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truck running board

Step Up: The Hottest Pickup Truck Running Boards in 2019

You lifted your truck, and now you have to take a running leap to get into it. Sound familiar?

To solve this problem, you need to invest in pickup truck running boards. 

Read on to see what the deal is with running boards, and running board alternatives.  

Why Bother with Pickup Truck Running Boards?

Running boards, step bars, nerf bars, sport tubes, rock sliders…

There are quite a few names for basically the same piece of equipment. A running board (or step bar, or nerf bar, or sport tube, or rock slider) is a modification you can make to your truck that adds protection, style and, most importantly, functionality.

At its most simplistic, a running board is a step that is attached to the frame below the door. 

That said, the variations on a running board have some interesting differences. Here are the hottest options for 2019: 

Sport Tubes and Rock Sliders

Sport tubes are sometimes called rocker panel bars or rock sliders. These are most typically installed on a truck that you are looking to deck out with some cool modifications. They are a metal tube that is installed below the door. 

Typically made of chrome, a sport tube doesn’t add much to the ease of getting into the truck, but really amps up the style factor. In inclement weather, sport tubes can get pretty slick and difficult to step on. 

However, sports bars, like these Toyota Tacoma rock sliders, are perfect for rock crawling or other types of extreme off-roading. You don’t want to damage the bottom edge of your frame by slamming into rocks. A rock slider protects your ride from damage and saves on maintenance costs down the line. 

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Nerf Bars or Side Steps

Similar to the sport tube in that they are a metal tube attached below the door, a nerf bar offers a nice medium ground. It’s stylish but also functional as a step. You may sometimes hear a nerf bar referred to as a side step. 

Nerf bars can extend the length of the cab which, if you have a second set of doors, is a huge benefit. Below each door, the metal tube will be flattened out to form a step. This solid footing makes getting into and out of your truck much easier than using a sport tube. 

The step pad areas are usually designed to be slip-resistant. The treaded material keeps you steady in bad weather and can be used to scrape mud or snow off your boots before you hop into the cab. 

Running Boards

Running boards are the opposite end of the spectrum from a sports bar. They are extremely functional, but not the most stylish. 

Running boards are a rectangular step that is flat for the length of the board. Tread usually extends the entire length, instead of only in select spots like the nerf bar. This greater area of tread makes getting into and out of your truck easier. 

But it also means that snow and mud can accumulate on your running boards. If you live in an area where ice and mud are an issue, consider installing a retractable running board.  

Mod on My Friend!

Pickup truck running boards, and the many variations, are an affordable modification for your truck that makes it easier to get into and out of, protects your sides from damage, and looks cool. 

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Looking for other worthwhile mods to keep your truck on trend for 2019? Check out the rest of our posts for other great ideas.