What are side step running boards? | How to find the right one

Side Step Running Boards

What are Side Step Running Boards?

Side step running boards, also known as nerf bars or side bars, are accessories that are installed on the sides of vehicles, typically trucks and SUVs, to provide a convenient step for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle. They are designed to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of the vehicle, while also providing added safety and convenience.

The primary purpose of side step running boards is to make it easier for passengers, especially those with limited mobility or shorter stature, to get in and out of the vehicle. By providing a sturdy and stable platform, these running boards offer a secure foothold, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Benefits of using side step running boards:

  • Accessibility: Side step running boards make it easier for passengers to access the vehicle, especially for taller vehicles like trucks and SUVs. They provide a convenient step that reduces the distance between the ground and the vehicle’s interior, making it more accessible for people of all heights.


  • Safety: The added step provided by running boards reduces the risk of accidents and injuries while entering or exiting the vehicle. They offer a stable platform for passengers to step on, preventing slips and falls.


  • Protection: Side step running boards also provide protection to the vehicle’s doors and lower body panels. They act as a barrier, preventing rocks, debris, and other road hazards from damaging the vehicle’s exterior.


  • Aesthetics: Running boards can enhance the overall appearance of the vehicle, giving it a more rugged and stylish look. They come in various styles and designs, allowing vehicle owners to customize the look of their vehicle.


  • Functionality: In addition to providing a step for passengers, some running boards also offer additional functionality. For example, some models come with integrated lights or non-slip pads for enhanced safety and usability.

Different Types of Side Step Running Boards

Side step running boards come in different types and styles, each offering unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:

Fixed running boards:

Fixed running boards are the most basic and common type of side step running boards. They are permanently attached to the vehicle’s frame or body and provide a fixed step for passengers. Fixed running boards are typically made of durable materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, or ABS plastic. They come in various lengths and widths to accommodate different vehicle sizes and passenger needs.

Retractable running boards:

Retractable running boards offer a more streamlined and sleek design compared to fixed running boards. They are designed to retract or fold up when not in use, providing a cleaner look and reducing the risk of damage from obstacles on the road. Retractable running boards are usually made of aluminum or steel and are operated by a motor or hydraulic system. They extend automatically when the vehicle’s doors are opened and retract when the doors are closed.

Electric running boards:

Electric running boards are similar to retractable running boards but offer additional convenience and ease of use. They are equipped with an electric motor that extends and retracts the running boards with the push of a button. Electric running boards are often considered a premium option due to their advanced features and higher cost. They are usually made of high-quality materials like aluminum or stainless steel and offer enhanced durability and functionality.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Side Step Running Boards

When choosing side step running boards for your vehicle, there are several factors you should consider to ensure the best fit and performance. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Vehicle compatibility:

It is essential to choose running boards that are compatible with your specific make and model of vehicle. Different vehicles have different mounting points and dimensions, so it is crucial to select running boards that are designed to fit your vehicle properly. Consult the manufacturer’s compatibility chart or consult with a professional to ensure a proper fit.

Material and durability:

The material of the running boards plays a significant role in their durability and longevity. Common materials used for running boards include aluminum, stainless steel, and ABS plastic. Aluminum and stainless steel are known for their strength and resistance to rust and corrosion, making them ideal for heavy-duty use. ABS plastic is lightweight and more affordable but may not be as durable as metal options.

Style and design options:

Side step running boards come in various styles and designs to suit different preferences and vehicle aesthetics. Consider the overall look of your vehicle and choose running boards that complement its style. You can opt for sleek and minimalist designs or more rugged and aggressive styles, depending on your personal taste.

Installation process and requirements:

Before purchasing running boards, consider the installation process and requirements. Some running boards may require professional installation, while others can be easily installed with basic tools. Additionally, check if any modifications or drilling is required to install the running boards, as this may affect the warranty or resale value of your vehicle.

How to Find the Right Side Step Running Boards for Your Vehicle

Choosing the right side step running boards for your vehicle can be a daunting task, given the wide range of options available. Here are some steps you can follow to find the perfect running boards for your vehicle:

Researching and understanding your vehicle’s needs:

Start by researching your vehicle’s make and model to understand its specific requirements. Consider factors such as the height of your vehicle, the number of doors, and any special features that may affect the installation of running boards. This will help you narrow down your options and find running boards that are compatible with your vehicle.

Measuring and assessing your vehicle’s dimensions:

Measure the length and width of your vehicle’s side panels to determine the appropriate size of running boards. Consider the ground clearance of your vehicle and choose running boards that provide a comfortable step height for easy access. Additionally, assess the weight capacity of the running boards to ensure they can support the weight of passengers and cargo.

Reading customer reviews and ratings:

Customer reviews and ratings can provide valuable insights into the quality and performance of different running board models. Read reviews from verified customers to get an idea of the durability, ease of installation, and overall satisfaction with the product. Pay attention to any common issues or concerns raised by customers to make an informed decision.

Consulting with professionals or experts:

If you are unsure about the best running boards for your vehicle, consider consulting with professionals or experts in the automotive industry. They can provide expert advice and recommendations based on your vehicle’s specifications and your specific needs. They may also be able to assist with the installation process or recommend trusted brands and suppliers.

Looking for a Side Step? 

Find the perfect side step running boards for your vehicle model from TurboRevs diverse collection:


Product  Compatibility

Audi Q5 Side Steps Running Boards


Audi Q7 Side Steps Running Board


Audi Q7 Side Steps Running Board


Range Rover Evoque Side Steps Running Board


Side Steps for Range Rover Vogue L460 and Range Rover Sport L461

2022 and Up 

Black Edition Side Steps for Range Rover Vogue and Range Rover Sport

2013 and UP

Running Boards Land Rover 

Freelander 2

Running Boards Range Rover Sport


Side Steps Running Boards for Land Rover 

Discovery 3 and 4

Mercedes GLC Side Steps Running Board


Side Steps Running Board for Range Rover Evoque Pure Tech and Prestige Models


Black Range Rover Sport Side Steps for OE Style


Running Boards for Land Rover Velar Jaguar F Pace


Side Steps Running Board for Range Rover Vogue L405 & Range Rover Sport L494

2013 and UP

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