The Chevrolet Silverado has been a staple on American roads since 1998. It’s a full-size heavy-duty pickup truck that’s built for heavy hauling. Despite all of its impressive performance capabilities, there is one downside to owning a Silverado: it’s height!
Getting into this beast of a truck is no easy task. This is especially true if you’re on the shorter side or have mobility issues. Fortunately, the best running boards for the Chevy Silverado has you covered.
A solid running board can make accessing the cab safe and easy. Of course, your run-of-the-mill board won’t do. To stay safe and protect the value of your truck, you’re going to need to find the best running board that money can buy.
Top 5 Running Boards for Chevy Silverado
1. Tyger Auto TG-AM2C20128
2. AMP Research 76154-01A PowerStep
3. MaxMate Custom Fit Nerf Bars
4. Tyger Auto TG-RS2C40038
5. APS iBoard Running 6-Inch Boards
- Top 5 Running Boards for Chevy Silverado
- 1. Tyger Auto TG-AM2C20128 Textured Black Star Armor Running Boards – Best All-Around Product
- 2. AMP Research 76154-01A PowerStep Electric Running Boards – Best for Ground Clearance
- 3. MaxMate Custom Fit Nerf Bars – Best for Durability
- 4. Tyger Auto TG-RS2C40038 Black Riser 4-inch Running Boards – Best for Comprehensive Weather Protection
- 5. APS iBoard Running 6-Inch Boards – Best for Stability and Safety
- What Exactly is a Running Board?
- Why Buy a Running Board for Your Chevy Silverado?
- Key Considerations When Choosing Running Boards for Your Silverado
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Tyger Auto TG-AM2C20128 Textured Black Star Armor Running Boards – Best All-Around Product
The unique aspect of these running boards is the design. While most boards feature a single tube or slab of metal, this one utilizes a dual-girder design. Basically, this means that multiple smaller tubes are used to reinforce the accessory and offer as much underbody protection as possible. Despite the distinct build, these are one-piece boards that can be mounted with four brackets.
Overall, the Tyger Auto running board is an excellent choice for Silverado owners. It’s fully protected from the elements and can withstand a lot of wear and tear on the road.
2. AMP Research 76154-01A PowerStep Electric Running Boards – Best for Ground Clearance
When you’re driving down the road, the running boards stay tucked underneath the chassis of the truck. They do shave on a tiny bit of ground clearance. However, it’s not nearly as much as traditional running boards. The advanced motor automatically senses when you open the door, pushing the step out for easy access to the cab.
Despite the intricate electronics, these running boards are built tough. They’re made out of an aluminum alloy and have the sleek looks you need to keep your truck looking fresh.
3. MaxMate Custom Fit Nerf Bars – Best for Durability
The build is the most impressive part of this accessory. The entire unit is made up of a single piece of stainless steel tubing. The tubing is rugged enough to withstand dings without any issues. It also supports most people without missing a beat. The entire thing is weather-resistant as well, ensuring that your investment lasts.
With its simple design, these nerf boards are an excellent addition to any Silverado. They serve their purpose and offer some flashy good looks, too.
4. Tyger Auto TG-RS2C40038 Black Riser 4-inch Running Boards – Best for Comprehensive Weather Protection
Like most running boards, this model is made of stainless steel tubing. What’s unique about the boards is their weather treatment. Tyger Auto went above and beyond to make sure that the boards can hold up well in any weather. The raw steel is treated to remove impurities. Then, a special e-coat treatment is applied inside the tube and over the exterior. Finally, the entire thing is finished off with a smooth powder-coat finish.
The end result is ultra-resilient running boards. They’re both water and UV protected, making them an excellent choice for drivers in tougher climates.
5. APS iBoard Running 6-Inch Boards – Best for Stability and Safety
Of course, with added safety comes some sacrifice. Because these running boards are so wide and accessible, they shave off about 3 inches of ground clearance. This could pose a problem if you need to go over rougher terrain.
All in all, the positive aspects of the running board greatly outweigh the negatives. They’re solid accessories that are lightweight, comfortable to use, and very safe.
What Exactly is a Running Board?
Running boards are simple accessories that can make a world of difference for Silverado owners. Essentially, running boards are nothing more than a narrow step used to get in and out of the vehicle. You’ll often see them being used on larger trucks and SUVs to make accessing the cab a cinch.
While they’re often thought to be an innovation born only a couple of decades ago, running boards are not new to the automotive industry. They were commonplace on most cars of the early 20th century. However, as vehicles became lighter and more aerodynamic around the 1930s, running boards quickly grew out of fashion.
That all changed in the 1980s when the first consumer SUV hit the market. As family vehicles became a big market segment, the demand for running boards skyrocketed.
Today, you’ll see these accessories on any truck, SUV, or even crossover with any considerable ground clearance. They’re a practical accessory that also happens to elevate a truck’s style.
Why Buy a Running Board for Your Chevy Silverado?
Did you know that the Chevy Silverado has one of the best ground clearances in the industry? Ground clearance refers to the distance between the bottom of the chassis to the ground. At roughly 8.8 inches for all-wheel-drive models, the Silverado is one of the highest trucks you can get! Even the slightly lower stock build, which has a ground clearance of fewer than 8.1 inches, is nothing to gawk at!
With all that height, running boards are essential. They make it easy to climb in and out of the truck without putting a ton of stress on your knee and back. It’s safer and much more comfortable.
Running boards also offer a couple of other benefits that you might not have thought of.
Nobody likes to deal with cleaning interior mats. When you’re done working for the day, there’s a good chance that you usually track tons of dirt and grime into your truck. With some running boards, you can easily kick-off dirt and keep your cab clean. It’s like having a built-in doormat!
Safety from Debris
Silverados are perfect for some off-road adventures. Usually, that means putting your truck at risk for wear and tear. Driving over rocks and twigs can kick up debris in an instant, which can ultimately ding up your truck’s body. While running boards don’t prevent debris from doing some damage, they certainly act as an effective barrier.
Thanks to the mounting location of running boards, these accessories are at a prime position to blog pebbles and rocks from damaging your truck.
Parking Lot Protection
You don’t just need protection from off-road debris. Dings can happen in a parking lot, too! All it takes is one careless driver to mar up the glossy finish of your truck. Once again, running boards can come to the rescue. The boards jut out the sides of the truck a bit, acting as the first line of defense against stray shopping carts and swinging doors.
Key Considerations When Choosing Running Boards for Your Silverado
Thanks to the popularity of running boards, you should have no problem choosing some aftermarket units to install. That said, not every option is going to work for your needs or your truck. To choose the very best running boards for your Chevrolet Silverado, here are some things to consider.
Before you pull the trigger and get the first running boards you see, you must get an accessory that fits your particular model. Newer Chevy Silverados are available in three distinct cab sizes. Considering that the running boards are meant to stretch across the entire length of the cab, this is an important factor in your purchasing decision.
The shortest of the three is the Regular Cab. It offers no second row. Thus, your running board is going to be on the shorter side.
Next up, there’s the Double Cab. Also referred to as the extended cab, it offers a little less than 36 inches of legroom in the second row. Meanwhile, the Crew Cab offers a bit more space. With the Crew Cab, the truck is extended a bit to offer over 40 inches of legroom in the back.
Running boards come in a range of designs and materials. While it might not seem like a huge decision, the material used could affect its strength. The most durable choice is steel. Many manufacturers utilize steel tubes to keep the weight down without sacrificing strength.
Another good option is aluminum. Anodized aluminum, in particular, is a noteworthy choice because it’s lightweight and almost as strong as steel.
Next up, you’ll need to pay attention to the overall finish. Raw metal looks cool, but it’s also prone to severe oxidation. That’s why most manufacturers will apply a powder-coated finish. The finish is sleek, relatively slip-resistant, and virtually rustproof!
Aluminum is naturally resistant to the red rust most people are familiar with. However, it can still corrode a bit over time, so having a finish over aluminum is always good.
When you’re shopping for running boards, you’re going to come across two core designs. The first is a traditional running board, which features a single long step covered in slip-proof treads.
Your other choice is a nerf bar. Nerf bars serve the same purpose as a running board. However, the main difference is that the entire bar it’s meant to be used as a step. These accessories are geared more toward protection. They typically utilize a separate flat step that’s located just below the door.
The weight capacity is going to be an important thing to pay attention to. Most models can hold up to 500 pounds without any issues. Some nerf boards may have a slightly lower weight capacity of around 300 pounds.
This will be more than enough for most drivers. However, if you have a large family that’s packing in for a weekend of fun, you may end up pushing the running board to its limit. So, be wary of that and choose a weight capacity that’s appropriate for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are running boards for Silverado easy to install?
Installing running boards on a Chevy Silverado is a breeze. Chevrolet has made things much easier by predrilling holes onto the chassis. As long as the running boards you choose come with compatible mounts, the job can be done in only a few minutes with a handful of tools.
2. How much weight can running boards for Chevy Silverado hold?
Most running boards can hold in the neighborhood of 500 pounds. Though, the exact weight capacity will depend entirely on the design of the board and the associated mounting hardware.
3. Will Chevy Silverado running boards affect gas mileage?
Running boards may affect gas mileage. However, the difference isn’t too noticeable. When you install running boards, you’re adding weight to the truck. Thus, the engine has to work harder to move the cab. Luckily, running boards don’t have a huge effect like some other accessories.
4. Do running boards for Silverado reduce ground clearance?
This depends on the design of the running board. Most will shave off an inch or two of clearance. It’s a sacrifice you have to make if you want a side step running board. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, some models are designed to leave ground clearance intact.
High-quality running boards are a great investment you won’t regret. Unlike other aftermarket add-ons, running boards are something that you’re going to use every single day. They make your cab more accessible and can be a lifesaver for those days when your body just doesn’t want to cooperate.
There is a reason why you see running boards on so many Silverados these days. They just work! The accessories make an already great truck even better.
Running boards are only going to get better in the future. While some motorized models already exist, the accessibility of that technology is getting more affordable as time goes on. We wouldn’t be surprised if retractable running boards became the next big fad in truck modification!
Only time will tell. In the meantime, check out one of our recommended picks and see what a difference the accessory can make for your Chevy Silverado.