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5 Tips to Pick the Right Running Boards for Your Truck

5 Tips to Pick the Right Running Boards for Your Truck

Running boards, also known as side steps or nerf bars, are a practical and stylish accessory for your truck. They provide an additional stepping surface for entering and exiting the vehicle, protect the sides of your truck from debris, and can even enhance its overall appearance. With a wide range of options available on the market, it can be a daunting task to choose the perfect running boards for your truck. To make your decision easier, we have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you pick the best running boards for your needs:

1. Determine Your Needs

Before diving into the plethora of running board options, you need to determine your specific needs. Are you looking for a basic, functional running board to make getting in and out of your truck easier? Or are you in search of a more stylish upgrade that complements your truck's appearance? Your primary purpose for installing running boards will help you narrow down your choices.

2. Choose the Material

Running boards are available in various materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common materials include:

  • Aluminum: Lightweight and rust-resistant, aluminum running boards are a popular choice for those who want a durable and low-maintenance option. They are available in various finishes, such as polished or powder-coated, to match your truck's appearance.
  • Steel: Known for their strength and durability, steel running boards are suitable for heavy-duty use. However, they are more susceptible to rust than aluminum and may require more maintenance.
  • Plastic or Composite: These running boards are lightweight and corrosion-resistant but may not be as durable as aluminum or steel options. They are suitable for light-duty use and are often more budget-friendly.

3. Select the Style

Running boards come in various styles, ranging from simple and functional to flashy and eye-catching. Some popular styles include:

  • Flat Running Boards: These provide a wide, flat stepping surface and offer a clean, minimalist look. They are suitable for those looking for a basic, functional option.
  • Tube or Nerf Bars: These feature a tubular design that adds a sporty, rugged appearance to your truck. They are available in various diameters, finishes, and materials to match your preferences.
  • Power or Retractable Running Boards: For those seeking a high-tech and sleek option, power running boards automatically extend when the doors open and retract when closed. They offer a clean look and additional ground clearance when not in use but can be more expensive than other options.

4. Consider the Installation Process

Some running boards require professional installation, while others come with simple bolt-on installation kits that you can do yourself. If you prefer a DIY installation, ensure that the running boards you choose are compatible with your truck's make and model and include all necessary hardware and instructions.

5. Compare Pricing and Warranty

Finally, running boards can range widely in price, depending on the material, style, and brand. Determine your budget and keep an eye out for deals or discounts to get the best value for your money. Additionally, consider the warranty offered by the manufacturer, as this can provide peace of mind and protect your investment in case of any defects or issues.


Selecting the perfect running boards for your truck involves considering your specific needs, preferences, and budget. By taking the time to research and compare different options, you can find the ideal running boards that enhance not only your truck's functionality but also its overall appearance. Happy shopping!

Car Cosmo is a proud provider of running boards and front grilles, offering what car owners need to modify their vehicles to their liking. If you are looking for the best running boards for lifted trucks and more, check out what we have to offer!