Top 12 Best Running Boards for Ram 1500 in 2021 – Review, FAQ & Buying Guide

Perhaps old age is catching up with you or you are not tall enough to board your RAM 1500 truck with ease.

Well, you do not have to despair about that because you can find reprieve in top-quality running boards made specifically for your truck.

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The market is virtually flooded with these boards not only because they help you have an easier time while getting into your pickup truck, but also because they add to its aesthetic appeal.

Therefore, if you are interested in getting the best running boards for Ram 1500, you may want to go through this entire review to find out how to make the right choice.

Amazon’s Top 3 Best Seller Running Boards for Ram 1500:

The Best Running Boards for Ram 1500 – Comparison Table

As you search for the perfect truck running boards, you will realize that it is not easy to choose. This is mainly because numerous products in the market are likely to have you confused.

To that effect, we have made a list of the best-rated running boards for Ram 1500 to make your job easier.

RankProduct NameBrandWeight
1APS iBoard Running Boards 5″ Compatible with Ram 1500APS22.4 pounds
2AMP Research PowerStep Running Boards for All CabsAMP Research56 pounds
3APS Aluminum Black iBoard Running Boards Dodge RamAPS49.9 pounds
4Off Roader Eboard Running Board Black Color Fits Dodge RamOff Roader48.3 pounds
5Tyger Auto Step for Ram Running Boards Nerf BarsTyger Auto39 pounds
6Off Roader Eboard Running Board Crew Cab Pickup Nerf Bar, Side Steps, Side BarsOff Roader46.4 pounds
7APS Premium 6in iBoard Running Boards for Dodge Ram 1500 2500 3500APS55.9 pounds
8Onine 6″ Black Running Boards Custom Fit RamOnine63.7 pounds
9APS iBoard Running Boards 5 inches Compatible with Ram, Crew CabAPS39.9 pounds
10APS iBoard Running Boards 5″ Compatible with Dodge Ram Nerf BarsAPS47.9 pounds
11APS iBoard Running Boards Black Powder Coated Nerf BarsAPS49.9 pounds
12APS 4 inches iBoard Running Boards for Crew Cab & RamAPS44 pounds

Best Running Boards for Ram 1500 in Review

1. APS 5” iBoard Custom Fit Running Boards

We do not know about you, but durability is one of the key factors we value when it comes to picking a running board.

That is exactly what this product offers since it is made from pure aluminum. It can accommodate up to 300lbs comfortably.

What We Liked

These boards come in a low-profile design that fits vehicles well. This means that when you are not using yours, it will not interfere with whatever you want to do in your truck.

However, what we loved most about these boards is that they come with easy to read and understand installation manuals.

If you are a beginner, you will love this product because of that.

What Could Have Been Better

Although these boards come in a sleek style, they are prone to scratching. This means that they are incapable of maintaining their aesthetic appeal for long.

We feel that the manufacturer could have done something about the finishing as far as longevity is concerned.

Alternatively, the manufacturer could have used a different material to make this product. Something like polished stainless steel, construction would have sufficed. If the manufacturer had used the same instead of aluminum, scratches would not be a concern.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Includes both passenger and driver sideboards

Cons

  • Prone to scratching

2. AMP 76139 Research Running Boards

You should not feel like you are tackling a mountain when climbing your truck. AMP research has put much thought into this electric-powered and automatic running board.

It comes in a beautiful design and delivers a great performance so why would you think twice about getting it?

What We Liked

The AMP 76139-01A Research boards automatically retract. This makes it easy for you to mount them into and out of your truck.

We love that they draw in when you close your truck’s door and unfold when you open it. That is hands-free operation and convenience for you.

Another thing worthy of note is that it comes with a protection sensor to guarantee that running boards remain extended in case of any obstruction during retraction. This comes in handy especially if you have pets or kids.

What Could Have Been Better

Although having the board extend out whenever you open, your truck’s door is convenient it also acts as a hindrance for tall persons.

The manufacturer should have considered this and made the opening mechanism both automatic and manual.

Another thing the manufacturer could have done to counter that is to provide a manual version of this AMP research power step. By doing that, taller people would be able to adjust it accordingly and have an easier time getting into and out of their cars.

Pros

  • Hands-free operation
  • Retractable
  • All-weather

Cons

  • Not suitable for tall persons

3. APS Black 6” iBoard 19-20

If you are looking for the best side steps for RAM 1500, you will find them in this product. It comes with wide non-slip ones. 

This means that you can safely get into and out of your truck.

What We Liked

APS Black running boards come in a sturdy, one-piece design made out of pure aluminum so if you are looking for something that will last, this might be a good option.

We also love that these boards are corrosion resistant and that their steps are slip-resistant. The installation of these boards is also easy and will not take up much of your time.

Finally, they come in a matte black finish that adds to the aesthetic of your truck.

What Could Have Been Better

There have been reports by some users that this product did not fit their cars and only did after a bit of altering.

We feel that the manufacturer could have made them a custom-fit to avoid this.

Another concern we have about these stepping pads is that they do not come with clear instructions for installation. This is according to some users. The manufacturer could have done a better job as far as providing detailed and clear instructions.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Adequate stepping space
  • Durable

Cons

  • Unclear instructions

4. Off-Roader 6″ Running Eboard

Trucks are mainly bought for their functionality but there is no harm in combining style with utility and this is what the Off-Roader Running Board offers.

Available in black and silver, you will find it hard to resist this product.

What We Liked

These running boards come with a bigger stepping area compared to others in this list for extra comfort. We are also inclined to think that the manufacturer made this product with durability and ergonomics in mind.

This means that you will not have to worry about your board falling apart or giving you issues when it comes to climbing into or getting out of your truck.

What Could Have Been Better

The instructions for installing this step bar are questionable and not very clear which makes the installation process cumbersome and frustrating.

We feel like the manufacturer should have handled that before releasing the product to the market.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • No drilling required
  • Custom-fit

Cons

  • Prone to discoloration

5. Tyger TG – ST2D50018 Auto Running Board

This running board from TYGER STEP board is made to be rustproof and with a wide step pad for your comfort and safety.

With a 5-year warranty, there is no reason why you should miss out on getting this product.

What We Liked

These running boards are so sturdy that even someone weighing 300lb will not be able to weigh them down.

Combined with a wide and rustproof step area, you will find these both functional and long-lasting. However, what we loved most is that the installation of these running boards requires minimal drilling.

Of course, this means less work for you!

What Could Have Been Better

The user manual is not as clear and some parts are not labeled correctly. This means that you may make a mistake during installation.

We think that the manufacturer should have been more careful when putting together this product to ensure everything was right with it before allowing it into the market.

Tyger Auto manufacture running boards for Toyota Tacoma and also others trucks.

Pros

  • Easy installation process
  • Sturdy
  • Wide step area

Cons

  • Unclear user manual

6. Off-Roader 5″ Eboard Silver Fits 2009-2018 Running Board

The Off-Roader Silver running board comprises two aluminum pieces for both the passenger and driver’s side. You will also appreciate that it comes with all you need for the installation process and clear instructions on how to do it as well.

What We Liked

This product not only looks good on your truck, but you can also be sure it will fit properly as well. This is because it comes in a simple, custom-fit design.

We love that this board is durable yet lightweight. It can effortlessly support about 300lbs without curving so do not worry about your weight.

Available in polished aluminum and black powder-coated finishes, you can be sure that this running board will outfit your ram truck with an elegant finish.

What Could Have Been Better

There have been reviews claiming that these boards are prone to scratching. Of course, this compromises their look. 

The manufacturer should have put more work into the finish to ensure that it lasts longer.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Prone to denting and scratching

You may also like to read, best quality running boards for jeep wrangler.

7. APS 6in Premium iBoard Custom Fit Running Board

These running boards are a new group made to feel and appear different. As you shop for the perfect running boards, you will realize that most are either oval or circular.

APS iBoard Running Boards come in a flat design that is not only flawless but contemporary as well.

What We Liked

These boards are as strong as they come and can accommodate quite a bigger load capacity. Up to 300lbs to be exact. 

That is not all though; these boards are also comfortable and come with a non-slip stepping area. This means that your chances of slipping and falling with this truck step are slim.

We also love that the cleaning process of these boards is easy. Just spray them down with a water hose and you will be good to go.

What Could Have Been Better

These boards come with a plastic exterior that does not seem to be durable because reviews are stating that this outer cover flakes off after a while.

The manufacturer could have made the exterior more durable to increase the value of these boards.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Exterior not hardwearing

8. ONINE Black 6 Inch Running Boards

If you are into the rugged look, you will love the ONINE running boards. They come in a black powder coat finish that is rust-resistant as well.

Besides, once you install these, you can be sure that they will serve you well while still looking good for years.

What We Liked

There is nothing that compares to a good grip when it comes to any stepping surface and these boards offer just that.

We love that they are designed in such a way that allows for draining of debris and dirt so that you can always have a clean stepping area.

These boards are also easy to install since they do not require any kind of drilling.

What Could Have Been Better

Some people have complained that they received these boards in a compromised state and attribute the same to packaging.

We feel that the manufacturer should have been more meticulous when it came to packaging these boards.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Good looking
  • Easy installation

Cons

9. APS 5 Inch iBoard 2019-2020 Running Boards

If you are looking for something that will stand out as far as running boards, you may want to consider the APS iBoard Running Boards.

These boards come in a flat design unlike the usual oval or round shapes that will give your mega cab a modern and clean look.

What We Liked

Aluminum is a strong material so you can imagine how much stronger it will be if it is heavy-duty. Well, this is exactly what these running boards are made from.

They also feature a ridged rubber footing that guarantees your safety whenever you board your truck. However, what we love most about these boards is that they are extremely easy to install.

You get everything you need to facilitate the installation in this product’s packaging. Besides, the cleaning process is also easy and we are not mad about that!

What Could Have Been Better

Some people complain that these running boards do not provide enough stepping space because they tuck in a little bit too much once installed.

We feel that the manufacturer could have included extra stepping space while manufacturing these boards for a better foothold.

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Hassle-free installation
  • Great packaging

Cons

  • Inadequate stepping area

10. APS Custom Fit 5 Inch iBoard 2009-2018

APS focuses on manufacturing functional products. It, therefore, does not come as a surprise that they employed a systematic technique to build this product not only to provide comfort but to look good as well.

This running board is lightweight yet strong enough to accommodate quite a bit of weight.

What We Liked

If you are searching for the best running boards for dodge RAM 1500 quad cab, this may be your best bet.

Made from high-quality aluminum this running board is lightweight yet sturdy. We love that it does not feature any plastic parts that are easily breakable.

This product is also easy to install and you can count on it to deliver great performance even under rough terrain.

What Could Have Been Better

This product does not come finished with a clear coat which forces you to polish it frequently otherwise it will begin to deteriorate aesthetically. Of course, this is not something you will get in an aftermarket running board.

The manufacturer should have given the running board a clear coat top finish to reduce the hassle when it comes to maintenance.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Anti-slip
  • Rust-free

Cons

  • Cumbersome maintenance process

11. APS Running iBoard Boards

If strength matters to you, then you should consider the APS Running iBoard running boards. This is because they are made from jet grade aluminum.

You would think that for these boards to be that strong they have to be bulky but nothing could be further from the truth because they are quite lightweight.

What We Liked

We love that APS as a brand manufactures its products with purpose and usefulness in mind. This means that you are less likely to find their running boards redundant.

Another thing we found enticing about these boards is that they are designed to withstand harsh road conditions.

These products are also capable of accommodating a significant amount of weight even though they are lightweight and we commend that.

What Could Have Been Better

Unfortunately, these running boards are prone to corrosion and this compromises their quality. To that effect, we feel that the manufacturer should have coated the boards with a rust-resistant substance to preserve the dignity of the product.

Pros

  • Anti-slip
  • UV resistance
  • Durable

Cons

  • Prone to corrosion

12. APS Running 4 Inches iBoards Running Boards

APS is a renowned brand when it comes to the manufacturing of running boards and understandably so because it strives to design durable yet lightweight products.

Made from first-rate aluminum, you can be assured of the durability of these boards.

What We Liked

These boards were designed with the average driver in mind. The one who drives under extreme road conditions.

As such, they are made to be comfortable, rust-free, and durable. What we find most appealing is that these boards can accommodate up to 300lbs yet they are not as bulky.

These products also look pleasing to the eye and we are sure you will appreciate that as well.

What Could Have Been Better

The bolts that come with these running boards to facilitate installation are extremely soft hence prone to breaking.

Therefore, although the boards are sturdy, they may be unable to function properly because of this. We think that the manufacturer should have included stronger bolts for better reinforcement.

Pros

  • Well packaged
  • Appealing look
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Reinforcement bolts not as strong

Top Running Boards for Ram 1500 Buying Guide

Before you go ahead and buy a running board, you want to consider a few crucial factors that will help you make the right purchasing decision. They include:

Buying Purpose

You need to determine what you want to use your set of running boards for. Although most of these boards look alike, they are used for different purposes.

Perhaps you want to improve the appearance of your truck or reinforce its underside for off-road trips. However, most people install these boards to help them get into and out of their trucks safely.

It is important to determine what you want to use your boards for because they are manufactured for different purposes.

Board Material

We want to let you know that most running boards are usually made from aluminum and steel mainly because of the durability they offer.

However, these metals have their advantages and disadvantages in other aspects. For instance, you will be better off getting aluminum boards if you want something lightweight.

However, you may want to pick steel if you frequently go on off-road trips as it offers better protection.

You just have to weigh your needs and pick the most suitable material.

Final Coating

Going through our review, you may have realized that most running boards are normally matte black or chrome coating.

Of course, these finishes are used to improve the longevity of running boards. They safeguard the boards from harmful UV rays and other elements.

Typically, steel running boards have a sparkly chrome finish while aluminum ones come in a matte black finish and that is one of the ways you can tell these materials apart.

Side Step Quality

Granted, running boards are created to offer protection, strength, durability, and support. However, it is equally important that these boards provide safety as well.

As such, you want to get running boards with wider and thicker side steps to provide you with comfort and prevent you from slipping especially in wet weather conditions.

Board Length

You want to determine your truck’s wheelbase before purchasing a running board. Remember that the running boards you pick should have enough length to cover your truck’s wheel underside completely.

Nevertheless, it is possible to install running boards according to your preference.

Weight Capacity

Most running boards come with a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs, which is quite commendable. However, if you would like to use your running boards for heavy-duty applications, you can go for reinforced ones.

Such running boards have a higher weight capacity and can accommodate up to 600lbs. Just keep in mind that these will cost more and be heavier.

Running Board Cost

Different running boards cost differently and this variation in pricing is usually brought about by the features that are present in a board.

To get the most value out of your money, you want to list down all the features you want in your running board and use it to compare prices.

Think about the capacity, material, weight, and style you want in your running board. This will help you pick a suitable product for the right price.

Installation Process

Although most running boards can be easily installed, you want to have the right tools for doing so at hand. Better still, go for running boards that come with installation hardware such as a mounting bracket.

You also want to ensure that you purchase running boards that are compatible with your truck. If you fail to do this, you risk complicating the installation process because then you may have to weld, cut, or drill to make the boards fit.

Benefits of Installing Running Boards for Your Ram 1500

Running boards look good on your vehicle but is that all they offer? Not at all. They come with a host of benefits that you will appreciate such as:

Step Aid

Honestly, most people purchase running boards for this reason and understandably so. Running boards act as step pads so that instead of jumping into your truck or using other unsafe methods to do so, you will have a stepping aid that will help you climb safely.

This is particularly helpful for those with disabilities, the young, and the elderly.

Safeguards Vehicle Side Bodywork

As you drive, your truck becomes susceptible to scratching and debris damaging the paintwork. You will be pleased to know that running boards help block most of the debris that large vehicles like trucks usually kick up.

Visual Appeal

Maybe you feel like your truck already looks good and that nothing can add more to its aesthetic appeal. How wrong you are!

Running boards come in various materials and designs to pick from. These can complement your trucks’ paint job and attract a lot of attention.

What is best is that you get the visual appeal combined with functionality.

Which One to Pick? Side Steps, Nerf Bars, or Running Boards?

If you are considering buying a 1500 crew cab, or you already bought one, then you are probably in the market for something to help you get in and out of the car because doing it on your own is going to be a challenge.

This is particularly true if you are shorter than the average person or if you have joint issues like arthritis. Luckily, there are several options in the market to help you with that. We are talking about nerf bars, side steps, and running boards.

Which one is best among the three? Let us go through each of them so that you are in a better position to pick the best one for you.

Running Boards

These cover the entire length of your truck bed and are often wide and flat. This provides you with an even stepping surface.

They offer as safe option for stepping into cars like the Toyota tundra because there is no huge gap between the running board and the carriage of the truck.

Nerf Bars

These were initially designed to protect the sides and undercarriage of a vehicle from damage that may be caused by off-road debris.

Nerf bars are becoming increasingly popular and understandably so because of their sporty and sleep appearance.

Visually, they distinguish themselves from the car by creating some space between themselves and the vehicle. They can come in tabular or oval shape with a non-slip and flat stepping surface.

Side Steps

If the only thing you want is a mechanism for you to step into and out of your SUV or truck, then you may want to consider getting side steps.

However, you want to ensure that you and your passengers can spot the steps to avoid falling when getting into or out of your car.

Unlike nerf bars and running boards, side steps do not run the entire length of a car. They are a little bit wider than the human foot making them a compact stepping option that will not change the look of your vehicle.

Some manufacturers design their side steps to look like shorter running boards or metal runs so if you like the look of running boards, you may want to go for the same.

FAQs on Top Running Boards for Ram 1500:

We know you probably have several questions when it comes to running boards for trucks. We have tackled a few commonly asked ones below to help you get a better understanding.

Q: Is it worth buying running boards?

A: Yes, it is. Running boards offer a great addition to vehicles since they act as a stepping aid and add to the aesthetic appeal.

However, they are quite costly and this is why most people wouldn’t bother to buy.

Q: Should I fit my truck with running boards?

A: Yes, you should. Running boards come with a host of benefits for your truck such as keeping the interior clean, safeguarding the truck from damage, and acting as a stepping aid especially for the young and elderly.

Q: Between running boards and nerf bars, which is better?

A: It all depends on what you want for your truck. If you are looking for a wider stepping area and aesthetic appeal, a running board will be suitable.

Conversely, if you want to give your truck a sporty look and feel, you may want to go for a nerf bar.

Q: Why are they called Nerf Bars?

A: The word is derived from nerfing, which is what happens when a driver bumps another car to overtake it.

Nerf, therefore, refers to the rubbing between two cars. Nerf bars safeguard the sides of vehicles to prevent them from rubbing together.

Q: What is the best brand of running boards?

A: There are many great options in the market designed for lifted truck models so we cannot single out one as the best. Instead, we recommend getting something that is durable, and easy to install. APS, AMP, and Tyger are, however, a few of the leading brands in this space.

Our Top Pick

After compiling a list of the best-rated running boards for RAM 1500 trucks, our top pick has to be the APS 5” iBoard Custom Fit Running Boards.

First, we love that the manufacturer made these boards with durability in mind. This means that they can handle off-road conditions well.

Another thing is that these boards come in a custom fit that will not hinder the operation of your vehicle.

These boards also come with easy to read and understand instructions that you will find easy to execute. Ultimately, this product was made to be user-friendly and suitable for beginners. We find that to be extremely commendable.

If you don’t have budget problem, than power running board will be your best option. You can select AMP PowerStep 76139-01A Running Boards for your dodge ram 1500.

Conclusion

If you are thinking of improving the look of your truck or its off-road performance, you should seriously consider getting a pair of running boards for it.

Aside from simplifying the process of getting in and out of your truck, running boards also safeguard the underbelly, windows, and doors of your car from off-road debris.

We know that it is not easy to pick the perfect running boards for trucks and that is why we have put this review together.

After going through it, picking the right pair should not be as hard.

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