It can be tough to climb in and out of a large truck or SUV without running boards, especially if you’re not very tall or are of an older age.
Fortunately, there are a variety of aftermarket running boards available nowadays. These will not only offer you a boost inside your car, but they will also improve the external look and protect your vehicle’s side from scratches and dents.
Many trucks and bigger cars have pre-installed mounting locations for aftermarket running boards. That means you won’t have to make any modifications to your vehicle to install them – simply screw them on and go.
Aftermarket running boards will not violate your vehicle’s warranty. Still, it’s always a good idea to double-check with the manufacturer first.
Suppose you buy a set of aftermarket running boards online. In that case, you can simply install them yourself, eliminating the need to drive your car to a shop – even if you have minimal expertise.
Side steps and cab length running boards are the two types of running boards. A side step is a step that connects to the back of your vehicle immediately behind the rear tire well, allowing you to reach into the bed more easily.
A cab length running board, on the other hand, runs the length of your truck’s cab and makes entering the cab a little simpler. Nerf bars, which span the size of your truck’s cab and have integrated stairs, are also available.
In our guide to the Best 4Runner running boards, we’ll go through some of the top running boards on the market right now, for Toyota 4Runners, before answering some of the most often asked questions about truck side steps and running boards.
The running boards on this list were chosen based on their durability, and versatility. We all know it’s the worst when you constantly have your off-roading gear on your vehicle and get about 10 miles to the gallon! These choices will be able to do some serious off-roading while not saying your car down too much! On with the list!
APS iBoard Running Boards
The APS iBoard Running Boards come in chrome or a powder-coated matte black finish, as well as a variety of lengths and diameters, giving you lots of options.
For a 5-inch pair of running boards for extended cab trucks, this product costs around $200, making it cheaper than many running boards on the market today but more expensive than confident budget choices.
The iBoard running boards are also made entirely of metal, making them highly robust. They have a low-profile design that keeps them out of the way when not in use.
The contemporary appearance, slim construction, and easy installation appeal to buyers of these running boards. According to common complaints, the panels are readily scratched, and the brackets and screws are visible after the boards are mounted.
Easy to install, affordable, lightweight
Scratch easily on trails, hardware may be cheaper than other options
TAC Side Steps
TAC Side Steps are a low-cost pair of running boards that come in various diameters and fit a wide range of vehicle applications.
They come in a variety of colors and include rubberized step portions for extra traction. They readily attach to your truck’s existing running board mounting points and, if installed correctly, will prove to be quite durable.
These running boards, according to TAC, are manufactured to a high level and come with a 3-year warranty against manufacturing faults.
Some customers have complained that the instructions supplied with these running boards are a little vague and difficult to comprehend, so if you plan on installing them yourself, you may need to seek online for further information.
Budget-friendly option, lightweight
Reviews think it can be hard to install
Westin Brite Aluminum Step Board
This next option is unique because it’s not just a 4 Runner option. The Westin Brite Aluminum Step Board is one of a kind in that it can be used everywhere.
This device is “universal” in that it is available in several lengths, guaranteeing that it will suit your vehicle regardless of whether it is a regular cab, double cab, crew cab, long box, short box, or diesel. However, there is one drawback: you must purchase the vehicle-specific mounting brackets separately.
These running boards have a simple straight-step design that won’t detract from the appearance of your truck or SUV. They come in various finishes, including bright, brushed, and black, and include slip-resistant rubber steps.
Westin also sells a light kit for the running boards, which allows you to add brilliant LED lights to them for a unique look.
They are difficult to install and aren’t as broad as other steps are two common complaints about these running boards. They are, however, available for a wide range of car makes and models and are pretty durable once fitted.
Affordable, clean design
Have to buy hardware separately, not really made for off-roading
Tyger Auto Star Armor Kit
The Tyger Auto Star Armor kit is a unique-looking nerf bar that is available for a variety of cars, including the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Titan XD, Nissan Frontier, and more.
This nerf bar has a rugged appearance, with a powder-coated matte black finish and star symbols as well as the ‘Tyger’ emblem carved into it. It will easily bolt onto your truck or SUV’s existing running board attachment points and can carry up to 500 pounds.
The running boards are composed of two-inch heavy-duty metal and are one-piece construction.
The weight of these running boards is one disadvantage. Because of their weight, they are difficult to install by one person. We recommend enlisting the assistance of a buddy to install this somewhat bulky item.
There’s no excuse not to buy the Tyger Auto Star Armor Kit if you want a full and nerf-bar-type running board with a unique design for your truck or SUV.
Durable, tough to beat up
Ionic Stainless Steel Curved Nerf Bars
The stainless steel curved nerf-bar running boards from Ionic offer a classic appearance that will go with any vehicle or SUV.
These nerf bars have a 5-inch circle and cutout step pads with grips to keep your shoes (or work boots!) from sliding off.
The stainless steel running boards have a 350-pound weight capacity. They also come with all of the gear you’ll need to secure them to your truck or SUV’s mounting zones.
These running boards are reasonably priced and are backed by a limited lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects. The mounting brackets are one disadvantage of this product; some customers prefer to install their running boards with bolts rather than frames.
Classic look, stainless steel (hard to scratch)
Installation is complicated based on reviews
Tyger Auto Riser Running Boards
The Tyger Auto Riser running boards/nerf bars are thinner and lighter than the Tyger Auto Star Armor Kit and more traditional.
These running boards come in bright chrome and black finishes and offer a clean original factory look. They have a diameter of four inches and non-slip step pads with UV-resistant black grips. Tyger also offers a no-hassle lifetime guarantee, so you can quickly replace these running boards if they don’t last.
Although some purchasers experienced difficulties with the hardware provided and stated the directions were a bit difficult to follow, these running boards are reasonably simple to install, just bolting onto your car. However, as long as the bars are correctly placed, they should stay robust when in use.
Stylish, robust, sleek
Narrow to step on, hard to install
Lund Oval Curved Nerf Bars
Lund’s oval curved Nerf bars come in two sizes: four and five inches in diameter.
These steel bars are corrosion-resistant and include non-slip step pads. They are powder coated in a black finish. They have a 350-pound weight capacity and come pre-assembled (no two-piece construction here) with all mounting hardware.
Users have given this product positive reviews. However, they claim the supplied mounting clips are a little flimsy. They are, however, simple to install and affordable, costing just over $150 for the four-inch type.
Multiple sizes, affordable
Hardware isn’t the best quality
Westin Black Pro Traxx Oval Step Bar
Westin’s oval step bars are available in four, and five-inch diameters and are suitable for various cars.
There are no-slip step pads on these stairs, and they come with all of the required mounting hardware. They have a hidden rounded shape that won’t detract from your car’s appearance, especially in black, and are reasonably priced.
This product should also be simple to put together. One disadvantage is that the three support bars that connect the bar to your car might flex if you are really hefty.
Awesome look, affordable
Weak bars, not versatile
Bully Black Aluminum Side Steps
These black metal side steps from Bully are not precisely a running board or nerf bar, but they are meant to make reaching your truck’s cab simpler.
These side stairs go where the running boards would typically go on your vehicle. They have a non-grip surface and a corrosion-resistant black powder-coated finish and are universally suitable for most cars and SUVs. They come in sets of four or two and are rated at 350 pounds per step.
These provide a rough look to your vehicle but aren’t as well-integrated as traditional running boards or nerf bars.
We also advise against purchasing them if you plan to use your vehicle off-road, as they significantly reduce ground clearance. Depending on the make and type of your car, you may need to drill holes in it to install them.
These side steps are not as user-friendly as regular running boards, but they are less costly.
Tough look, solid and rugged
Drill needed for install, lessens ground clearance
Westin HDX Drop Step
The Westin HDX drop step is unusual, combining a rugged nerf-bar-like appearance with a traditional running board to produce a product that may give your truck or SUV an aggressive appeal.
These running boards are made of die-stamped steel and have a one-piece structure, making them sturdy and long-lasting. A mounting kit is also included with the purchase.
While the powder coating on these running boards appears to be durable, several customers claim that it began to peel after only a short time. The installation instructions are also a little hazy and confusing, so you might want to enlist the help of a buddy to get them installed – it might be a lengthy procedure.
Heavy-duty, strong, rugged
Hard to install, heavy
Tyger Auto 4-Inch Nerf Bar Running Boards
A high-rated running board with an OEM-like feel at a fraction of the price. Tyger Auto’s 4-Inch riser running board is another high-quality product.
It’s made out of two distinct materials. A heavy-duty steel tube with UV-resistant cushioning is one model. The other is a black powder-coated heavy-duty mild steel tube. Bolts right into pre-existing holes on your vehicle’s rocker panels, making installation simple.
They include a 4-inch broad pad that is ideal for getting in and out of the car. It has a developed triangular design that extends the life of the product.
Due to a three-step procedure, it is long-lasting. They are first pre-treated, then given an E – Coat, and lastly, a dual-stage powder coat.
To continue to develop throughout their lives. In the unlikely event that you have a problem, Tyger Auto offers a hassle-free lifetime guarantee.
Long-lasting, durable, lightweight
Expensive because of the Tyger brand!
AMP Research PowerStep Running Board
AMP Research has developed a high-end running board that connects to your car’s OBD-II port. They gain power and the ability to expand and retract as a result of this.
AMP-powered running boards pop up whenever you open your door. The stairs then retract when the door is closed, folding away to the side.
They are of excellent quality and have a stylish appearance that will catch other drivers of a surprise.
These motorized running boards can withstand up to 600 pounds of weight without flexing.
The AMP Research PowerStep running boards are high-quality and an excellent option for truck enthusiasts who are willing to pay a little more for the electrical features.
High quality, interact with the door, stylish
Question: How Much Weight Can They Hold?
Answer: Most running boards are rated for 350 to 400 pounds. However, this varies by model. A running board’s maximum weight capacity will most likely be about 500 pounds. You won’t need them to be any more substantial than this because they’ll simply be carrying your body weight.
Question: What Are Running Boards Made From?
Answer: The most frequent material for running boards is steel. They are usually constructed of stainless steel, but some are made of cold-rolled steel as well. Some running boards have rubber grips in the areas where passengers’ feet could rest, and rubber or plastic end covers to keep water from collecting within.
Powder coating, generally in a black hue, is used on specific running boards to assist corrosion.
Question: What Are Nerf Bars and Running Boards For?
Answer: Nerf bars and running boards simply make it easier to get into and out of a high-riding car.
While most running boards are installed on tall cars like full-size trucks and SUVs, shorter persons or those with a restricted range of motion may put them on crossovers and compact trucks since they may still have difficulty getting into these vehicles.
Aftermarket running boards are also popular among truck and SUV owners because they offer their vehicles a more rigid, more rugged appearance. As a result, many running boards are designed to improve the appearance of a truck or SUV’s exterior and are available in various finishes, including chrome, black, and brushed metal.
Question: Will Installing Running Boards Void my Vehicle’s Warranty?
Answer: No, it’s unlikely. Although it’s always a good idea to double-check with your dealer beforehand, aftermarket running boards won’t violate your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. Whether you’re concerned about this, check to see if your vehicle’s manufacturer sells a factory running board rather than an aftermarket one from a third-party manufacturer.
Question: How Do I Install Running Boards?
Answer: Installing running boards is typically a straightforward task. Still, you may want to enlist the assistance of a buddy if your running boards are cumbersome.
Many aftermarket running boards, nerf bars, and side steps will provide installation instructions. Many cars have factory-drilled mounting holes in the frame for attaching running boards, so all you have to do is install them and secure them using the hardware that came with them.
If the holes in your car aren’t pre-drilled, you’ll have to drill them yourself. If the holes aren’t pre-drilled, we recommend hiring a specialist to install them since you don’t want to risk damaging your vehicle’s frame.
In a nutshell, follow the directions that came with your running boards to install them.
Question: What Types of Running Boards Are There?
Answer: Running boards, nerf bars, and side steps are the three forms of aftermarket automobile steps.
A running board is a fully flat step that installs beneath the doors on the side of a vehicle or SUV.
On the other hand, a nerf bar attaches to the side of a truck or SUV behind the doors and has cutouts for the passengers’ feet.
These portions generally include rubber grips or a textured surface to provide additional traction when entering and exiting the vehicle.
A side step is a small, single step that functions similarly to a running board. These can be mounted below the passenger doors on the side of a truck or SUV or behind the rear axle on a car to aid in vehicle usage.
Conclusion: Which Are the Best 4Runner Running Boards?
Running boards are fantastic. Not only do they add a significant rugged or sleek look to your vehicle, but they’re also functional. I know some of you short people have a hard time getting in and out of your 4 Runner… Don’t be sad though, that’s what these running boards are for!
While there are many choices, each built for different people, I recommend the nerf bars if you’re bringing your 4 Runner off-roading. Specifically, the Tyger Auto Star Armor Kit, which is the most expensive, is the best set of nerf bars for your vehicle. They will protect your car from anything the ground will throw at it.
For those looking for an APS iBoard, Running Boards are the choice! There are more aimed at modern-day use but can be taken into off-road scenarios as well! I will say I recommend everything on this list! Even if you’re looking for a low budget, go with the TAC Side Steps!