Choosing Between Running Boards and Nerf Bars for Your Truck/SUV

If you are looking to improve both the look and functionality of your truck or SUV, two options to consider are running boards and nerf bars. Although they both serve the purpose of providing an easier step-up for getting in and out of your vehicle, there are distinct differences between the two that may affect your ultimate choice.

Here’s a closer look at running boards and nerf bars, along with the pros and cons of each to help you determine which is the best option for your vehicle.

Running Boards

Running Boards:

Running boards near me  are typically wider and flatter than nerf bars, providing a larger and more stable stepping surface. They can be made of various materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic, and can also be painted or powder-coated to match your vehicle’s color.


  • Wider and flatter stepping surface for easier entry and exit.
  • Greater protection for your vehicle’s side panels and undercarriage.
  • There is a range of materials and finishes available for running boards to complement your vehicle’s style.
  • Installing running boards can lend a sleek and sophisticated appearance to your vehicle.


  • Wider design may interfere with off-road clearance and affect aerodynamics.
  • More noticeable on the side of your vehicle, potentially affecting aesthetics.

Nerf Bars:

Nerf bars, also known as side steps, are typically smaller and more oval tubular in design than running boards. They are usually made of steel or stainless steel and are available in a variety of finishes.



  • Less expensive than running boards.
  • Smaller design may be less noticeable on the side of your vehicle.
  • Can still provide a functional step-up for easier entry and exit.


  • Smaller stepping surface may not be as stable as running boards.
  • Limited protection for your vehicle’s side panels and undercarriage.
  • May not add as much visual interest to your vehicle as running boards.

So, which one is right for your vehicle? The answer ultimately depends on your personal preferences, as well as your vehicle’s style and intended use. If you’re looking for a wider stepping surface and greater protection for your vehicle, running boards may be the way to go. However, if you’re seeking a less noticeable and economical alternative, nerf bars could be a better fit.

Regardless of which one you choose; both running boards and nerf bars can add function and style to your vehicle while making it easier to get in and out.

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