What is the Difference Between Side Steps and Running Boards

Image of a side step from Turborevs

Attached beneath your jeep or pick-up truck – Side steps and running bars are multi-functional car parts designed to provide an easy way to step into your vehicle. Despite offering versatility, pick-up trucks often pose a challenge while getting on and off, especially for those with disabilities. If you’re looking to get a new set of stepping boards for your vehicle, knowing the difference between side steps and running boards can help in making the right decision based on your needs.

Side Steps

Side steps have multiple names such as nerf bars and side bars, often used interchangeably. Despite having many names, these accessories serve the same purpose of providing a stepping surface for the vehicle. Side steps are more commonly used on larger vehicles such as SUVs and pick-up trucks. However, they can also be found on smaller vehicles for more aesthetic purposes.

Side steps are generally attached in the small space between the vehicle’s step and body. The space tends to vary depending on the vehicle or its model. Moreover, the key unique feature of side steps is that they are much narrower than running boards, and they offer an individual stepping pad in front of each door. Side steps also tend to run through the whole body of the vehicle. Some of the defining features of side steps are listed below.

  • Cylindrical shape with a narrower width.
  • Custom-positioned step pads.
  • Extra space between the vehicle body and step.
  • Offer an easier step for lifted vehicles

Running Boards

Similar to side steps, running boards perform the same function of adding an extra stepping surface to the vehicle. Running boards tend to be much wider as compared to side steps, and they offer a more comfortable stepping area. They are attached much close to the body of the vehicle, leaving almost no gap in-between. A defining feature of running boards is their rectangular, wide shape, setting them apart from narrow-shaped side steps.

Running boards are generally found on almost every vehicle ranging from SUVs and pick-up trucks to smaller vehicles. Unlike side steps, running boards offer more ground clearance and balance, making them perfect for loading or unloading items from the roof. Since they offer a uniform and shared stepping surface, running boards can be a good option for those with disabilities. Some of the key features of this accessory have been listed below.

  • More ground clearance compared to side steps
  • A single, full-length board that runs across the sides
  • Wide and rectangular shape
  • Mounted close to the rocker panels

The Bottom Line

Despite offering the same functions and being used interchangeably by manufacturers, side steps and running boards have a few stark differences that set them apart from each other. Understanding these differences is necessary to get the right accessory for your vehicle. Find some of the best side steps and running boards for your vehicle at Turborevs – offering import quality car parts at your doorsteps.

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