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What are the best running boards on the market in 2018? That’s exactly what we will look into today.

We have taken 5 top selling running boards designed for a range of vehicles, to bring you the low down on where you should spend your hard earned money.

To view our findings it a glance, just head to the table below. For an in depth review of each of our selected products, plus a detailed running board buyer’s guide, keep on reading.


Best Truck Running Boards – Top 5

RUNNING BOARDSNAMEDETAILSOUR RATING
TOP PICK: iBoard
Running Boards
5" Custom Fit
100% aluminum
350 lbs Capacity
AMP Research
75138-01A
PowerStep
Running Board
Power Boards
Extruded aluminum
600 lbs capacity
Tyger Auto
TG-RS2D40078
RISER, Crew Cab
Running Boards
4inch Black
Steel tubing
Powder-coated
5 year warranty
VioGi Fit: 99-13
Silverado/Sierra
Running Boards
Extended Cab
4" Oval S/S Side
Step Rails
MaxMate Custom Fit
CHEVY SILVERADO
GMC, Running Boards
Double Cab
Stainless Steel
3" Side Rails

Best Running Boards – The Reviews

With the many models, brands, types, and qualities of running boards and nerf bars available, knowing what to buy can be difficult.

To help you, we have taken each of our selected products and rated them based on their construction quality, design, and price-benefit value.

Here are the results.

1. TOP PICK: iBoard IB-D5208A Running Boards Review

Our top pick running board is this well-constructed and durable high-quality 5-inch wide set called the iBoard IB-D5208A.

The boards can be custom fitted to any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck, especially the 2009 Dodge-Ram Pick-up 1500s models and the latest 2010-2017 Ram 2500/3500 Pick-up truck models.

They have a rectangular cross-section and a flat top which defines it as running boards. They are 5.5feet in length, and are therefore suited to standard double-cabin pickup trucks whose cabin length closely approximate this length.

Even so, trucks with a slightly smaller cabin length can still use these running boards, only that they will span from wheel to wheel hence making them wheel-to-wheel side steps which can allow a person to use the back region of either footboard to climb into the truck-bed.

They are covered along their entire top surface with a high-quality, wear-resistant rubber that has been corrugated and threaded to create a lasting (durable) anti-slip stepping surface.

Its 5inches width gives the user an extra-wide stepping area. This model is designed and built by APS.

This compact model features a polished exterior finish, and is designed to be bolted into the mounting holes in the vehicle frame.

It comes as a package that contains the following; the 2 running boards, model-specific mounting brackets, and installation hardware. This allows any competent person to easily install it to the vehicle.

The boards are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant aluminum. The superb construction quality of these durable aluminum boards gives them strength as well as makes them as lightweight as possible.

Each of these boards has a maximum loading capacity of 350pounds. On the other hand, the total weight of the 2 boards is about 46pounds

The stepping surface is not only secured properly to the underlying aluminum board, but is also designed for comfort.

Likewise, they come with a fully-welded metal caps that ensure that the edges of the boards never lose their curves or glossy appearance.

The rubber stepping surface is contoured to ensure water flows off the boards, hence ensuring that one does not slip on them when climbing into the vehicle as it rains.

On the downside, during a snow fall, the icy snows that fall on top of the stepping pads cannot slide off quickly, and the resulting ice layer creates a very slippery surface.

The iBoard IB-D5208A running boards are designed to provide a unique silver-aluminum clean finish, while their construction allows them to provide low-profile designs to vehicles. This has been made possible by their unique patented design.

Pros of the iBoard IB-D5208A Running Boards
  • Easy installation.
  • High-quality aluminum construction.
  • Load capacity of each footboard is 350pounds.
  • Solid running boards with full surface coverage with step pads.
  • Secure and comfortable rubber-covered anti-slip stepping surface.
  • 5-inches wide.
  • Lightweight set of footboards that weigh about 46pounds.
  • Unique patented design.
The Cons
  • Surface can quickly become dirty, especially in a muddy environment.
  • Snow on the step pads can create a slippery surface.

Bottom-line

The iBoard IB-D5208A Running Boards are a compact, well-constructed and durable high-quality 5-inch wide foot-boards that can be custom fitted to any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck.

The high-quality design, and a high price-benefit value makes the iBoard IB-D5208A the top choice in our top 5 review round up.


2. AMP-Research 75138-01A PowerStep Review

This is a durable, well-constructed set of power running boards that feature an integrated LED lighting system and can be custom fitted to any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck, including the 2009 Dodge-Ram Pick-up 1500s models and the Mega Cab 2010-2011 models.

It comes with retractable brackets that feature low-maintenance precision pivot pins that are made from durable high-quality stainless steel.

It has a trapezoid cross-section with a flat top and a curved bottom which makes it a set of running boards.

They are 5.5feet in length, which suits them to be installed in standard double-cabin pickup trucks as cabin-length running boards.

Likewise, they can be fitted in trucks with a slightly smaller cabin length where they can function as wheel-to-wheel side steps that allows people to use it climb to the truck-bed.

This model is designed, built, and tested by AMP Research as part of the Power Step series of running boards, and it is assigned the part number 75138-01A.

This compact car battery-powered model features a black polished exterior finish, and need to be installed to the vehicle frame first before its plug-and-play wiring can be connected, usually via an adapter, to the circuit of the car.

The boards are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant aluminum with their top surface being textured to maximize grip, while the powder-coat finish gives these surfaces a glossy appearance.

The superb construction quality of the durable aluminum boards maximizes their strength while it minimizes their overall.

The maximum load capacity of each of these boards is 600pounds. Meanwhile, the total weight of the 2 boards is about 56pounds.

This model comes with a high-quality, durable, and very strong brackets which operate as the linkage arms that allow the boards to retract into the frame, or be lowered for use.

These linkage arms are made anodized die-cast aluminum alloy which have been further coated to make them corrosion-resistant.

The foot-boards are tucked away under the vehicle when not in use, and this gives the vehicle its maximum ground clearance.

The operation of the linkage arms are automated to slide down when the door is open so that they can lower down the foot-boards which provides the user with a stepping platform.

The LED lighting system features a 5-minute auto-off lag which ensures that the lights go off 5 minutes after the footboards have been lowered.

This rock solid set of running boards is powered by a weatherproof, heavy duty motor-drive system which also comes with a safety feature, the anti-pinch technology.

This powered model is designed to last for a mileage of 60,000 miles, and is backed by a 60-month warranty.

Pros of the AMP-Research 75138-01A PowerStep
  • Power running boards with an integrated LED lighting system.
  • High-quality aluminum construction.
  • Load capacity of each footboard is 600pounds.
  • Durable linkage arms made of anodized die-cast aluminum alloy.
  • Secure and comfortable anti-slip stepping surface.
  • Powered by a weatherproof, heavy duty motor-drive system.
  • 60months warranty.
The Cons
  • Expensive.
  • Surface can quickly become dirty, especially in a muddy environment.
  • Snow on the step pads can create a slippery surface.

Bottom-line

The AMP-Research 75138-01A PowerStep is a durable, well-constructed power running boards that feature an integrated LED lighting system and can be custom fitted to any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck.

It comes with retractable brackets that feature low-maintenance precision pivot pins that are made from durable high-quality stainless steel.


3. Tyger-Auto TG-RS2D40078 Riser Review

The Tyger-Auto TG-RS2D40078 is a well-constructed 4-inch wide set of running boards that has heavy-duty step bars and can be custom fitted to any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck.

(The range of vehicles includes the 2009 Dodge-Ram Pick-up 1500s models and the latest 2010-2018 Ram 2500/3500 Pick-up trucks).

They have a rectangular cross-section and a flat segmented top which defines it as running boards.

This segmentation is caused by sliding heavy-duty open steel tubing to areas of the board which are designated to serve as the stepping pads.

This tubing is made from mild-steel that has been powder-coated and subjected to ultraviolet (UV) light treatment so that it becomes corrosion resistant.

A tubing is fitted into each designated step surface, and thus 4 steel tubings are fitted to form the 4 stepping pads.

On the top surface of each step pad is a textured non-slip surface. As the name suggests, this model is designed and built by Tyger Auto.

This model is suited to the standard double-cabin pickup trucks where it functions as a set of cabin-length footboards.

It is a compact model that features a polished black exterior, and is designed to be bolted into the mounting holes in the vehicle frame.

It is shipped as a full package that contains the following; the 2 running boards, 4 step-pad open steel tubings, model-specific mounting brackets, and installation hardware.

This allows a qualified worker to easily install it to the vehicle. The boards are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant material with their superb construction quality ensuring that they are durable, strong, and lightweight.

Each of these boards has a maximum load capacity of 300pounds. Meanwhile, the total weight of the 2 boards is about 36pounds

The stepping surface can be easily slid across the board, and this allows one to change the position of the step pads as deemed convenient.

These step pads are designed for comfort. Even so, these step pads allow water to seep between them and the boards.

Likewise, during a snow fall, the snow that lands on top of the stepping pads cannot fall off quickly, and the resulting ice layer creates a very slippery surface.

The model is built according to a unique patented design, and this design allows it to have a glossy-black clean finish, while the construction of the boards allows them to provide low-profile designs to vehicles.

This model benefits from a 5-year warranty guaranteed by Tyger Auto.

Pros of the Tyger-Auto TG-RS2D40078 Riser
  • Easy installation.
  • High-quality construction.
  • Load capacity of each footboard is 300pounds.
  • Solid running boards with detachable step pads.
  • Secure and comfortable anti-slip stepping surface.
  • 4-inches wide.
  • Lightweight set of footboards that weigh about 36pounds.
  • 5-years warranty.
The Cons
  • Surface can quickly become dirty, especially in a muddy environment.
  • Snow on the step pads can create a slippery surface.

Bottom-line

The Tyger-Auto TG-RS2D40078 Riser is a well-constructed 4-inch wide set of running boards that has heavy-duty step bars and can be custom fitted to any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck.

It features a segmented stepping surface because it is fitted with a sliding heavy-duty open steel tubings which serve as the stepping pads.


4. VioGi WM-D09S0101 Nerf Bars Reviews

The WM-D09S0101 is a durable 4-inch wide set of straight nerf bars that come with slip-resistant plastic step-pads.

It can be custom fitted in any 4-seater double-cabin pick-up truck, especially the 13 Silverado/Sierra 1500 models and the 2500/3500 EXT extended cab models.

The footboards have an oval cross-section and with the plastic step pads providing a flat stepping surface, and these qualifies them as nerf bars.

These nerf bars are made of heavy-duty chrome-polished T304 stainless steel. They can be installed in standard double-cabin pickup trucks where they will function as cab-length nerf bars.

They can also be fitted to trucks with a slightly smaller cabin length where they will function as wheel-to-wheel side steps which can allow a person to use the back region of either footboard to climb into the truck-bed.

Their 4-inch wide plastic pads gives the user an extra-wide stepping area. This model is designed and built by VioGi.

This compact model features a chrome-polished exterior finish, and is designed to be bolted into the mounting holes in the vehicle frame.

It comes as a package that contains the following; the 2 nerf bars, model-specific mounting brackets, an instruction manual, and installation hardware. This allows any competent user to install it to the vehicle.

The bars are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant material, with the accompanying superb construction quality giving these bars strength, durability, and resistance to bending.

These bars are also lightweight. Each of these bars can support a load weighing 450pounds.

The plastic stepping surface is secured properly to the underlying bar. This step pad is also designed to provide comfort to the user.

The top surface of the step pad is contoured to ensure water flows off them, hence ensuring that one does not slip on a wet pad.

Also, due to the oval shape of the bars, snow or ice that lands on its surface can easily fall off. However, the flat surface of the stepping pads allows snow to form a slippery ice layer.

These nerf bars are designed to provide a clean chrome-colored finish, while their construction allows them to give vehicles a low-profile design.

Pros of the VioGi WM-D09S0101 Nerf Bars
  • Easy installation.
  • High-quality construction.
  • Load capacity of each nerf bar is 450pounds.
  • Solid nerf bars with plastic step pads.
  • Secure and comfortable anti-slip stepping surface.
  • 4-inches wide.
The Cons
  • Surface can quickly become dirty, especially in a muddy environment.
  • Snow on the step pads can create a slippery surface.

Bottom-line

The VioGi WM-D09S0101 is a strong, well-constructed and durable high-quality 4-inch wide set of straight nerf bars that come with slip-resistant plastic step-pads. These nerf bars are made of heavy-duty chrome-polished T304 stainless steel.


5. MaxMate WB2C35007 Custom Fit Running Boards Review

The MaxMate is a strong and durable set of nerf bars designed for extended cabs and they come with 3-inch slip-resistant heavy-duty stainless steel step-pads.

It can be custom fitted in extended double-cabin pick-up trucks, especially the 1999-2018 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500/2500 LD models, and 2001-2013 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500 extended double-cab models.

They can be custom fitted to any of the compatible extended double cab models.

The The footboards have a circular cross-section and this qualifies them as nerf bars. Each of these bars features 2 shallow depressions just below the front and back entry doors, and in each depression is fitted a non-slip step pad.

These nerf bars need to be installed as cabin-length footboards, and one is discouraged from using them as wheel-to-wheel footboards.

This model is designed and built by MaxMate.

These well-designed and compact nerf bars features a chrome-polished exterior finish, and are designed to be bolted into the mounting holes in the vehicle frame.

Just like the VioGi, the MaxMate WB2C35007 comes as a package that contains the following; the 2 nerf bars, model-specific mounting brackets, an instruction manual, and installation hardware.

This allows any competent user to install it to the vehicle. Likewise, the nerf bars are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant material; and their superb construction quality giving these bars strength, durability, and resistance to bending.

Moreover, these bars are lightweight. Each of these bars can support a load weighing more than 400pounds.

The steel stepping surface is secured properly to the underlying nerf bar, and this ensures that it does not slide off even when subjected from extreme stress, for example, from a heavy load.

This step pad is also textured to provide grip and comfort to the user. The top surface of each of the step pad is contoured to ensure water flows off them, hence ensuring that one does not slip on a wet pad.

Likewise, due to the round shape of the bars, snow or ice that lands on its surface can easily fall off. Even so, the flat contoured surface of the stepping pads allows snow to form a slippery ice layer.

These nerf bars provide a clean chrome-colored finish, while their construction allows them to give vehicles a low-profile design.

Pros of the MaxMate WB2C35007 Custom Fit
  • Easy installation.
  • High-quality construction.
  • Load capacity of each nerf bar is 400pounds.
  • Solid nerf bars with stainless steel step pads.
  • Secure and comfortable anti-slip stepping surface.
  • 3-inches wide.
The Cons
  • Surface can quickly become dirty, especially in a muddy environment.
  • Snow on the step pads can create a slippery surface.

Bottom-line

The MaxMate WB2C35007 Custom Fit is a strong, well-constructed and durable high-quality set of nerf bars designed for extended cabs and they come with 3-inch slip-resistant heavy-duty stainless steel step-pads.

It is designed to be custom fitted in extended double-cabin pick-up trucks.


Best Aftermarket Running Boards – A Buyer’s Guide

What is a truck running board?

A running board is a narrow footboard that is fitted next to the underside of the doors of a vehicle where they function as steps that aid entry into the vehicle, especially high vehicles.

This allows the vehicle to have a high ground clearance without inconveniencing the process of people embarking into, or alighting, from a vehicle.

Advantages of installing running boards

Ground Clearance

The ground clearance is the distance between the ground to the lowest point of the underside of a chassis.

This clearance allows cars to navigate uneven roads, drive smoothly over rocks or bumps, and also drive across off-road tracks.

Vehicle Protection

Another advantage of a running board is that it offers some protection to the sides and tires of a vehicle when it is involved in a road collision where another car hits the sides of the vehicle.

This makes the running board analogous to the bull bar that is fitted at the front of the vehicle where it protects its front-side (of the vehicle) from damage during a head-on collision.

Added safety when entering or exiting your truck

Generally, the running board spans the entire length of the cabin, which allows for only two (one on either side) footboards to be used to access all the front-seats and backseats.

Anti-slip stepping pads are usually fitted on the step areas of the board.

Sometimes, the entire top surface is corrugated or textured into an anti-slip surface that allows people to safely enter into the vehicle.

Reinforcement for off-road terrain

If fitted to an off-road vehicle, the underside of the running board is reinforced to withstand wear and tear caused by hitting rocks, and this type of running board is called a rocker bar. This rocker bar also reinforces the body of the vehicle.

Added style to your vehicle

Nerf bars, along with running boards, not only add functionalities to the vehicle, but they also change its appearance, adding a stylistic edge to your truck depending on the color and design of the boards that you choose.

For instance, some high-end running boards come with LED-fitted stepping pads which light up in dark environments so that one can see the stepping areas.


The difference between running boards & nerf bars

Running boards are sometimes colloquially called nerf bars. In reality, running boards and nerf bars are slightly different constructions that serve the same purpose. In fact, the nerf bar is considered as a modified running board.

The nerf bar, also called tubular running board, step tubes, step rails or truck steps; is a tubular running board shaped into an extended-U construction, and whose stepping areas are located just below the entry points (usually the front-half of the car doors) into the cabin.

The tubular cross-section can be circular or oval. Therefore, nerf bars have four stepping pads for a 4-seater vehicle.

Also, nerf bars come in either cabin-length or wheel-to-wheel sizes. Likewise, nerf bars fitted in off-road vehicles feature a reinforced underside, and they are called rock sliders.

Installing Running Boards & Nerf Bars

Running boards and nerf bars come with installation brackets that allow them to be attached to the frame of the vehicle. They are usually fitted to the rocker panels of the vehicle frame.

These brackets are either bolted or welded onto the frame. Depending on the manufacturer of the model, the running boards can come with either universal or model-specific brackets.

Model-specific brackets are usually bolted into the pre-existing (manufacturer-drilled) mounting holes in the frame, while universal brackets requires one to drill the right bolt holes in the frame.

It is recommended that nerf bars are fitted to the frame rails of the car body, rather than the body itself because it allows the bars to support the vehicle weight when they (the bars) are used as jack-points to lift the vehicle off the ground, for example, when changing a burst deflated tire.

Power running boards

Some of the high-quality running boards are the powered models which are usually tucked away under the vehicle when not in use, and are then automated to slide down when the door is open so that they can provide a stepping platform.

Likewise, these powered models allows one to adjust how low they can get so that small kids and short people can easily step into the car.

General issues to consider when buying a set of running boards

When choosing the right nerf bars or running boards for a vehicle, one needs to consider the following 5 factors: its size, weight, material, thickness, and whether it is a weld-on or bolt-on model. This allows one to find the best running boards (best truck running boards) or best nerf bars (best truck side steps).