If you are looking for a new truck to purchase or have just bought yourself a new Ram 1500, there’s the probability that you’ll be considering looking for running boards for your new buy. Even though trucks are highly versatile, they can be challenging to get in and out of, especially for children and those with limited mobility. The good news is- there are a wide array of step options for your truck, from traditional running boards to sporty nerf bars and truck steps.

Here, we’ll examine each option to help you choose which one might be best for you.

Running boards

Running boards are flat, wide boards that run the length of your truck’s cab. They provide a wide and uniform stepping surface for the length of the board. Running boards meet the carriage of your truck, so that there is no major gap between the two. The uniform stepping surface combined with the shared line of the truck cab makes running boards a streamlined, integrated choice as a step. The wide surface makes it a stable and safe choice for those with limited mobility or shaky balance.

Nerf Bars

Nerf bars were intended to protect the sides and undercarriage of the truck from dirt encountered off the road. These bars are well known for toughness because of their sleek and sporty appearance. Nerf bars are often spaced away from the body of your truck cab, which distinguishes them visually from the truck cab.

Truck Steps

Truck steps are a great approach for people who just want a simple step into and out of their truck. If you get truck steps, you’ll need to be sure that both you and your passenger feel comfortable spotting these smaller steps, so you avoid a misstep and potential fall when leaving the truck.

Rather than running the length of the cab, side steps are a bit larger than the width of your foot, making for a compact stepping option that doesn’t greatly change the look of your truck. These steps may look similar to a metal rung, or they may look like a shortened running board. Even with this little step, there are lots of alternatives.

Regardless of which step option you choose, running boards, nerf bars, and sidesteps all have a wide range of options. You’ll need to consider if you’re interested in:

Chrome or black

Textured or rubberized

Additional features like a boot scraper

Cab length or wheel to wheel

Wheel-to-wheel running boards and nerf bars are ones that extend beyond the truck’s cab, from the front to back wheel. The big PROS of these steps is that they allow a stepping surface at the truck’s bed, which can be especially helpful if you’re not particularly tall, if your truck is lifted or if you need to access items within your toolbox easily.