Nerf Bars & Running Boards
What's the difference?
Running boards are often flat, with a rectangular shape that have widths ranging from four to seven inches. Since running boards are custom made to fit a specific vehicle sizing can be different from product to product where some can exceed seven inches. Some styles of running board have rounded edges that give them a tubular look, but because the stepping area has a rectangular and flat construction they are considered side-step boards. Some advantages to running boards are that they are flat, allowing the entire board to be used as a stepping area, and they generally include longer and wider grip pads.
Nerf bars have an oval, round, or rung shape and can range from two to six inches in diameter. Oval nerf bars offer the largest diameter reaching up to six inches where round nerf bars offer the smallest diameter going down to two inches. The rung style includes steps that crop out from below the bar in a u-shape fashion. Since nerf bars are tubular, they typically only include stepping areas and grip pads at the points underneath the doors to allow for safe entry and exit. Some wheel-to-wheel nerf bars allow for bed access and include a stepping area and grip pad underneath the bed area as well. Some nerf bars do come down lower than running boards providing a slightly lower step that's easier to reach.