Climbing into your truck or large SUV can be a big step. It helps to have an extra step along the way to make things easier. Is that called a nerf bar or a running board? These two similar components may be hard to tell apart if you aren’t totally familiar with truck accessories. Below, learn what the difference is, and which is right for you.

Nerf Bars

Nerf bars are typically designed with a tubular design that is slightly depressed at each step. Additionally, they may have some grippy rubber to help people get traction while climbing in and out of your truck. However, some are designed with just drilled metal steps.

They are typically made from steel or aluminum. However, the material choice and design can vary significantly. Compared to running boards, nerf bars are relatively meaty.

In addition to acting as steps, nerf bars also protect your truck. The best nerf bars can keep branches, rocks and debris at bay. So, they are often popular among off-road enthusiasts.

However, the shape of nerf bars can make them a little more slippery in cold and/or wet weather. Be mindful of climbing on them if they could be slippery.

Running Boards

Running boards feature a flat, board-like design. Like nerf bars, they often include rubberized steps for extra grip. Custom running boards can look very sleek with the truck. Some are even designed to lift up and retract when the truck is in motion.

Typically, running boards are less effective at fending off branches and debris than nerf bars. However, they are also more effective as doormats for your truck or SUV. They are a great way to keep the dirt, snow and grime from the outdoors out of your vehicle.

Like nerf bards, running boards can be made from steel and aluminum. Plastic and fiberglass are also popular material choices. Finding the right material and finish will help you to get the look you want from your running boards.

Choosing the Right Option

Ultimately, for many people, the choice between nerf bars and running boards comes down to aesthetics. If you want to have a luxury truck or SUV that is perfect for cruising down the street with painted truck brakes and fancy LED lights, running boards are definitely the right choice.

If you want a truck that is ready for the trail and has a mean, durable look, then nerf bars are for you. In addition to looking more durable, nerf bars typically are stronger. Therefore, many people who put their trucks through the wringer prefer them. However, there is no denying that running boards have a more premium look. They can also be safer if you live in an area with rough weather.

Upgrade Your Truck Today

Whether you decide on nerf bars or running boards, upgrade your truck today. With this simple improvement, you can make getting in and out of your vehicle easier and safer. Before you buy, think about the look and functionality you are seeking for your truck. That will help you choose between nerf bars and running boards.