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Silverado Side Step Bars & Running Boards

Silverado Side Step Bars & Running Boards

There are nearly endless aftermarket accessories you can use to customize your vehicle’s performance and style. If you’ve lifted your truck or simply ride around with larger-than-life tires, consider investing in a side step bar or running board. Side step bars serve as a cheap, stylish investment that makes entering and exiting your vehicle a little more comfortable and safer.

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Side step bars can limit some of the wear on your side panels by blocking debris, as well as protect your seating by deterring passengers from sliding across seats to exit. Choose from a variety of side step bars and running boards to match your vehicle’s color and cab length.

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What is a Side Step Bar? 

Considering how high newer Silverado models sit off the ground, adding a side step bar makes entering and exiting your vehicle a little more convenient. With slip resistant step pads, sidebars are designed to protect passengers from falling in any condition, whether it is ice or mud. 

Side step bars and running bars are typically crafted from stainless steel, aluminum, ABS plastic, or even powder coated steel. Some side step bars, or nerf bars, are designed to operate like rock sliders, which allows them to support the weight of your truck. Some side step bars are so powerful they can be used as a point for a jack. 

Side step bars and running bars are designed for stock and lifted models. Your family and friends will thank you for investing in them the next time they enter your vehicle.

Benefits of a Side Step Bar or Running Bar

  • Convenient vehicle accessibility 
  • Slip resistant, offering safer vehicle entry
  • Protects side panels from rocks and debris
  • Low profile, stylish upgrade
Silverado Side Step Bar

Differences Between Silverado Nerf Bars, Running Boards, and Rock Sliders

A side step bar, or nerf bar, are tubular steps available for individual door access, or they can run the length of the cabin. Nerf bars were originally designed for stock racecars to prevent the wheels of other drivers from getting lodged in the frame. Nerf bars are commonly available in oval or round designs and feature a stepping pad for slip-resistant vehicle access.

Running boards serve the same function as side step bars, but they are shaped like boards, as opposed to tubular pipes. Running bars typically extend wheel-to-wheel and offer steps for both doors. 

You may have heard of rock sliders before, and some rock sliders have been known to be used as side step bars. Rock sliders are actually designed for off-roading. They protect the undercarriage and frame of your vehicle by allowing your vehicle to slide off of rocks instead of getting stuck. Rock sliders have thicker diameter tubes and durable materials. A rock slider is designed to take a beating and hold the frame of your vehicle intact. 

Nerf bars and running boards both feature slip-resistant foot pads and typically are sold in pairs. 

Choosing the Right Step Bar Length

There are three different fitments available for nerf bars and running boards:

  • Cab length
  • Wheel-to-wheel
  • Single step

Cab length fitments are by far the most popular, extending from the length of the cabin to the truck bed. Cab length fitments offer convenient access to cabin, passenger, and rear seats. 

Wheel-to-wheel fitments are a little bit longer and extend from the front wheel to a little space before the rear wheel. Fitments are available in one or two pieces. Single pieces extend all the way to the truck box before the rear wheel, while the length of the cabin and the area of the truck bed before the rear wheel separate two-piece fitments. 

Finally, single step side bars can be mounted at any accessible point of the vehicle, most commonly under the cabin or bed. Some single step side bars can be folded to tuck away when not in use.

Silverado Running Boards

Selecting the Right Silverado Side Step Bar

Deciding on the right side-step bar depends on the style of your Silverado 1500, and the purpose of the side step bar. If you're counting on a side step bars to protect side paneling during an off-roading event, consider choosing a thick diameter nerf bar or rock slider. 

Factors to keep in mind include:

  • Budget
  • Fitment (based on function and average number of passengers in your Silverado)
  • Weight ratings
  • Material (corrosion resistance and durability)
  • Cab size
  • Bolt assembly required

In terms of utility, a running board will provide convenient access to every entry point in your cabin and is designed to be durable. Running boards are more expensive than most side step bars, but that depends on the manufacturer.

An aftermarket side step bar will not alter your vehicle if assembled correctly and should be able to hold considerable weight without bending your frame. Consider a power bar that folds out when you open your door. Some side step bars and running bars feature LED lights for added style and functionality. 

Are you looking for something utilitarian and flush or something more stylish and functional? In the end, a side step bar and running board will ultimately provide the same functions. 

Installing a Side Step Bar or Running Board

Most aftermarket running boards and side step bars are now designed to fit existing 2007-2018 Chevrolet Silverados. These are drill-less installations that simply require matching side step bars with manufacturer drills, tightening the bolts, and centering your step bar with the cabin. 

It’s recommended you have a friend assist you with step bar installations. Follow manufacturer’s instructions if you need to drill holes into the frame of your vehicle. Match them with the manufacturer's instructions and attach mounting brackets to the rocker panels or frame of your vehicle where you drilled into. Make sure your side step is tightly fastened. Congratulations on your new, stylish step bars!

Fitment includes: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Hybrid, LS, LT, LTZ, WT, XFE, Custom, HighCountry