Truck Side Steps & Running Boards: What Are The Differences?

Side steps and running boards may seem the same, but they have a few differences that you should take into account before choosing one of them. Both are multi-functional car parts that offer an easy way to step into your automobile, but they differ in design and shape.

Knowing the differences between Phoenix truck side steps and running boards can help you make the right decision depending on what you need. Continue reading to learn more.

Top-rated side steps in Phoenix, AZ

Why Are Truck Side Steps & Running Boards Necessary?

Trucks offer versatility, but they tend to be challenging when getting on and off, especially for people with disabilities. That’s when the side steps and running boards become necessary, as both facilitate getting in and out of the car.

They simplify getting in and off the car for people with disabilities and also for those who look for comfort.

What Are Side Steps?

Side steps, also known as sidebars or nerf bars, serve as a stepping surface for the car. Truck side steps are usually used on larger vehicles such as pick-up trucks and SUVs. However, you can find them in smaller cars too. But, in these cases, they are used more for aesthetic purposes than practicality.

Truck side steps are attached in a small space between the car’s step and the rest of its body. This space varies depending on the vehicle, the model, and your preferences when getting in and off.

Many people believe they are the same as running boards, but the difference is that Mesa truck side steps are much narrower. They provide an individual stepping pad in front of each vehicle’s door.

Truck side steps also run through the entire body of the car. But that’s not all, they also have the following features:

  • A cylindrical shape with a small width.
  • Step pads with a customizable position.
  • More space between the car body and the step.
  • They provide an effortless step for lifted cars, including pick-up trucks.

What Are Running Boards?

Running boards offer the same function as side steps: adding an extra stepping surface to the car. The difference is that running boards are much wider compared to truck side steps.

Running boards are attached closer to the body of the car, leaving a smaller gap in-between. They also offer a more comfortable stepping area in comparison to side steps.

Another difference between running boards and truck side steps is their appearance. Running boards have a rectangular, wide shape, while truck side steps have a narrow-shaped design.

You can find running boards in almost every vehicle, from pick-up trucks to smaller cars. They are not exclusive to small or big vehicles and similar to side steps, they can be used for aesthetic reasons too.

Unlike Chandler truck side steps, running boards give more ground balance, so they are great for loading items from the roof. Thanks to their uniform surface, they can be great for people with disabilities.

These are some of the unique features you can find with running boards:

  • Unlike side steps, running boards offer better ground clearance.
  • A single, full-length board across the sides.
  • A more rectangular shape.
  • You can mount them closer to the rocker panels.

Which One Should I Choose?

Although running boards and side steps offer the same function, they have a few stark differences that can influence your final decision. You have to analyze these differences to get the right one for your vehicle.

Do you need a side step to make your car more practical? Is it because you have a disability with your legs? Do you want to simplify getting in and off? Questions like these can help you decide the best option.

Where Can I Find Arizona Truck Side Steps & Running Boards?

Regardless of what you prefer for your vehicle, feel free to contact Truck Access Plus to receive high-quality items. With Truck Access Plus you can find many truck accessories, including truck bed covers, swing-out toolboxes, bed extenders, all styles of side steps, electric running boards, and more!

We have a wide catalog of steps in stock for all Chevy Silverado, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, and more truck models you can see on our website. We have many styles of steps available ranging from black to steel finish. Additionally, we ship our products nationwide!

You can contact us by phone or website to learn more about our services and products and thus improve the practicality of your car.


Truck Access Plus
2549 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Tel: 602-834-9354
Email: [email protected]