AutomotiveExterior Accessories

The 9 Best Side Step Running Boards in 2020

Side step running boards are steps that you can install alongside your vehicle. They run along the bottom of both the driver and passenger doors, helping people get into your pickup truck or SUV who may otherwise struggle. In essence, they provide additional footing and an opportunity to leave more dirt outside the vehicle!

You can buy them in several shapes, size, and colors, as well as materials. They usually feature stainless-steel and anodized aluminum, but some even have polymer which is easy to clean and looks sharp. Every set of side step running boards is different, so you need to make sure the ones you choose are going to work with your vehicle. Focus on compatibility, price, installation, and quality.

Check out these nine options below. All of them are suitable for different SUVs and pickup trucks, with some being compatible with more than one vehicle brand. Once you find one that fits, compare the price to the quality and decide whether it ticks all the boxes. You can then confidently go ahead with the purchasing process, knowing you’ve done your due diligence.

9. MaxMate Custom Fit Oval Stainless Steel Side Step Running Boards

High-quality side step running boards can cost a fortune, so if you can find some at a fraction of the regular price tag, then it’s best to grab the opportunity with both hands. That’s what you get from MaxMate – high-quality side step running boards that last the distance but don’t cost the earth. They do have a few minor faults, but for the majority of buyers looking for the finishing touches on their 2009-18 Dodge Ram, they meet the mark.

They feature stainless steel with stainless-steel end caps, come as a set of two, and have rubber non-slip gripping and UV-resistant components as well. What’s more, when you buy them, you don’t have to do any drilling as all the mounting brackets and hardware come with it for an effortless installation process.

You also get two – one for each side and will find that they stand out and add a lot of style to your truck. If you don’t want to spend too much but still need side step running boards, these may be suitable for your needs.


  • Suitable for 2009-18 Dodge Ram
  • Stainless-steel
  • Nerf bars
  • Mounting brackets and hardware included
  • Two bars
  • Welded stainless-steel end caps
  • UV resistant
  • Non-slip
  • Drill-free


  • They are easy to install in minutes
  • They are robust and high quality
  • You won’t slip on them
  • They feature solid materials
  • Affordable price tag
  • They come with all the hardware you require for installation


  • The plastic parts can leak which means the side step running boards fill with water
  • The rubber peels off
  • They rust
  • The holes don’t line up for installation

8. Tyger Auto Star Armor Kit Running Boards

Many people like adding side step running boards to their truck, but don’t like them to stand out. Instead, they want them for functionality as opposed to style. While you could buy stainless-steel steps that contrast against your vehicle, it’s even better if they blend in. That’s why these side step running boards from Tyger are a firm favorite with many people.

Because they are black with textured powder coating, they are a convenient addition to your vehicle without being an eyesore. You can install the steps on a Dodge Ram between 2009 and 2019, and benefit from a premium product that doesn’t cost a lot of money but looks like it might.

It has Tyger’s patented star step pads for grip without rubber as an eyesore, and a dual girder system as well. What’s more, the black powder coating makes them resistant to rust for as long as you need it too.

The installation process is reasonably straightforward, with a simple bolt-on process for most vehicles. For a 2012 Dodge Ram, however, you may need to get your drill out and make a few modifications. However, knowing you get a five-year warranty and the benefit of a 500-pound weight capacity make sure you won’t mind the minor problems you will find with these side step running boards.


  • Suitable for 2009-19 Dodge Ram
  • Star step pads – patented
  • Dual girder system
  • 500-pound weight capacity
  • Two-inch tubes
  • Black powder coating
  • Bolt-on installation
  • Minor drilling for 2012 models
  • Five-year warranty


  • They are suitable for a broad range of Dodge Ram vehicles
  • They look sleek and stylish in black
  • Rust-free finish
  • They blend in
  • Generous warranty
  • Minimal installation effort


  • Not all the holes you require are pre-drilled
  • Poor instructions for installation
  • The powder coating is not thick

7. Tyger Auto Riser Side Step Nerf Bars

If you want your pickup truck or SUV to stand out from the crowd as you’re cruising down the highway, then it might be time to invest in these side step running boards from Tyger. Not only do they look smart and come with a competitive price tag, but you get to choose from stainless steel or black powder coating – whichever will suit your vehicle and tastes the best.

They are OE style and ideal for driver and passenger sides, and they are also rust-resistant and UV-resistant. As a result, you can have the confidence that they will last a long time. What’s more, they are suitable for a wide range of Chevy and GMC pickups. As long as your vehicle is a 2015-19 Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon Crew Cab, these side step running boards will suit your car perfectly.

When you get them, you will be pleasantly surprised by the installation process. They bolt right onto your vehicle with the included hardware. However, many people note the hardware is poor quality, so you may want to invest in more sound clips, locks, and bolts. Sealing the deal is the five-year warranty, covering you for any manufacturer faults.


  • Black or stainless-steel options
  • OE-style
  • Driver and passenger steps included
  • Suitable for 2015-19 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon Crew Cab
  • UV-resistant
  • Bolt-on installation process
  • Five-year warranty
  • Non-slip wide steps
  • Powder coating
  • Rust-resistant
  • Steel tubing


  • Sleek and stylish
  • Affordable
  • You can choose whether you want stainless steel or black
  • You get the driver and passenger side
  • Suitable for a wide range of Chevy and GMC vehicles
  • Effortless installation process
  • Non-slip
  • Long-lasting


  • Weak bolts, clips, and locks
  • They flex when you stand on them

6. APS iBoard Step Rail Running Boards

APS iBoard Step Rail Running Boards
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If you want to add the final touches to your pickup, purchasing side step running boards from APS may be the answer. Not only are they functional, providing an additional spot to put your feet as you get into your truck, but they look stunning as well. If you want your pickup truck to stand out from the crowd, these side step running boards can help.

You can choose from eight styles and lengths, depending on your requirements, and either stainless-steel trim or plain black. You also get a set of two that come with instructions for installation, brackets, and all the hardware you require.

These side step running boards are made to last, and they are becoming a firm favorite with pickup truck owners. Instead of plastic end caps, they are solid aluminum, and, instead of challenging installation processes with drills and other tools, it’s bolt-on only. It doesn’t get much better than that. For your Ram Dodge, these side step running boards could be a winner.


  • Eight styles and lengths
  • Set of two
  • Comes with hardware, brackets, and instructions
  • Rocker panel mount
  • Aluminum construction
  • End-to-end step pads
  • 300-pound weight capacity
  • Five-year warranty
  • Suitable for Dodge Rams


  • They look clean and sleek
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable price tag
  • Suitable for a range of Dodge Rams
  • You can check your vehicle’s compatibility when you buy them online
  • A full step to get more of your feet on them than other brands
  • You don’t have to do any drilling to install them


  • The flex when you stand on them
  • Poor quality control with parts welded in the wrong place
  • Weak mounting hardware

5. MaxMate Stainless Steel Side Step Rails

If you want a no-frills approach to side step running boards, then set your sights on this pair from MaxMate. Rather than spend a fortune on side step running boards that have fancy bells and whistles you don’t need, you can go for a more clean look for your pickup without compromising on quality or spending too much.

These side step running boards feature stainless-steel construction, are suitable for a GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado, and will be ideal for extended cab models. You receive two bars – a driver and passenger side, as well as all the instructions and hardware you require.

The instructions are a breeze to follow, resulting in the quick and effortless installation of three-inch steps that work a treat. You will even enjoy the bolt-on process without the need for a drill. Sealing the deal is the UV-resistant and non-slip pads. Everyone can feel safe and secure using these side step running boards from MaxMate.


  • Stainless-steel construction
  • Suitable for GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado
  • Three-inch steps
  • Ideal for extended cab models
  • Two bars for driver and passenger
  • Hardware and instructions included
  • Three-inch tubing
  • UV resistant and non-slip pads
  • Drill-free installation


  • Rugged construction
  • The strong non-slip rubber surface
  • Affordable to buy
  • Effortless to install
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Long-lasting
  • Won’t perish with long-term use


  • They can work their way loose
  • The welding isn’t perfect

4. Tyger Auto Quad Cab Side Step Running Boards

Putting side step running boards on your vehicle can be one of the best decisions you ever make – more so if they are from Tyger Auto. These side step running boards don’t cost the earth, but you sure do get bang for your buck.

You receive a driver and passenger bar, a five-year warranty, and all the hardware and instructions you require to install them. What’s more, you can leave your drill in the tool shed because they bolt on with minimal effort.

What consumers also like about these side step running boards is how well made they are. They feature anodized corrosion-proof aluminum, have beautiful silver trims, and are 76 inches long to be suitable for quad cab Dodge Rams. They also stand out thanks to their contrasting color schemes.

Some people found the installation process tricky because of the confusing instructions, but if you’re mechanically minded, it may not have been a problem. All in all, these side step running boards are suitable for any Dodge Ram owner looking to improve the image of their vehicle.


  • Driver and passenger side included
  • 76 inches
  • Five-year warranty
  • Corrosion-proof aluminum
  • 4.75-inch step area
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Silver trims
  • Drill-free installation
  • Mounting hardware and instructions included


  • Sleek design
  • Robust and built to last
  • Affordable price tag
  • Suitable for a range of vehicles
  • The contrasting color scheme looks striking
  • Effortless to install


  • The mounting brackets are too visible
  • The hardware is gold, so it stands out
  • The instructions are hard to follow

3. TAC SUV Aluminum Running Boards for Off Road Exterior Accessories

Getting in and out of a Honda Pilot SUV can be a challenge – especially if you have small legs – but it’s less so if you invest in side step running boards from TAC. Specifically made for a Honda Pilot SUV, you can rest assured it will be a perfect fit when you install them.

They are affordable, feature robust aluminum, and even come with a corrugated non-slip rubber pad as well. Therefore, you can step onto the 5.5-inch step with confidence that you can make it into your vehicle without slipping. These side step running boards also have polished stainless-steel edging instead of the more common plastic and have an effortless bolt-on installation process.

Some people find them hard to put on, but with a bit of know-how, it may not be as hard as you anticipate. Sealing the deal for the customer who’s on the fence is the five-year warranty. If you have any manufacturer processing problems, the manufacturer will deal with them promptly.


  • Suitable for a 2016-18 Honda Pilot SUV
  • Aluminum construction
  • 5.5-inch width
  • Corrugated rubber stepping pad
  • Polished stainless-steel edging
  • Slip-proof
  • Drill-free
  • Bolt-on installation process
  • Hardware and instructions included
  • Five-year warranty


  • Comfortable to use
  • Not difficult to install
  • Fits a Honda Pilot SUV perfectly
  • Robust and long-lasting
  • They handle wear and tear
  • Wide stepping area


  • The drill holes often don’t line up during installation
  • Takes a long time to install
  • The grippy step is more plastic than rubber which may get slippery when wet

2. Vanguard Off Road Side Step Aluminum Running Board

If you own an Acura MDX or Honda Pilot, you are in luck – some quality side step running boards are now available for you. It can be a challenge to find side step running boards that meet the mark for not only your style requirements but your vehicle’s needs too. Thankfully, Vanguard Off Road comes to the party with these sleek, stylish and safe side step running boards.

They feature robust aluminum, meet OEM quality standards, and come with all the mounting brackets, bolts, and nuts you require for installation. They are also heavy-duty at 20 pounds and have plenty of room for feet at around 73 inches long.

While the manufacturer recommends that you let an expert install these side step running boards, it’s not a necessity. You can request instructions and fit them yourself too, benefiting from a two-year manufacturer warranty for any processing faults.


  • Suitable for an Acura MDX and Honda Pilot
  • Aluminum construction
  • OEM quality
  • Mounting brackets, bolts, and nuts included
  • Metallic finish
  • 20 pounds
  • 73 inches long
  • Two-year warranty


  • Striking design
  • Generous warranty period
  • Comes with mounting hardware
  • Quality finish
  • Made of durable aluminum
  • Suitable for two vehicle makes


  • You have to request instructions if you want them
  • Professional installation recommended
  • Expensive price tag

1. Ionic Factory Style Running Boards Side Steps

If you don’t like the look and feel of metal side step running boards that can rust and look terrible, then you may wish to take a closer look at these side step running boards from Ionic Automotive.

Unlike most other options on the market, these have molded polymer as the step area instead of metal. While the framework is aluminum, it has an easy-care, easy-clean plastic top that will work in beautifully with your Sierra or Silverado.

That’s not all these side step running boards have going for them. They come with a rare lifetime warranty to protect you from any manufacturer faults, as well as more foot room than standard as well. How nice will it be to step up into your truck without having to be careful where you put your feet?

You will also notice how effortless the installation process is, especially with quality hardware you can trust and on which you can rely. Functional and stylish, these side step running boards will more than meet the mark for your requirements.


  • Crew cab and double cab options
  • Suitable for a Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Crew Cab Duramax
  • Six-inch step area
  • Molded polymer construction
  • Chip and crack-resistant
  • Aluminum frame
  • Set of two
  • Lifetime warranty


  • You get a generous lifetime warranty
  • Easy-care polymer
  • Robust aluminum framing
  • Blends in well with pickup truck bodywork
  • Wide for more foot room
  • They don’t rust or corrode
  • The polymer is well made
  • Effortless to install


  • Expensive price tag

Considerations for Purchasing Side Step Running Boards

Most pickup trucks and SUVs do not come with side step running boards. Instead, you have to pay for such accessories yourself as additional extras. While it might seem inconvenient, it gives you the option to choose the best side step running boards for your needs – the ones that suit your tastes the best.

However, to make sure the quality and style meet your expectations, in reality, you need to do your due diligence. Consider the following points to make sure you’re happy with your side step running boards once they arrive in the post.

  1. Compatibility

    Most pickup trucks and SUVs on the market differ substantially. Of course, they have similar body shapes, but their beginning and end points can vary, as can their mounting areas. Therefore, you need to make sure the side step running boards you have your eye on will work with your vehicle. Thankfully, most manufacturers provide an area to find out which ones will match your car. Fill in your vehicle type and year to save heartbreak later on if they don’t fit.

  2. Material

    To make sure your side step running boards last the distance, they need to feature rugged material. Unfortunately, this is where many manufacturers cut corners. Stainless-steel and anodized aluminum side step running boards should be at the top of your list. Alternatively, it should have such materials as a framework with polymer on top.

  3. Installation

    There are two possible installation processes. The first one involves a drill, a lot of head scratching, and frustration. The second is a simple bolt-on process. Where possible, go for that second option. However, pay attention to customer comments. Sometimes, people mention that bolt holes don’t line up or aren’t straight. Be ready with a drill on-hand if necessary.

  4. Width

    You might think that dimensions don’t matter, as long as the side step running boards are made for your vehicle, right? Wrong. The width of the steps differs from one manufacturer to the next. The narrower the step, the harder it is to make use of your side step running boards. You don’t want to go through an arduous installation process only to find they are practically useless, right? Choose steps that are at least four and a half to five inches wide.

  5. Price

    Fortunately, most side step running boards for sale are not expensive. You can typically pick them up for a few hundred dollars or less. However, be wary of the price tag and what it signifies. Line up a few potential options and compare the quality to the price. You will want a balance of competitive pricing and a premium product which may not seem possible but is!


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