Truck Nerf Bars, Side Steps, Running Boards, and More: Here Are the Pros and Cons of Each

Here is your buyer's guide

side steps truck pickup buyer's guide
photo: American Trucks


How do you choose which side steps or running boards to purchase for your pickup truck or SUV? A lot of it has to do with the looks, but it’s also about function, weight, and price. Here is a pros & cons guide from our friends at American Trucks.

Side Bars

This is perhaps the most common of side steps for any pickup truck and a more affordable option. It does the job and look pretty good. However, it does not offer a lot of traction surface for the foot.

Running Boards

A running board can be wider like the one pictured with lots of traction surface from the front to the back to put your feet. However, it is closer tucked into the truck’s body and does not offer a lot of assist for getting into lifted trucks.

Drop Steps

Drops steps like this offer more assist for getting into a taller truck, but they can also decrease the amount of side clearance and breaker angle for when you are going off-road.

Rock Sliders

A rock slider is a lot like a running board, but it’s built tougher to handle more abuse and actually protect the lower side of the truck against rocks and other obstacles. These tend to be heavier and more expensive than running boards.

Power Steps

This is perhaps the most convenient and versatile solution. The power steps. When extended, they offer great assist to get into a tall truck. When retracted, they do not get in the way of off-roading. Although, you need to be careful when deploying these steps when off-road as to not hit and damage the steps.

You can watch a more detailed explanation at American Trucks. They are also running a contest to win a pair of truck steps – check out the contest and Enter to Win at the link.

Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.