look will turn heads everywhere you go. Next, running boards create a safe way to access a raised truck or SUV.

The passengers in your vehicle will have an easier time getting in and out of your rig. You also can’t forget that running boards protect your vehicle against damage from stones and debris while in motion and sloppy passengers getting out of cars parked next to yours. All these are valid reasons why you need to invest in a new set of running boards.

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