If you are looking to add some style and increased functionality for your Chevy truck, running boards are a great option to look into. This article looks at the best running boards for Chevy Silverado drivers.
A running board (or Nerf Bar) can be a useful step up into a tall vehicle but it can also help protect your vehicle’s body. The right running board can protect your vehicle from gravel being shot up from your tires or if you are into driving 4×4 trails, they can protect the main body of the car when climbing rocky trails.
Alternatively, you may have raised your truck using a leveling kit and now require a step-up or you are simply looking for a stylish upgrade to boost the impact and appeal of your vehicle. Whatever the case, this list will have what you need.
We’ve covered a whole range of options to suit your needs that will fit your Chevy Silverado so you don’t have to waste time searching for yourself.
We’ve chosen the products in this list based on their durability, materials, aesthetic appeal, and brand reputability so you know you are not getting a trash product that will not last. Finding the right balance between design and resilience is key.
Best Running Boards for Silverado – Overview
The table below outlines all of the best products available so you can dive in immediately into what you like. If you read further you will get into our detailed reviews of each product, including important features that make each one stand out.
For now, you can take a quick look here:
|AMP Research Plug N’ Play Electric Running Board – Double and Crew Cab||2014-2018 Silverado 1500, 2015-2019 Silverado 2500/3500|
|APS iBoard 6″ Running Board for Chevy Silverado||2007-2018 Chevy Silverado & 2019 2500 HD/3500 HD|
|Tyger Auto Nerf Bar/Running Board for Double cab||2007-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 & 2007-2019 2500/3500HD|
|APS iBoard Black 5-Inches Crew Cab Running Board||2007-2018 Chevy Silverado & 2019 2500 HD/3500 HD|
|Tyger Auto Riser 4-Inches Crew Cab Running Board||2007-2018 Chevy Silverado & 2019 2500 HD/3500 HD|
|APS iBoard 5” Matte Side Bar for Chevrolet for double and extended cab||2007-2018 Chevy Silverado & 2019 2500/3500 HD|
|MaxMate Custom Fit Rail Nerf Bars for Double/Extended Cabs||1999-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500/2500LD, 01-19 Chevy Silverado 2500/3500HD|
|Auto Dynasty Crew Cab 5-Inches Oval Running Board||Silverado 1500/2500/3500 – 1999-2014|
|TAC Super Fit Side Steps Running Board||Chevy Silverado 1999-2018 1500 & 1999-2019 2500/3500|
|oEDRo 4” Heavy-duty Chevrolet Nerf Bars for Crew Cab||2007-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 & 2007-2019 2500/3500HD|
Best Nerf Bars and Running Boards for Silverado – Detailed Reviews
Some of the best running boards for a Silverado 1500 you will get in the market include:
1. AMP Research Plug N’ Play Electric Running Board – Double and Crew Cab
This running board is an electric running board that automatically extends whenever you open the door of your vehicle. Otherwise, it tucks underneath your vehicle, remaining out of sight. If you would like to see it in action check this video, it is quite something to behold!
The running board was developed, engineered, and created in America. Furthermore, it has been tested and proven to be reliable and durable (and when you look at the materials there is no wonder).
This nerf board can handle the harshest of driving conditions like snow, dirt, mud, and dust and its design provides your truck with greater ground clearance and aerodynamics.
This nerf bar has been made using aircraft quality aluminum with a black anodized and PTFE finish which combined provide a highly durable product. Its hinge points and its bearing are made with stainless steel so overall, the materials used for this product are of high quality. Additionally, the AMP running board makes use of an OEM quality electric motor as well as a wiring harness.
Keep in mind that the installation of this particular running board will be a lot more complicated than the rest due to the electric component. You will have to manually connect everything so you will need some technical ability as well as the right tools for the job.
Additionally, you can make installation quicker and easier with an AMP ”Pass thru’ harness (also, their override switch is a useful purchase). Regardless, if you are handy and skilled, this will be an appealing upgrade for your Silverado.
Check out the installation guide to see if you have what it takes.
- Makes use of a LED light system
- Handles any weather conditions
- Electric and automatic
- Aircraft quality aluminum
2. APS iBoard 6″ Running Board for Chevy Silverado
The first thing to note is that the APS iBoard products are all inspired by the art of simplicity. Their designs are simple and elegant and they have found that perfect balance between design and utility.
The team at APS believes in purposeful design and this mentality has led to the creation of a patented edge-to-edge (no plastic caps like some other brands use) aluminum running board that is not only amazing to look at but is robust as well.
There are a bunch of different sizes and colors to choose from and there is also a ‘running board style’ option so you are spoiled for choice.
From a materials perspective, you get a combination of stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum so you should not have any problems with longevity. It is both strong and lightweight!
- Simple ‘DIY’ installation – Check this video to see a full installation.
- Different finish options including an all-black finish
- Different size and styles are available
- Slip-proof design
- No plastic whatsoever!
3. Tyger Auto Nerf Bar/Running Board for Double Cab
Tyger Auto is not just a popular brand, it is also multi-national and has warehouses that are situated in California, USA. It was established by both United States and Canadian professionals in the after-market auto parts business.
The team at Tyger Auto understands what automotive enthusiasts desire for their vehicles so they have created their running boards from the perspective of their buyers.
Their running boards are made from mild steel that has been treated with a powder coat so overall you get good rust and UV resistance which will lengthen the life of your side steps! They claim to match or exceed the quality of OEM manufacturers and they include every bit of hardware you need to fit it to whatever year Silverado you have.
It is worthwhile to note that this running board only fits double cabs and extended cabs.
If you are looking for something to provide superior protection when offroading, Tyger also has some really solid rocker bars at this link.
- Easy installation (simply bolt on)
- UV and rust-resistant
- 5 year warranty
4. APS iBoard Black 5-Inches Crew Cab Running Board
We have established how good this brand at delivering simplicity and elegance in one highly functional product and this is another great running board they produce.
This version is similar when it comes to the aircraft aluminum construct and design but it differs in color, size, and finish. This version includes a black powder coat and in a lot of ways looks better than the standard stainless steel version. It is also more narrow at 5 inches.
Otherwise, you get the same great product but designed for a crew cab with a different visual appeal!
- Easy installtion which requires no drilling
- Black powder coat
- Non-slip tread
5. Tyger Auto Riser 4-Inches Crew Cab Running Board
This is another Tyger Auto running board but made for a crew cab.
So, to keep this brief you get the benefits of this brand in terms of their reliability, material construction, and design with users in mind. The major difference is that it will fit your crew cab.
- Easy installation (simply bolt on)
- UV and rust-resistant
- 5 year warranty
6. APS iBoard 5” Matte Side Bar for Chevrolet Double and Extended Cab
By now you know how we feel about the APS board range. This is a great product from a material and design perspective. This version fits your double and extended cabs.
The one thing we will add for your benefit, which applies to the other boards we recommend, is that you get a quality assured product that has been rigorously tested using the following methods:
- Salt spray test – to test for corrosion resistance
- A load stress test – to assess the weight capacity
- ACC weathering test – a test to determine resistant to UV rays
- The rubber friction coefficient test – this test the rubber to determine the efficacy of the anti-slip rubber
This running board successfully passed every one of the tests so rest assured of the quality they uphold.
- Simple ‘DIY’ installation
- Different finish options
- Slip-proof design
- No plastic whatsoever!
- 300 LBS load capacity
7. MaxMate Custom Fit Nerf Bars for Double/Extended Cabs
This is a more wallet-friendly option but it does not lack in terms of style and material quality.
It is made from heavy-duty stainless steel that has been polished enough to see your own reflection and includes anti-slip pads for the front doors and the back passenger doors.
Again, installation is a breeze without any drilling required. If you are looking for a good solution that does not break the bank, this is a good fit.
If you do not like the super-polished stainless steel aesthetic you can have a look at their premium range which is all black.
- Easy No-drill installation
- Heavy-duty stainless steel construction
- Slip-proof pads
- Affordable price range
8. Auto Dynasty Crew Cab 5-Inches Oval Running Board
Another good option is Auto Dynasty’s oval-tubed running board. It is a unique design compared to the rest and may be just the style you are looking for.
This product is constructed from stainless steel tubing with a polished chrome exterior. Again, this will be an easy installation with all the mounts and bolts included. The installation instructions may be a bit confusing to interpret but the product itself is of good quality and if we judge based on weight capacity this product is a monster with a 500 lbs capacity.
This is a good option but doesn’t make the top of our list because we cannot speak to the longevity of the chrome exterior. If this is a concern, you can also opt for their black powder-coated variation (which is our preference anyway)
- Stainless steel tubing which is resistant to rust
- Slip proof pads
- 500 LBS weight limit
- No drilling required for installation
9. TAC Super Fit Side Steps Running Board
The TAC accessories company is a popular North American supplier of after-market car and truck accessories and they are known to be built with high-quality materials. They have been operating for more than twenty years and the team is highly professional.
The company specializes in front protection systems, roof cargo management, and sidestep systems so you know they are creating products within their skillset. This side step is three inches in width and has a really sleek black powder-coated finish.
This is a popular and affordable sidestep that is worth your consideration.
- Easy bolt-on installation
- Powder coated mild-steel tubing
- UV resistant slip-proof pads
10. oEDRo 4” Heavy-duty Chevrolet Nerf Bars for Crew Cab
The oEDRo running board is a four-inch side step for your Chevy truck which is durable and looks good! The design is sleek and rugged and they have used a laser cut design for the steps which really adds to the aesthetic appeal.
When it comes to materials, they are not skimping. Starting with carbon steel, they add a powder coat for the finish and then they coat the inside and out with an ‘Electro-galvanized’ coating. They boast that this coating will never rust.
The major downside with this product is that it includes plastic end caps which is why is not higher on the list but if you can look past this, the design really has something going for it!
- Heavy-duty steel tubing
- Special ‘Electro-galvanized’ will never rust
- Easy installation
How to Choose the right Running Boards
You may be wondering how you should go about choosing the right running board for you. We will cover some good buying considerations but before that, this video may help you as well:
Below of some aspects you’ll want to consider when buying a new running board. They may also help you decide which running board suits you and your needs!
This graphic will give you a quick overview before we dive into the specifics:
So, as you can tell from our list above, most running boards are made from either aluminum or some type of steel. Both of these materials have advantages and disadvantages and not all steel is made equal. Some of the benefits and considerations of each are below.
Aluminum is great because it is lightweight and resistant to rust. You do not need to paint or treat aluminum as you would treat steel in order to get weather resistance.
On the other hand, aluminum is a weaker material which is the tradeoff for its weight.
Steel is a much heavier and sturdier material than aluminum but it needs to be treated and coated properly so that it effectively resists the elements and does not rust. If you require a really sturdy running board for off-road use, steel is going to be best suited over aluminum.
Also, keep in mind that extra weight on your vehicle can potentially increase fuel consumption. Furthermore, if you go with steel, make sure it is treated and coated properly.
Don’t forget about the steps that are placed on top of the aluminum or steel bars. Sometimes, they are made from the same material but often they are made with some sort of rubber.
Unfortunately, rubber does not last as long as steel or aluminum but it is softer and may be more pleasant to step up on. Cheaper rubber will also get brittle or start falling apart over time so if you go with a running board with rubber you may want to choose a more upmarket product to ensure higher quality materials.
Coating & Finish
Generally speaking, the most common coating used for running boards are as follows:
- Powder coats
- PTFE – teflon coats
What you are looking for in a coating is its resistance to harsh weather conditions, corrosion and UV as well as its longevity and robustness. Everything wears over time and the exterior coat is meant to prolong the life of your product.
There are various pros and cons to each material in terms of cost and durability but most of the above materials do a good job. Thus, it may be better, or easier at least, to use aesthetics to decide…
For example, if you are looking for something shiny go with chrome and if a more matte appearance is more your speed, go with a powder coat.
However, you may also want to consider upkeep or maintenance. The downside to chrome is that it smudges easily and may require more attention to keep it glossy! You can use this link to get further insight into the difference between the two.
Size of the Board
So, in terms of length, you simply need to make sure that the running board is designed for your Chevy Silverado cab type. Make sure to choose between the Crew cab options and the double/extended cab options based on your own vehicle. This is very important as you can imagine.
When it comes to the width of your running board you are looking at a range of about 4″ to 6″ inches and this represents how much surface area you have for your foot to step on.
If getting into your vehicle easier is your goal you may want to go wider and if aesthetics or off-road protection are more important then perhaps the width is of no consequence. Regardless, take a look at the product and assess the width of it to make sure it fits your needs.
Weight and capacity
In terms of weight capacity, the majority of available running boards have a maximum weight capacity that is 300 pounds or higher. This should be more than enough in most cases.
Thus, more important than capacity, is the weight of the actual nerf bar because this amount will add to your vehicle’s overall weight and…
More weight = less efficiency
Therefore, choose a running board that is weighted for your needs. Generally, the heaver boards will be more sturdy if you are going off-roading and the lighter options are perhaps better for use as a simple step-up.
Most running boards for your Chevy Silverado are easy to install as they simply bolt into the holes that are already included on the body of your truck.
However, the exception to this is the AMP Research Electric Running Board which requires more effort and expertise to install. It has massive appeal though as a trade-off for the difficult installation.
It is very important to check that the running board you choose is made for your specific year and model to avoid running into hole alignment issues for your no-drill, bolt-on running boards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there any difference between a Nerf bar and a running board for Chevy Silverado?
There is indeed a difference.
A nerf bar includes two padded steps for the front and passenger doors while a running board is basically just one long step. This article includes both types so will be able to see the difference. The APS iBoard is an example of a running board and the MaxMate is an example of a running board.
Do you get retractable running boards?
They are available but more difficult to install. From our list above, the AMP running board is an electric running board that retracts when not in use.
Do Nerf Bars affect mpg?
Nerf bars or running boards will add weight to your truck and therefore, will have a small effect on the fuel economy of your truck. If you want to minimize the impact, choose a lighter board (aluminum is likely your best option).
Do trucks look better with running boards?
Running boards can most definitely enhance the visual impact of your truck, especially if you choose the right one. A running board can make your truck look more sleek and streamlined from the side because they have the effect of making your truck look lower to the ground.
Will Installing Running Boards Void my Vehicle’s Warranty?
No, It is very unlikely. Your warranty should not be voided but you may want to check with your dealer first.
Will a 2500 running board fit a 1500?
Yes, it generally will. You will see that the above products are made for Chevy Silverado’s with 1500, 2500, and 3500 models. There are exceptions so just double check the product listing.
Will Crew Cab boards fit extended cab?
Please don’t make the mistake of buying a crew cab running board if you have an extended or double cab. The length of the board is different for each cab type and you are going to run into problems.
The only exception to this rule is the AMP Research Electric Running Board which works with both cab types.
We have included both crew cab and extended cab versions for each brand so just be diligent with checking this.
Summing it Up
Running boards can be a highly practical item that will simply allow for easier access to your vehicle or provide off-road protection. However, they can also make a statement and boost the visual impact of your vehicle.
In this article, we include products that will provide for whatever your needs are, be it practical or aesthetic, and many of the products do a great job of balancing the two.
Our top pick has got to be the APS iBoard range with its effortless balance of design and utility. However, if you are looking for a more robust and rugged option, perhaps the Tyger Auto Running Boards are more your speed. As mentioned previously, for an option that provides off-road protection Tygers rockers bars are a great option as well.
If you are looking for something advanced and impactful your best bet is the AMP Research Electric Running Board as long as you have what it takes to install it.