What to Look for When Purchasing Running Boards and Nerf Bars?

5 min readJul 11, 2023


Are you an automotive enthusiast looking to add a practical and stylish design element to your vehicle? Running boards and nerf bars could be just what you need. They provide added safety for getting in and out of taller vehicles and offer a unique look that can take your ride’s style to the next level. But with so many different nerf bars and running boards now available, how do you know which is right for you?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what to look for when purchasing running boards or nerf bars. Explore all the options from various designs, materials, sizes, etc. With plenty of great choices at reasonable prices, finding the perfect accessory for your ride will be easy.

Difference Between Running Boards and Nerf Bars

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are some notable differences between the two. Running boards typically have a wider surface area and are designed to provide a step to assist passengers in getting in and out of the vehicle. On the other hand, Nerf bars are typically narrower and are designed to protect the car’s sides from rocks and other debris when driving off-road. Both options have their benefits, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use.

Durability and Materials

Durability is the key factor when choosing a suitable material for long-lasting performance. Stainless steel nerf bars, polymer side steps, and aluminum running boards are all the usual options for drivers seeking durability in their running boards. Aluminum running boards are lightweight and rust-resistant, making them an excellent choice for those who need to add functionality without compromising their vehicle’s appearance.

For people who need extra support when getting in and out of their vehicle, stainless steel nerf bars are ideal because of their robustness. Last but not least, strong running boards made of polymers have outstanding slip resistance and environmental resilience, making them a fantastic option for people who need the most convenience possible in all kinds of weather and road conditions. Whether you choose aluminum, stainless steel, or polymer, selecting the suitable material for your running boards is critical for long-lasting performance.

Fitment and Compatibility

Fitment and compatibility are essential when installing nerf bars or running boards on a vehicle. The right fit ensures a secure and seamless integration with the vehicle’s body, guaranteeing a reliable and sturdy platform for stepping in and out of the car. It not only adds functionality but also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.

Compatibility with the vehicle’s make and model is crucial for a precise fit, avoiding any potential issues or accidents arising from improper installation. By prioritizing fitment and compatibility, one can ensure a safe and comfortable experience while using these truck accessories, ultimately adding convenience and style to the ride.

Traction and Grip: Enhancing Safety with Non-Slip Surfaces

Traction and grip are crucial for safety when using running boards or nerf bars. These accessories provide a stable platform for stepping in and out of a vehicle, especially for larger or taller vehicles like trucks or SUVs. Slippery or wet conditions can risk accidents or injuries if there is inadequate grip on these surfaces.

Many nerf bars and running boards have non-slip surfaces built into their design to enhance safety. These surfaces are usually made from materials that offer excellent traction, even in wet or slippery conditions. Some popular choices include rubberized pads, textured inserts, or aluminum treads with raised patterns.

By incorporating these non-slip surfaces, manufacturers prioritize the safety of the users by reducing the risk of slipping or losing grip while stepping on or off the vehicle. This feature is vital for those who frequently use their vehicles in off-road or outdoor environments, where conditions can get unpredictable and slippery.

Weight Capacity

If you’re someone who loves off-roading or frequently carries heavy loads in their vehicle, then it’s crucial to have the right running boards or nerf bars. While these may seem like small, insignificant parts of your car, they play a pivotal role in your overall safety and comfort. It’s essential to check the weight capacity of your running boards or nerf bars before investing in them. This way, you’ll know if they can handle all the passengers’ weight, ensuring safety when going in and out of the vehicle.

Aesthetic Appeal

The style and design of running boards and nerf bars can significantly enhance the overall look of your vehicle. Consider whether you prefer a sleek look or a more rugged aesthetic. Some options include integrated LED lights or non-slip pads for added functionality.

Ease of Installation

When choosing running boards and nerf bars for your vehicle, you want to ensure a quick and easy installation. With so many options on the market, looking for products with detailed installation instructions and all the necessary hardware is crucial. This way, you won’t have to waste time or money on additional purchases, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new upgrades in no time. However, consider professional installation services if you need more confidence in your DIY skills. They can ensure that your new running boards and nerf bars are installed correctly, look great, and function properly for years.

Budget Considerations: Balancing Quality with Affordability

Balancing budget and quality is crucial when purchasing running boards or nerf bars. Buying a cheap item may seem like a fantastic deal, but it might cost you more in the long run. Value for money is vital when considering a purchase like this, and it’s wise to think of it as a long-term investment rather than a one-time expense. Budget-friendly options are available, and some can provide a good compromise between cost and quality.

Maintenance Requirements: Cleaning and Upkeep for Longevity

Maintaining the appearance and functionality of your vehicle’s nerf bars or running boards is crucial to ensuring their longevity. Understanding the upkeep and cleaning processes that go along with them is vital. Aluminum, steel, and plastic are materials used to make nerf bars and running boards. Knowing what your nerf bars or running boards are composed of is essential in maintenance because every material needs a distinct cleaning procedure.

For example, running boards made of aluminum may require less maintenance than steel to prevent rust. Regular cleaning with soap and water can help to keep them looking brand new. However, additional rust prevention measures may be necessary if you live in areas with severe weather conditions. Remember, proper maintenance and care of your nerf bars and running boards will make them last longer, look better, and provide adequate support while getting in and out of your vehicle.

When it comes to accessorizing your vehicle, running boards and nerf bars can provide both safety and convenience. Whether you opt for a fixed or drop-down option, you can rest assured that your choice will be durable and easy to care for. With proper research, you can find the perfect additions to help make your life easier. Running boards and nerf bars are must-haves for those looking to customize their car, truck, or SUV with affordable and effective solutions.




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