When it comes to accessories for your truck, running boards can be both supremely useful (you rely on them to actually enter and exit your truck) and can also give your truck an added aesthetic value. How is that for a twofer?
In this piece, we will look at what you should consider before purchasing new running boards and a few of the best running boards for your truck that money can buy.
What to Consider Before Purchasing Running Boards
To clear up any confusion, here’s a common question that needs answering right off the bat: What is a running board for a truck and how is it different from a nerf bar? Nerf bars were originally designed for race cars as an added protective measure, but there really is not much difference between the two these days. Both are used to get in and out of heavy duty vehicles, and either one is serviceable for your truck.
But, for our purposes, let’s say you are in the market for a new running board. First, you will want to think about the installation process. You need to make sure that the material that the running boards are made out of is suitable for your purposes and also that the boards fit the right length and width dimensions. Once that is determined, you can go about actually installing the boards. Now, the installation process itself is not that difficult, and only requires some bolting work. No drilling necessary. There are some setups that may require extra work, such as running boards for lifted trucks, but, for the most part, it is a fairly straightforward process.
Once you get the practical stuff out of the way, then you focus on the finish of your running boards. There are a number of things you can do to really get your boards to pop. You can add some chrome finishing, put in some diamond plates, or even pick up some of those fancy LED running board lights for trucks. The sky’s the limit!
7 of the Best Running Boards
If you are looking to get the best running boards on the market, here are seven that may pique your interest.
iBoard Running Boards 6” Black Custom Fit
- Package includes: (2) iBoard running boards, mounting brackets and hardware kit for an easy DIY install
- AIRCRAFT GRADE 6061-T6 ALUMINUM BUILD - Solid aluminum running boards, iBoard side steps offer the best in corrosion protection, durability, and strength (300 LBS load capacity)
- FULL COVERAGE STEP PAD - 6" wide corrugated rubber step pad covers the entire running board, providing a secure, slip-proof, comfortable step for the whole family
- UNIQUE LOW PROFILE DESIGN- Upgrade your truck's style with iBoard's patented low profile design. Look different with iBoard running boards!
- Easy to install Rocker Panel Mount and custom fit for your: 2007-2018 Chevy Silverado GMC Sierra Double Cab/Extended Cab & 2019 2500 HD/3500 HD (Excl. 07 Classic)(Incl. 2019 Silverado 1500 LD & 2019 Sierra 1500 Limited)(Incl. Diesel models with DEF tanks)
Easy to install with a solid aluminum build, these running boards can handle a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds and have 6” wide corrugated rubber step pad that covers the board in its entirety so there is no slipping whatsoever. The boards also come with a six-month warranty.
Lund 291120 TrailRunner Multi-Fit 70” Black Aluminum Running Boards.
- Wide profile running board designed for trucks, SUVs and CUVs
- Constructed of black extruded aluminum
- Molded, adjustable end caps for a custom fit appearance
- Requires Lund Multi-Fit EZ Bracket Mounting Kit for easy installation (not included - brackets sold separately)
- Made in the USA and backed by a lifetime warranty
These boards may be light (only 23 pounds), but they are also very durable and can hold up even in the toughest conditions. The 70-inch length and wide step will ensure that you will not lose your footing as you get in and out of your truck.
The TrailRunners are also made out of diamond-finished aluminum and have molded end caps with adjustable design, giving them that slick custom look. You will need to get a Lund Multi-Fit EZ Bracket Mounting Kit, which is sold separately.
Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20208 Star Armor Kit for 2007-2018 Toyota Tundra CrewMax
- Important: only fit Crew ax Cab with 4 full-size doors not for double Cab with 2 full-size front doors & 2 narrower rear doors.(Please check the Cab size image above)
- TYGER unique patented Star step pads serve a helpful step in and out of the Cab
- Heavy-duty 2inch diameter tubes. One-piece design. Dual stage powder coated textured Black finish
- Easy bolt-on installation. No drilling required. (DIY instruction included in the package.)
- TYGER no-hassle 5 year warranty against manufacturing defects. Completely assembled
With a five-year hassle free warranty and easy bolt on installation, Tyger’s patented step pads are crafted by laser-cutting technology and are welded to two-inch tubes for added durability. The bars are also rust resistant and are pre-treated to remove all impurities.
Westin 27-6120 Brushed Aluminum Running Boards
- Comes with an aluminum baseboard with a clear anodized powdercoat finish
- Provided with a super high-grip rubberized step pad
- Secure footing due to 4-1/2" wide board
- Helps easy entry into the passenger area
- Customized mounting brackets ensure a perfect fit (sold separately)
At 4.5” wide and 72” long, these boards are must-haves for any condition. The clear anodized powdercoat finish is also a nice added touch. Like the TrailRunners, however, customized mounting brackets are sold separately.
Silverado/Sierra Crew Cab 5” Oval Running Boards
- Built from Durable, Rust-Resistant, Stainless Steel
- Large Slip-Resistant Step Pads, 5" Wide Oval Tubing
- High Strength Mounting Bracket; Holds up to 500 lbs
- Vehicle Specific Mounting Brackets Included
- No Drill Installation / Bolts Right to Factory Mounting Points
Made from sturdy, rust-resistant stainless steel, these running boards can hold up to 500 pounds and have a 5” protective step pad.
Ionic Gladiator Brite Running Boards 2015-2018 Ford F150 SuperCab
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- No Drilling Required On Most Applications
- Can Easily Support Up To 300 lbs Without Bending
- Wide Step Pad for a Secure Stepping Area
- Comes With Vehicle Specific Brackets for a Hassle Free Install
Just the name itself screams durability. The 5” stepping surface, tough brackets, and sleek, polished finish certainly backs up that claim. While these running boards are not the cheapest on the market, they also come with a limited lifetime warranty.
TAC Running Boards for 2005-2017 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Truck Pickup
- FITS PERFECTLY - Fit for 2005-2020 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab (Please contact us to confirm fitment before ordering.)
- SURFACE FINISH - Made by ultra strong and heavy duty T-304 mirror polished stainless steel round tube for rust-resistant with UV resistant non-slip wide step pads.
- OUTSTANDING DESIGN - TAC side steps give your car outstanding appearance and extra protection, make you convenient to get in or out of your car.
- EASY TO INSTALL - Easy bolt-on installation. No drilling or cutting required. All mounting hardware and Installation instruction included.
- NO-HASSLE WARRANTY - OE quality standard. 5-Year warranty against manufacturing defects!
An easy installation process (you don’t need to buy anything sold separately), solid finish, and fantastic design make these steps must-haves for any recent Tacoma owner.
Making a Solid Impression with Your Running Boards
Sure, running boards may serve a specific and important purpose, but that does not mean that you cannot have some fun during the installation process. Make sure that the boards you get are the right fit for the job, but also try sprucing them up a bit. You can even turn it into a project.
You might be surprised how effectively a set of quality running boards could serve to seriously improve your driving experience.