Different Types of Running Boards Available For A Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 can accept a full range of running boards to enhance both functionality and style. These running boards are designed to provide easy access to the truck and come in various types, from short single steps to full-length running boards. Whether you’re looking for a convenient step or added protection, there is a running board option to suit your needs.

To help you navigate the different types of running boards available for the Ford F-150, I have compiled detailed information on each type. From the materials used to the benefits they offer, this guide will assist you in making an informed decision that best fits your preferences and lifestyle.

Running Board Types For Ford F-150:

  • Traditional Running Boards: These have a flat design. Most folks choose them for the easy step they offer.
  • Retractable Running Boards: These slide out when you open the door. A fancy pick for truck owners.
  • Tubular Running Boards: You can spot these from their tube-like shape. They are sturdy and great for muddy boots.
  • Nerf Bars: These are less wide but have a grip on top. A good mix of style and use.
  • Bar Side Steps: These are strong protective bars with steps at each door. Great rocker protection.
  • Side Steps: These are small steps at each door. Great for high trucks.
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Traditional Running Boards

Ford F-150 traditional running boards

Traditional running boards are the classic flat steps that sit along the side of your truck, from wheel to wheel. They’re wide and offer a larger step area, which makes getting in and out of your Ford F-150 a breeze. These boards are usually made of aluminum or steel and have a flat surface with a non-slip pattern to keep your feet firmly in place.

These running boards are designed to blend in with your truck’s natural lines, giving it a seamless look. They come in various styles and can be color-matched to your truck, providing a sleek, original-equipment appearance. Traditional running boards are a favorite for their durability and the stable support they offer, especially for kids and older passengers who need extra help climbing in.

Retractable Running Boards

Ford F-150 retractable running boards

Retractable running boards are like magic steps for your Ford F-150. When you open the truck door, these running boards slide out to help you get in and out. Then they tuck themselves back under the truck when you close the door. This keeps your truck looking smooth and sleek when the boards are not in use.

These running boards are fancy because they have motors to move them in and out. They come with sensors, so they know when to move. Plus, they’re good for all kinds of weather, because they don’t stay out to get covered in mud, snow, or rain. This type of board is perfect for folks who want the help of a running board without changing how their truck looks.

Tubular Running Boards

Ford F-150 tubular running boards

Tubular running boards for the Ford F-150 are like round stepping bars that you fix to the sides of your truck. They’re made from strong metal tubes that can be straight or a bit curved. These boards not only make it easier to get in and out of your truck, but they also add a cool, tough look to your F-150.

You can find them in different finishes, like black, chrome, or even polished stainless steel, so they match your truck’s style. Tubular running boards are practical because they are grippy, making them safe even when it’s wet. They’re also easy to bolt on to your truck, so you won’t have a hard time putting them on.

Nerf Bars

Ford F-150 nerf bars

Nerf bars are a type of side step for your Ford F-150 that look like sturdy tubes. They run underneath the doors and are smaller than the regular running boards. Nerf bars are named after the “nerfing” action in racing—where one racer bumps another to pass them. But on trucks, they help protect your vehicle’s sides from bumps and hits.

Nerf bars usually have a round or oval shape and come with built-in footpads where you step. These pads are often textured to stop your feet from sliding, even in wet weather. They can be made of different materials like stainless steel or aluminum and come in various finishes to match your truck. They’re a simple, rugged addition that looks cool and gives you a leg up into your ride.

Bar Side Steps

Ford F-150 running board types - bar side steps

Bar side steps for the Ford F-150 are strong, sturdy bars that go under your truck’s doors. They make it much easier to step up and into the truck, even if it’s lifted high. These side steps are usually made out of heavy-duty metal like steel, which makes them last a long time.

These steps come in a bunch of different styles and coatings. Some are black powder-coated to stop rust, while others are shiny stainless steel that looks really nice. They stick out a bit from the truck and have a flat area with a non-slip surface. This means you won’t slip off, even if your shoes are muddy or it’s raining.

Side Steps

Ford F-150 side steps

Side steps for trucks are a bit different from full running boards because they’re smaller. They attach right below each door and give you a step to help you climb into your Ford F-150. They’re great for people who just want a little step and don’t need the whole length of a running board.

These steps are made tough to handle heavy use. They come in different shapes like circles or squares and can be made of metal or plastic. The top part is usually made to keep your foot from slipping. Side steps are a smart choice for truck owners who want something simple that does the job without taking up much space.

How To Choose The Right Running Board Type For You

When picking the right running board for your truck, think about how you use your vehicle. If you often have kids or folks who need extra help getting in and out of your truck, traditional or full-length running boards are great. They give a big, steady area to step on. But, if you want a cleaner look and only need a step sometimes, retractable running boards might be the way to go.

Next, look at your truck’s style and how you want it to look. If you’re going for a tough, off-road look, nerf bars or rugged, heavy-duty running boards could be perfect. They’re strong and add to that off-road vibe. If your style is more sleek and you like things to look smooth, maybe try paintable running boards that match your truck’s color or some sleek stainless steel ones.

Lastly, think about the weather where you live and how you drive. If you see a lot of rain, snow, or mud, get running boards with a lot of grip and that are made from non-rust materials like aluminum or powder-coated steel. If you might bump into things, or if you drive on rough roads, look for heavy-duty running boards that can take some hits and keep looking good.



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