A step bar, also known as a nerf bar, side step or running board, is a bar or board that connects to the lower side of a vehicle providing a step to assist you with getting in and out of your vehicle. To some degree, step bars serve to protect the side of your vehicle from ground obstacles while off-roading along with adding a sleek, stylish look to almost any vehicle. There are multiple types of step bars to choose from, here is a guide to help you take a step in the right direction.


Step bars are offered in a couple of different material options including aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel, and Plastic. Some black textured finishes will change the appearance and give you more of a matte, satin or flat look, and some black finishes give you a gloss finish. Another popular finish option with step bars is a chrome or stainless-steel finish. These step bars are a little bit more expensive but do offer a more “luxury” look, especially if your truck has other chrome/stainless steel accents already. 

Durability is also an important aspect to consider when choosing the correct step bar for your vehicle. The material, mounting position, and build of the step bar is going to be the determining factor of strength and durability. A steel step bar is going to be more durable on impacts than that of an aluminum step bar and most running boards will not serve any means of protection for an off-road enthusiast. An aluminum step bar is going to be a lighter option and a better option if you are just using it strictly for assistance getting in and out of your vehicle. Most step bars are mounted onto the vehicle’s rocker panels using a no-drill application. If you are looking for more of a rock slider step bar to protect from off-road impacts and rubbing, frame mounted step bars or rock sliders are more likely a better option for you. 



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