Whether you've been long eyeing rugged off-road trails or simply want to add a touch of style and functionality to your ride, one widely sought-after accessory can transform your truck. Those who are constantly looking for ways to take their pick-up to the next level already know – side steps or as they are more professionally called rock slider are not just for show. These accessories offer a range of benefits, from making it easier to climb into your cab to providing protection against road debris and impacts. Today, they come in a variety of styles and finishes, so you can personalize your truck to suit your tastes. In this comprehensive guide, we're diving deep into the world of side steps and will try to settle the long nerf bars vs. running boards debate. Ready? Let's get started!


Why Should I Invest in Quality Side Steps?

Essentially, side steps were designed to bridge the gap between the ground and your vehicle's cab, reducing the effort needed to get in. While most factory-height pickups, Jeeps, and SUVs don't require side steps, it's common for owners to make modifications. Even small changes like leveling kits and larger tires can increase ride height, making side steps a crucial addition. Equipped with wide, non-slip treads, they also provide traction in various weather conditions.For those who are often taking their ride off the beaten track, rock slider or side steps offer another critical advantage. They provide additional protection to the truck’s rocker panels against damages from debris such as branches, roots and rocks.  

But let’s face it – this is not just a safety or accessibility measure. With the proper adjustments, side steps can add some flare to your truck. They come in various styles and finishes, from sleek chrome to rugged black, enhancing your ride's overall look.

What are My Options?

Before we delve into the Nerf Bars Vs. Running Boards dilemma, there are many other considerations one should take into account when choosing side steps. Here are some points to consider.

Fixed-Position vs. Retractable (Electric) boards

Fixed-position side steps are the most common type, featuring solid steel brackets and alloy steps. These steps are designed to be both functional and visually appealing, often sporting chrome, polished, or black finishes.

On the other hand, retractable side steps retract into the vehicle when not in use, deploying when the doors are opened. They offer the practicality of side steps without compromising ground clearance or appearance. Naturally, they come with a higher price tags. On the other hand, they usually last longer.

Consider Your Length Preferences

Cab-length side steps extend to the full length of the cab, providing access from any position. They often feature full-length step pads or a tubular construction with ABS plastic step pads at each door. Wheel-to-wheel side steps stretch from behind the front tire to just before the rear tire, including the bedsides. They're ideal for those who regularly load and unload cargo from their pickup's bed.

Choose the Perfect Finish

Side steps come in various finishes, each offering a unique look and level of corrosion resistance.

  • Powder coating is highly durable and resistant to chips, abrasions, and UV exposure.
  • Painted finishes offer a uniform appearance but are not as durable as powder coating.
  • Polished finishes provide a lustrous, mirror-like appearance, enhancing the vehicle's aesthetics.
  • Chrome plating offers a high-shine finish with corrosion protection, ideal for all weather conditions.

When choosing side steps for your vehicle, consider your vehicle's use, climate, preferred styling, and of course, budget.

Nerf Bars Vs Running Boards – Which One is Better?

When it comes to enhancing the functionality and style of your pickup truck, nerf bars and running boards are two popular options to consider. While both accessories offer similar benefits, there are key differences between the two that can influence your decision.

What are Nerf Bars?

Nerf bars feature a classic tubular design that runs either at cab-length or from wheel to wheel. They are typically made of sturdy materials like carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, offering durability and strength. Nerf bars often include molded or composite step pads for enhanced grip, ensuring safe entry and exit from your truck, especially in wet or slippery conditions.

One of the main advantages nerf bars provide is their rugged appearance, perfect for those who look for that bad boy look. Nerf bars are available in various finishes, including polished, black powder coat, and chrome, allowing you to customize the look of your truck to match your style preferences.

What Are Running Boards?

Running boards are often wider and flatter than nerf bars and focus on accessibility and style. Being flat and sturdy, they usually offer a more stable platform for stepping in and out of the truck. Running boards are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel, providing strength and corrosion resistance.

One of the main advantages of running boards is their full-length design, which extends from the front to the rear fender, providing a continuous step for all doors. This design makes them ideal for families or passengers who may need assistance getting in and out of the truck. This means they will also offer some protection to your truck's rocker panels and doors against scratches and dings at full length.

So Who Wins in the Nerf Bars Vs. Running Boards debate?

As we can see, this choice is in many respects a matter of preference and lifestyle requirements. When considering the nerf bars vs. running boards aspect while purchasing side steps, consider your specific needs and preferences first. If you prioritize a rugged, off-road look and additional rocker panel protection, nerf bars may be the better option. However, if you value ease of access and a wider stepping surface, running boards may be more suitable.

Whether you're looking for added functionality, enhanced aesthetics, or improved protection, side steps are a versatile accessory that can enhance your driving experience. So, take your time, explore your options, and find the side steps that best suit your needs and style. We at Asfir, offer a wide variety of quality vehicle accessories customed for your preferences. To learn more about our range of products and make a quick and comfortable purchase, just contact us here.