More popular than ever before, lifted trucks seem to be taking America’s roads by storm. We assure you, this isn’t just a temporary trend, but instead something that has slowly and steadily been building for decades. With more options open to you than ever before, you should know that some accessories can be used to complement your new lifted setup. Running boards, or nerf bars as they’re sometimes known, are some of the more popular options for lifted truck drivers.
That’s because they make it easier for you and your passengers to climb in and out of a lifted cab. While running boards may not be necessary on some smaller lift kits, you may find you need a set if you get up to a certain height.
At Ultimate Rides, we specialize in selling lifted trucks to customers all across the country. That means we also know a thing or two about accessories like running boards, which you can also get installed on your current or next vehicle right here.
Take a look below to find a list featuring some of our favorite running boards. See if you find a set that matches your style and needs, and feel free to pick them up for your truck!
1. AMP Research PowerStep Electric Running Boards
Specs: 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, 2009-2018 Dodge Ram 1500, 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500/3500, All Cabs
The first running boards we want to share come from AMP Research, a company that specializes in offering some of the best power-adjustable boards available today. While these power-adjustable running boards can certainly start to rise up in cost, many drivers feel that they are easily worth everything they offer. With this set, you’ll gain all the benefits of a high-quality running board pair, with the added bonus that they move right out of the way when not in operation.
With high-strength construction and the ability to support up to 600 lbs. on each side, you can’t go wrong with these PowerStep boards. As long as they’re the right fit for your Ram 1500 truck, you should feel confident picking up a set of these. Just make sure you can find someone trustworthy to install them for you!
2. Tyger Auto Textured Black Star Armor Kit
Specs: 2019-2022 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab (NOT Compatible with Ram Classic)
Next up comes the first of two recommendations on our list for a Tyger Auto product. This first set is known as their Star Armor style of side steps/running boards. It features a slick black design that emphasizes the “Star’ in its name. There’s no denying this is one of the best products open to customer purchase today, with Tyger Auto out-doing themselves in terms of style and capability. The running boards will certainly make it easier to get in and out, and at the same time can enhance the look and feel of your pickup truck. As long as you’re a fan of the style, and you drive a truck that fits, you can feel free to add these onto your current setup.
3. Tyger Auto Textured Black Blade Running Boards
Specs: 2019-2022 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab (NOT Compatible with Ram Classic)
This set, which once again comes from Tyger Auto, features some of the best running boards for Ram trucks. They offer a somewhat basic but still sleek look, perfect for those who don’t want anything too flashy. At the same time, it offers a flat set of running boards to help you and your passengers with entry and exit. While it doesn’t fit on the recent Classic models, you can expect these running boards to work on all other Crew Cab models of the Ram 1500 from the 2019 model year through 2022. They’re the most affordable option on our list while still maintaining the integrity you’d expect from quality running boards.
4. Rough Country HD2 Running Boards
Specs: 2009-2018 Ram Quad Cab
Rough Country has to be one of our favorite manufacturers of vehicle accessories, and that includes running boards. This set is designed specifically for Quad Cab models, providing you with a wide base to step onto as you climb in and out. The product features a lifetime warranty from Rough Country, which is always good to have. The boards will also do an excellent job of protecting the bottom of your doors from kicked-up rocks and other debris on the road. Overall, these are a strong choice for drivers to consider.
5. Mopar Matte Black OEM Running Boards
Specs: 2019-2020 Ram 1500 DT Crew Cab
Some drivers would rather stick with the official OEM accessories for their Ram 1500 truck. If so, we encourage you to check out these running boards from Mopar, the OEM supplier for these trucks. The OEM boards are more costly than most similar sets, so you’ll wind up paying a little more than you would otherwise. They are quite heavy-duty, though, so you won’t have to worry about them failing on you anytime soon. As long as you’re into the basic style that they offer, these running boards should serve you well for years to come on a Ram 1500 pickup truck.
Why You Should Buy the Best Running Boards
Because running boards aren’t exactly cheap accessories, some drivers feel a little hesitant to make the purchase. We’re here to tell you that these additions can have a major impact on your daily life. Think about how many times you get in and out of your vehicle each day. In a pickup truck or even many SUVs, this can become a bit of a difficult task. Running boards make it simple and safe to get in and out.
It may be possible to find a set of running boards under $100. If you’re lucky, you might even find a good set that looks pretty cool. However, we encourage you to do plenty of homework before making any purchase. Some budget running boards don’t stand up well over time, or may not support the amount of weight that you need. As with most things in life, the more you pay, the higher quality you can expect to find. If you want the best running boards, you’ll probably have to shell out some cash.
This is not a universal rule, though. It’s possible to find a budget set of running boards that works for you. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re buying before you add anything to your cart!
Running Boards Style Options
If you’ve spent any amount of time shopping around for running boards, you must have noticed that there are several unique styles for you to choose from. Let us briefly break down each one for you. When we’re through, hopefully you’ll know the advantages of each, helping you decide which style is right for your Ram 1500 truck.
Power-Assisted Running Boards
The most expensive and convenient running boards available, you’ll have to hook up your setup to your vehicle’s electrical system to get these to work. However, once you do, you’ll find a set of boards that deploy when you need them, and get out of the way when you don’t. Sure, they might cost a lot more than other styles, but there’s nothing else like them out there. If you have the room in your budget, these can be a great addition to any Ram 1500.
Standard Running Boards
The most common variety, these flat boards are named so because they can be found running along the side of the vehicle. They don’t retract like their power-assisted counterparts, but they’ll still offer a useful boost to get you inside and out of the cab. When running a set of these on your vehicle, take the time to find the size and style that suits you. There is a lot of variety within this category, with cheap options as well as expensive ones. You may find important differences in the construction, so be sure to shop around before making your final choice.
These are round or oval-shaped bars that attach in the same place as your typical running boards. The only noteworthy difference here is that instead of a flat pair of boards, you’ll have two long tubes to install, with padding on the top to act as a grip for your feet.
Last but not least we have side steps. This category is very similar to nerf bars and standard running boards with one major exception: they feature drop-down steps that make it even easier to get in and out of the Ram 1500 truck. However, they can take up more space, and some drivers find they detract from the look of their vehicle. It’s up to you to decide if they add enough utility to make up for that.
Finding the Running Boards for Your Needs
With all of these options available, how do you know which running boards are right for your situation? Thankfully, it mostly depends upon your own personal taste, and what you plan on using your Ram 1500 for. For instance, if you’re primarily the only one who’ll be in your truck, you won’t have to worry too much about accommodating passengers. That means you can just choose the set of running boards that you like best. Otherwise, you may want to consider who else will be using the vehicle. Find a set of running boards that offers the right level of boost. With a taller truck, for example, you may want a set of side steps that reaches down lower to the ground.
Once you know what style of running boards you want to buy, start thinking about the actual quality of the design and construction. You don’t want to spend a bunch of your hard-earned money on a running board set only for it to fail on you a few months down the line. Make sure to read customer and professional reviews for the product before you buy. That should help you determine the right set for your Ram 1500 pickup.