View All Posts

Nerf Bar or Running Board - What Are Nerf Bars - What Are Side Steps

Difference Between Nerf Bars and Running Boards

Whether it's a Silverado, Ram, F150, or Toyota Tundra you are lucky enough to put into gear and lurch away in every morning, the “size and height” factors most definitely had something to do with your purchase! One of the reasons why so many buyers are in love with trucks is their large frame and towering figure. Having a trusty bed for hauling and what feels like a bird's eye view on the interstate or off-road are traits that truck lovers are drawn to, and both are qualities that bring the “monster” out of a truck. Today here on the blog we will find the differences between nerf bars or running boards, what are side steps, and the aide they all provide in stepping in and out.

What Are Nerf Bars?

Like many terms in the off-road realm, the nerf bar has its origins in the racing world. The term “nerf” is for when a racer (not so gently) bumps another one to make a successful pass. Since this became a pretty frequent occurrence, race cars began to be equipped with fixtures on either side of the car body that offered protection and kept tires from rubbing against each other, which can result in a fatal flip or spin-out. While you are looking at aftermarket parts to get the truck or SUV ready for the dirt and rocks, they also can serve the purpose of providing a lowered step to make getting in and out easier and is constructed of materials such as aluminum and slip-resistant rubber.

What Are Running Boards?

Running boards have a flat profile and are added on for the purpose of providing a step for people who are getting in and out of the cab. They run along the side of the cabin just below the doors, and some of the well-built models we love right here at the Bumper Superstore have boards that are motorized and stow away ideally while not being used. Depending on which specific design you have, you may need additional mounting hardware, heavy-duty rubber coating, and drop steps.

What do Nerf Bars and Running Boards Have in Common?

Nerf bars or running board parts both add a nice visual touch to your truck, while allowing you an easier means of hopping off after a long day's work or powering up abandoned fire roads in a proper frenzy! One of the biggest things the two share in common is their available lengths: they both come in wheel-to-wheel and cab-length. Cab-length nerf bars and running boards span the entire length of the passenger cabin, and can be a perfect fit for full-size SUVs. Wheel-to-wheel nerf bars and running boards extend up further beyond the passenger cab and also allow you to easily get to the bed and upper roof racks.

What is the Difference Between Nerf Bars or Running Boards?

Running boards such as these AMP Research 75101-01A Powerstep Electric Running Board for Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab are a flat step that runs the length of the cab and can retract out of sight when the doors close to give you more valuable clearance on the trail.

Nerf bars fulfill the same function as running boards but have a rounder shape. They are usually constructed from carbon steel, and some manufacturers offer bars with hoop steps to offer you a clear path to the ground.

We carry these awesome Westin 21-22770 Pro Traxx 4 Oval Nerf Step Bars for Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 2005 – 2020, featuring no-drill installation and fully-welded domed end caps on nerf bars for one of America's most capable off-road beasts. These are ideal for the truck owner who has made their final decision between the two and is ready to sidestep their way down in style!

Check out this guide while you are deciding which of these two options is perfect for your truck, and enjoy your new addition once you order. We offer competitive prices on the best in gear to get your truck dressed up just the way you want, and always provide industry-leading bumpers here on our website!