NWMS Buyer’s Guide for Steps for Lifted Trucks

NWMS buyer's guide for steps for lifted trucks

It’s Time to Elevate Your Lifted Truck

We love lifted trucks, that’s no secret. But we have to admit, there’s a certain hurdle we have to overcome… getting into them! A 6” lift is a beastly modification to see, but not all of us have that extra six inches in our stride. Sometimes, we need a helping hand. If you’re on the market for steps for lifted trucks, let us help narrow down your search.

Why Should You Get Steps for Your Lifted Truck? 

If you’re considering getting steps for your truck, you’ve probably considered one of these reasons.

If you’re on the market for steps for lifted trucks, let NWMS help

Ease of Access

It’s no secret that a lift makes your truck look B.A., but it also makes it harder to get into. Unless you’re a basketball player, steps make the process of getting into your truck much more comfortable. Listen, maybe you’re Lebron James and don’t need the steps. Great, but what about the people you have to cart around? Steps are a godsend for young children, the elderly, the disabled, or anybody who’s not as vertically gifted as yourself.


steps for lifted trucks, when done right, can make your truck look very cool

Yeah, we think trucks really shine when they’re put to work towing or tearing up the dirt. But we also respect and appreciate the accessories simply made to make your truck look cool! Not every accessory needs to be practical. Even though all your truck step options do provide a level of utility. Plainly put? The steps for lifted trucks, when done right, can make your truck that much cooler.


Truck steps also have a couple of protective benefits. Namely, many of your options (like running boards or nerf bars) provide an extra layer of protection from the debris that your tires kick up. We don’t recommend them as a replacement for mud flaps, but they’re useful as complementary protection.

Other than protecting your undercarriage, they also protect your interior. Think of them as welcome mats for your truck, stopping dirt in its tracks before it ever reaches your upholstery.

Other Considerations: Steps for Lifted Trucks

Truck steps might not be great accessories for everyone. It’s important to take the following reasons into consideration.

definitely consider what these accessories may do, like reducing ground clearance

Some things you should keep in mind are as follows:

  • Reduced Ground Clearance. If you lifted your truck or SUV for offroad use, truck steps may defeat the purpose. Luckily, someone heard your prayers- retractable running boards are a popular option.
  • Limited Weight Limits. On the low end, some running boards can only hold up to 300 pounds. That may be plenty for a singular passenger, but that number gets a bit trickier if two people try to get on at once. 
  • Maintenance. Like everything else on your truck, you do have to maintain your truck steps. Wear and tear over time smooths out the traction that your steps are designed to give. Consider grip tape. Make sure to keep snow off as much as possible- it can get too heavy for your steps if you ignore it. 
  • Warranty. Installing truck steps most likely won’t affect your warranty, as many trucks are made to be able to easily install aftermarket steps. However, we always recommend you review your warranty before you make any modifications.

Types of Truck Steps 

When it comes to steps for lifted trucks, there are many options at your disposal. To help you get over your analysis paralysis, we’ve broken down the different types for you!

Truck steps might not be great accessories for everyone

Side Steps

When considering steps for your truck, your most no-frill option is a side step. Unlike running boards or nerf bars, side steps don’t run the length of the space between your wheel-wells. Side steps are singular steps that attach to your rocker panel wherever space allows.

These steps also tend to be your most inexpensive option. But you can also invest in retractable steps. They cost a little more, but they aren’t automatic like many retractable running boards. All you have to do is kick them out!

side steps for lifted trucks are super handy

If you prefer the way a running board looks, it still might be worth it to invest in a pair of side steps. Unlike the other options on our list, side steps can be installed under the back bumper of your truck. This gives you better access to the contents in your truck bed.

Bully sells a simple, inexpensive pair of side steps that can hold up to 350 pounds apiece and fits most vehicles. If you were excited by the prospect of retractable side steps, check out this pair from Amp Research. They even feature a useful installation guide! Don’t forget to take the time to make sure these products can fit your vehicle.

Running Boards

Among the many steps for lifted trucks, running boards are probably the most popular option. They’re rugged and give your truck an extra amount of flair and professionalism. However, this option tends to be a little more expensive, especially if your style opts for “the works”.

running board steps for lifted trucks look and work awesome

A running board is one long, flat step that runs the length of the space between your two wheel-wells. Because it attaches to two parts of your rocker panel, installation is a lot easier if you have a friend with you.

When choosing your running boards, be especially wary of weight limits. 350 pounds is a great limit for a side step, sure. But! You may run into some problems if two grown men try to jump on a running board with the same limit. Other considerations apply here too; keep them clear of snow, and keep an eye on the traction.

power steps are retractable, which makes them great for offroading

APS makes a solid, inexpensive option with simple installation. If you’re not sold unless it’s retractable, take a peek at these Amp Research boards that can hold up to 600 pounds! Retractable or automatic running boards are trickier to install. So unless you’re well experienced, you might want some help from an expert.

Keep in mind automatic retractable boards unfurl when your doors open, and retract when they close. Therefore, another feature you might want to consider are LED lights. They can be bought already installed or you can do it yourself. As usual, do your homework and make sure these options fit your truck!

Nerf Bars

Nerf bars are very similar to running boards. The main difference between them is this: nerf bars only provide a flat surface to step on at the entry points of the vehicle, whereas running boards are one long, flat step. The rest of the nerf bar is tubular, which means snow and other elements just roll right off.

nerf bar steps for lifted trucks are pretty simple, but wonderful

Nerf bars started in the world of racing! They provided ways for racecars to bump each other while passing without entangling their wheels and causing a dangerous situation. You can see for yourself some inspiration from the racing world in how stylish nerf bars can be. Just check out these nerf bars from Tyger Auto to see our point!

Nerf bars are more popular with off-road vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler, but there are many options available for trucks too. We might sound like a broken record at this point, but don’t forget to make sure these boards fit your vehicle! It’ll save you a lot of hassle down the road.

Nerf bars are more popular with off-road vehicles

A World of Options

The sheer amount of customizability is one of the reasons that we’re passionate about trucks. Most accessories are easy to install, and steps for lifted trucks are no exception. If you’re looking to amp up your truck, steps are an easy and useful way to do it.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you come down to a decision! Maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum and need a truck to put truck steps on. If that’s the case, be sure to take a peek at our inventory to start your journey!

there's a world of options for finding steps for lifted trucks at NWMS