The 11 Best Running Boards 2021

Whether you own an SUV or truck, you may find it difficult to climb in and out without running boards. This is particularly true if you are vertically challenged or suffering from conditions such as arthritis.

Fortunately, there are many running boards available for sale in the market and they will not only help you climb into your car, but they will also improve the look of your car, protect it from dents and scratches, as well as trap dirt.

Now, most trucks and larger cars come with dedicated areas where you can fix the same so your job will only be to find the best running boards.

Best_Running_Boards

What are Running Boards?

Before we go any further, we think it would be wise to explain what running boards are. Well, running boards are side steps that you place alongside your vehicle to make it easier for you to enter and exit.

The perfect running boards should feature heavy-duty construction and have a non-slip pad on top for your safety.

Running boards are therefore aftermarket car accessories that not only add to the functionality of your vehicle but also it’s aesthetic.

Top-Rated Running Boards: Comparison Table

We aim to be as detailed as can be with this review but we understand that some people may not be able to read everything on here.

In that regard, we created the following comparison table that analyzes our top choices as far as the best running board. Use it to make an informed and fast choice.

RankProduct NameBrandWeight
1APS iBoard Running Boards Black Color (Nerf Bars Side Steps Side Bars)APS45.9 pounds
2Tyger Auto 4inch Stainless Steel Side Step Nerf Bars Running BoardsTyger Auto21 Pounds
3AMP Research Black Color PowerStep Electric Running BoardsAMP51 pounds
4APS 5 inches Custom Fit iBoard Running BoardsAPS44.9 pounds
5Tyger Auto TG-JA2J2239B Star Armor Kit Textured Black Side Step, Nerf Bars, Running Boards.Tyger Auto97 Pounds
6AMP Research Black Color PowerStep Electric Running BoardAMP56 pounds
7Westin Brite Aluminum Step Board Chrome ColorWestin25 pounds
8YITAMOTOR 6″ Running Boards Crew Cab Aluminum Side Steps Nerf BarsYitamotor43.2 pounds
9TAC Running Boards Fit 2011-2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Aluminum Black Side Bars Step Rails Running BoardsTac Truck Accessories Company39 Pounds
10APS Custom Fit Premium 4″ iBoard Running Boards Aluminum Silver ColorAPS36.6 pounds
11ARIES AeroTread 70″ Polished Stainless Steel SUV Running BoardsARIES26.5 pounds

Types of Running Boards

As far as aftermarket running boards, you have several options to pick from with the commonest being side steps, nerf bars, and running boards.

Each style comes with its pros and cons so let us get right into it, shall we?

Traditional Running Boards

These are flat and wide steps that are secure from under your car’s doors. They provide a non-slip and safe boost into the car.

Now, you want to note that the wider the steps are the better your running board will be at safeguarding your car’s tires and paint job.

Some of these boards even feature integrated LED light systems to provide illumination when it is dark.

Electric Retractable Running Boards

We can say that these are more of a luxury sidestep option for SUVs, jeeps, and pick-up trucks. Just as the name implies, they fold out when you open your car’s door and tuck away when you close it. it’s also called as power running boards.

They also come with a control module known as OBD-II that is located under the hood.

Nerf Bars

These are oval or circular tubes that extend below your car’s doors to create a step. They also feature flat cutouts underneath with an anti-slip grip for easy and safe entry and exit.

Side Steps

Just like nerf bars and running boards, side steps are designed to offer easy and safe access to your car. They are single-stepping surfaces mounted underneath driver and passenger doorways.

You can also mount these behind your car’s rear axle for easy access into your truck’s bed.

Buying Guide – How to Pick the Perfect Running Boards

We believe you want high-quality running boards that will last longer and deliver the functionality you want. If this is the case, you need to consider several factors as you shop. These factors include:

Construction Material

The first question you want to ask as you embark on your shopping journey is what material you should be going for.

Most aftermarket running boards are available in ABS plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum. We understand that because the latter supports more weight and are more resilient.

As for ABS plastic, you will be looking at less strength and susceptibility to scratches.

Padding Material

Here, you have two options: rubber or plastic. We will tell you that plastic is more common but the problem with it is that it tends to get slippery especially in colder weather and it does wear down over time.

You will be better off with rubberized running boards as they provide great traction regardless of the weather condition.

Running Board Length

It is important to get the correct length of running boards for your car. Usually, product descriptions will state the model that the particular running board you intend to buy fits so be sure to look out for that.

Weight Capacity

You need to know how much weight you want your running boards to accommodate or at least have an estimate.

Once you do that, check against your car’s model to see if it can support the weight you have.

Installation Process

If you do not know how to install running boards or you just couldn’t be bothered to do it, you can get a professional to do it.

However, a good number of people choose to go the DIY way. If this is what you intend to do, you want your running boards to come with an easy installation process.

Consider getting those that come with all the hardware required for the installation process as well as detailed user instructions for a seamless process.

Unbiased Review of the Best Running Boards

You are certainly going to need some help picking out the best running boards and that is what this next segment is about.

We review some of the top-rated products in the market so feel free to pick from our list.

1. APS iBoard Running Boards

First up we have these running boards from the APS iBoard stable that come in powder-coated matte or chrome finish. They also come in different diameters and lengths hence giving you an array of options while shopping.

You may also want to note that this product is reasonably priced even with all the features it comes with hence giving you value for money.

What We Liked About It

These running boards feature a full metal construction so what does that tell you? Simply that they are going to last a long time.

Moving away from that, they come in a low-profile design that ensures they do not get in your way whenever they are not in use.

We love that the boards feature a contemporary design, slim construction, and are easy to install.

What Could Have Been Better

According to some users, these boards scratched a while after installation and we feel that the manufacturer should have used a better quality coating to avoid that.

Pros

  • Slim attractive design
  • Easy to install
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Scratches easily

2. Tyger Auto TG-RS2C40017 Running Boards

Unlike the APS iBoard running boards, these come with a more conventional design. Do not be alarmed by that because you will still get a lighter and slimmer product.

These running boards come with an original look that allows you to choose from black or chrome finishes. They also come with UV-resistant black grips as well as non-slip step pads for your safety.

What We Liked About It

One thing that we noticed and loved about this product is that as a brand, Tyger offers a no-hassle lifetime warranty on these boards. As such, if these do not last, you can easily replace them.

As far as the installation process, it is extremely easy and straightforward because all you will be required to do is just bolt the boards onto your car.

The boards are also quite sturdy so you can rely on them to hold you up.

What Could Have Been Better

As reported by some users, these boards are quite narrow hence limiting your stepping spaceWe feel that the manufacturer should have simply made them wider.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Clean design
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Could be wider

3. AMP Research 76254-01A Electric Running Boards

We applaud AMP for creating these luxury running boards that you can simply plug into your OBD-II port. What this does is to give them the functionality to retract and extend.

As if that is not enough, the boards are of high-quality and come in a sleek design that is certainly going to make you the envy of other drivers.

What We Liked About It

These boards can accommodate up to 600lbs of weight effortlessly making them ideal for the average person.

Another thing about these running boards is that they come with stainless steel pivot pins to provide stability as well as self-lubricating bushings to facilitate all-weather performance.

We love that this product is manufactured in the USA, a country that is known for producing quality as well as a 5-year limited warranty to cover any manufacturer defects.

What Could Have Been Better

These running boards require drilling which makes the installation process quite challenging. We feel that the manufacturer should have strived to make the installation process easier.

Pros

  • Thick
  • Great packaging
  • Retractable

Cons

  • The installation process could be easier

4. APS iBoard Running Boards 5 inches

You get plenty of choices as far as APS iBoard running boards in that they come in powder-coated matte black and chrome finishes as well as different diameters and lengths.

Do not even get us started on the fact that this product gives you value for money seeing as it is among the most affordable on this list even with its functionality and quality.

What We Liked About It

You do not have to worry about the longevity of this product because it features a metal construction that will give you the performance you anticipate.

Another thing you do not have to worry about is these boards getting in your way because they feature a modern design that enables them to retract when not in use.

When it comes to the installation process, we love that it is quite simple. Besides, these boards come with a slim construction that does not take up too much space.

What Could Have Been Better

Regrettably, the brackets and screws required for mounting these boards remain visible after installation which could affect the aesthetic.

We feel that the manufacturer could have done better with the design.

Pros

  • Sleek attractive design
  • Easy to install
  • Value for money

Cons

  • The design could be better

5. Tyger Auto TG-JA2J2239B Armor Kit

Get yourself this elegant-looking nerf bar for your American trucks such as the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150. Heck, they could even be the perfect running boards for Chevy Silverado.

You would think that because these boards are stylish, they are flimsy right? How wrong you would be! These are as tough as can be and they come with a powder-coated black finish and can support up to 500lbs.

What We Liked About It

You can rely on these boards to give you months or even years of service simply because they feature heavy-duty metal construction.

The fact that they come in a one-piece design also makes them easy to operate and store away. We love that about them.

As such, if you are looking for a tough, nerf-bar style running board that will add to the aesthetic of your car, there is no reason why you should not get this kit.

What Could Have Been Better

These boards are heavy-duty which is a good thing, but that makes it a bit harder to install. We feel that the manufacturer should have used lighter material in their construction to simplify the installation process.

Pros

  • Unique look
  • Nerf bar-style step design
  • Heavy-duty

Cons

  • Could be lighter

6. AMP Research 76240-01A Electric Running Board

Convenience is the word when you think about this product. Why? It automatically extends when you open your door and retract when you close it.

Moreover, it comes with an integrated LED light system to illuminate your entry and exit especially when it is dark.

What We Liked About It

All the components that make this product feature a high-strength aluminum alloy with anodized PTFE coating for corrosion resistance.

Moving on swiftly, the boards come with stainless steel pivot pins to deliver stability as well as self-lubricating bushings for optimal performance.

We love that this product is manufactured in the USA where quality is valued ad that it comes with an attractive warranty period of 5 years.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have complained that the instructions that come with this product are not as clearWe feel that the manufacture could have done a better job with that.

Pros

  • Rust-resistant
  • Weatherproof
  • Integrated LED light system

Cons

  • Instructions could be clearer

7. Westin 27-6620 Aluminum Step Board

This step board is unique and that is because it is a universal product. That means that it comes in different lengths and will therefore fit your vehicle regardless of whether it is a crew cab, double cab, or regular cab. How cool is that?

What We Liked About It

Sometimes running boards alter the look of your vehicle in a not-so-good way but that will not be a concern with these. If anything, they add to the look of your car.

They feature slip-resistant rubber steps in black, brushed, or brite finishes. You can also get a light kit from Westin if you so wish to get added visibility, particularly at night.

These are also sturdy when installed so you can be sure that they will stay in place.

What Could Have Been Better

Unfortunately, this product does not come with mounting brackets, which can be inconvenient. We feel that the manufacturer should have included the same along with the boards.

Pros

  • Comes in three finishes
  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Does not come with mounting brackets

8. YITAMOTOR 6 Inches Running Boards

YITAMOTOR is among the best running board manufacturers and you can deduce that from this particular unit.

You will not have to do any drilling when installing these running boards as it only requires you to bolt them on. The process is so easy you can complete it within an hour.

What We Liked About It

With these running boards, you get durability and strength. They come with a 6-inch anti-slip pad that will facilitate your stepping in and out of your truck safely.

The boards feature a stainless steel build for longevity and come pre-treated with corrosion-resistant powder coatingsOther than that, the boards come in a unified design that delivers optimal performance and a good look.

The manufacturer also included UV protection when making this product so do not expect it to discolor any time soon and we love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

Judging from reviews, the instructions that come with this product do not match with the parts and we feel that the manufacturer should have checked on this before launching the product.

Pros

  • UV protection
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Durable

Cons

  • Incorrect instructions

9. TAC Running Boards

If you are in the market for accessories that will add a luxurious look to your truck or car, you should consider these TAC running boards as they do just that.

They come with rubberized step pads with stainless steel edges to provide a comfortable, slip-proof, and secure entry and exit into your car.

What We Liked About It

You will surely be getting first-rate quality with these running boards seeing as they are made of aircraft-grade aluminum to offer strength, durability, and rust-protection.

The installation of these boards is as easy as can be because there will be no drilling required. Moreover, the boards come with detailed instructions and all the hardware required for the installation process.

We love that the product comes with a 5-year warranty to cover workmanship defects.

What Could Have Been Better

According to several users, these running boards are quite slippery which could be a safety hazardWe feel that the manufacturer should have given them a bit more texture to counter that.

Pros

  • Full coverage frame
  • Custom made brackets
  • Suitable mounting height

Cons

  • Traction not as great

10. APS Premium 4in iBoard Running Boards

APS is a family-owned company that believes in putting the interests of its customers first and it is evident in these running boards.

You can get these boards in either powder-coated matte black or chrome finishes and this is a look that we believe will match with most cars. You may also want to note that these boards come in a unified design to deliver optimal performance.

What We Liked About It

There is no chance of slipping once you step on these running boards simply because they come with a rubberized surface that offers more traction and anti-slip performance. If you are still in doubt about that, we would just like to let you know that this product has been tested for quality.

Now, even with that, this product is reasonably priced ensuring that you get value for your money. We love that.

What Could Have Been Better

As per some users, their boards arrived dented and we feel that the manufacturer could have packaged them better.

Pros

  • Non-slip surface
  • Value for money
  • Highly-functional

Cons

  • Packaging could be better

11. ARIES 2051870 70-Inch Running Boards

How would you like running boards with a sleek design? You get that with these as they are specially designed to accentuate the modern SUV.

That is not all though because the boards also feature a dual build with a strong base and a lightweight aluminum core. Talk about the perfect balance!

What We Liked About It

These steps feature an aluminum base and stainless steel trim but what do you know? Both are rust-resistant so that will not be a concern when you buy this product.

As far as comfort, these step bars come with non-skid, full-length treads to offer you a convenient step anytime you need one.

Nevertheless, what we loved most about this product is that it does not require any drilling when installing making the process easier.

What Could Have Been Better

Regrettably, this product did not come with mounting hardware although the product description states otherwise according to some users.

The manufacturer should have checked to see that the package was complete before letting it out into the market.

Pros

  • No-drill installation
  • Dual build
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Missing parts

How Do I Install Running Boards?

Now that you know some of the options available in the market, we want to let you know how to install running boards in case you opt to do it on your own.

First, we want to assure you that it is a simple process. That said; you could use a pair of extra hands in case the running boards you pick are on the heavier side.

A good running board should come with detailed instructions so be sure to look out for that and read them carefully.

Next, you want to locate the mounting points on your car as well as your boards. Once you do that, fix the running boards and fasten them down with the right hardware.

In case your car does not come with the said holes, you will have to do the drilling and at this point, we would advise you to enlist a professional to do that for you to avoid compromising your car’s frame.

Refer to user instructions as many times as you need to or even search online for how-to videos. This way, you will end up with a perfect installation job.

Benefits of Running Boards

You get to enjoy many benefits when you choose to upgrade your vehicle with running boards. Some of those benefits include:

They Facilitate Easier Entry and Exit of your Car

Whether you own a truck or SUV, adding running boards to the mi makes getting into and out of your vehicle easier.

Running boards offer a lower step that boosts you into your car’s seat.

Protects your Car

If you are an off-roader or frequently drive through rough terrain, you will encounter rocks and other debris that may compromise your car’s paint job.

Running boards block such thus safeguarding your car from chipping.

Keeps your Interior Clean

As you step onto your running boards before getting into your car, they get to capture any dirt, mud, or ice that your shoes may be carrying.

This is because the steps come with an anti-slip grip that cleans the soles of your shoes and sort of traps anything on there.

That means that you get into the car with cleaner shoes.

Adds to the Aesthetic of your Car

Perhaps you want to resell your car or truck, or you simply want to give it an upgrade. Running boards can do that for you.

They transform the look of your vehicle to give an aggressive off-road look that adds to its value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maybe you have a question or two when it comes to the best running boards? We have tackled a few here to give you a clearer understanding.

Q: Are running boards worth it?

A: Yes, they are and they make a great addition to your car. Not just for the functionality but the aesthetic as well.

Q: How do I choose a running board?

A: You first have to consider the shape and size. What we mean is that the ideal running board should be wide and able to accommodate the weight that you intend to put on there.

Q: Do running boards prevent rust?

A: All running boards come with a recessed area that has a dip. That means they are strong and corrosion-resistant.

Our Top Pick

After analyzing all the products on this list, we have settled on the APS iBoard Running Boards as our top pick.

These boards feature a robust metal construction to ensure that you enjoy a long time of exceptional service.

Another thing is that they come with a low-profile design to guarantee that they do not present an obstacle whenever they are not in use.

However, what we loved most about them is that they are easy to install making them the perfect companion for beginners.

Conclusion

By now, it is evident that running boards will not only make your car look good, they also add to its functionality.

With this guide, we believe you are armed with all the information you need to make the right choice. Why don’t you go ahead and do that?

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