As much as you love your Ford F-150 (who wouldn’t?), you or your passengers may not always love the huge step from the ground to the cab. Luckily, there’s a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to this problem: nerf bars. The original purpose of nerf bars was simply to protect your truck’s undercarriage and sides from flying debris when driving off-road. However, more often, nerf bars and running boards are used these days as steps to make getting in and out of the vehicle easier.
In this guide, we’ll provide out list of the 10 best nerf bars available for your F-150, reviews explaining what makes them great, and some final thoughts on what to look for when you start your comparison shopping. Let’s get to work!
Tyger Auto TG-RS2F40088 4-Inch Nerf Bars
One of the best aspects of these outstanding 4-inch running boards is how easy they are to install. Unlike some nerf bars and running boards, these ones don’t require any drilling. Instead, you install them with a fool-proof bolt-on process.
Beyond the ease of installation, these running boards are also a great option for their durability and longevity. Constructed out of mild steel, the steps are covered in a black powder coating that will provide excellent resistance to rust and UV rays.
And even if you do run into trouble with these excellent running boards, you’ll still have the peace of mind knowing that the product is backed by a generous 5-year warranty.
TAC 3-Inch Side Nerf Bars
For a more classic nerf bar look, you should consider these 3-inch nerf bars from TAC. Just like the Tyger Auto running boards above, these boast a simple bolt-on installation process, so you won’t have to do any drilling or cutting to install.
These TAC nerf bars also feature a dual-layer finish, with an e-coating layer and a powder-coating layer to ensure efficient rust resistance.
Most importantly, they include a UV-resistant non-slip pad that will ensure you and your passengers can get in and out of your rig easily and safely.
Finally, the TAC 3-inch nerf bars are backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty, so you can buy with confidence.
Auto Dynasty 5-Inch Oval Nerf Bars
The strong mounting brackets can accommodate up to 500 pounds, and they easily bolt directly onto your rig’s mounting points for quick, easy installation.
What’s more, the wider step not only accommodates passengers by providing a surer footing, it also enhances the nerf bars’ ability to protect your prized truck from road debris.
Finally, these oval nerf bars from Auto Dynasty just look awesome. The all-black powder-coating adds a level of class and sophistication to your truck, while also providing enhanced rust and UV-protection.
APS iBoard 5-Inch Silver Nerf Bars
These steps bold directly onto your truck’s rocker panel, making installation a snap. It should take you less than an hour to install the steps if you follow the included instructions carefully.
A unique feature of the APS iBoard steps, though, is the full-length step pads. Unlike some nerf bars and running boards that have smaller stepping surfaces, the step pads of the APS iBoard bards run the whole length of your F-150’s cab.
But it’s really the build quality and materials that make the iBoard stand out. It’s constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum, giving it incredible durability without adding a lot of additional weight.
Auto Dynasty 4-Inch Curved Nerf Bars
While they only fit extended cab F-150 models, they are still sure to impress with their sleek chrome coating and exceptional durable design.
Best of all, these Auto Dynasty nerf bars can support up to 500 pounds due to their robust and well-constructed mounting brackets.
Ionic 5-Inch Black Steel Curved Nerf Bars
One of the most reputable names in the nerf bar market, Ionic Automotive has released yet another stellar product. These 5-inch curved nerf bars are really the standard by which all others are measured.
For one thing, the curved design includes welded end caps. This adds to the bars’ durability through its one-piece build.
Further adding to their durability is their low carbon steel construction, which gives them strength without adding unnecessary weight.
Even the step pads are durable, as they’re constructed from high-grade hard plastic that is dual-coated to prevent scratching and interior bar corrosion.
Mifeier 3-Inch Nerf Bars
For instance, like so many other options on our list of recommendations, the Mifeier nerf bars offer easy bolt-on installation without drilling or cutting.
They also feature a comparable black powder-coating that is rust, corrosion, and UV-resistant, which is sure to keep your nerf bars looking pristine for the long-haul.
There are a couple of potential downsides to the Mifeier nerf bars compared to other options on this list, though. For one thing, they can only handle 350 pounds, considerably less than the 500-pound capacity of many other options. Also, Mifeier only offers a 2-year warranty for rust and corrosion.
That said, these are still outstanding nerf bars that won’t break the bank.
APS Off-Road 6.5-Inch Side Armor Aluminum Nerf Bars
If you’re looking for some truly burly nerf bars that will protect your truck from off-read debris, provide sturdy footing, and looks especially beastly, you should take a look at these 6.5-inch side armor aluminum nerf bars from APS.
Not only are these the largest steps we’ve recommended, but they’re also among the most durable, with their one-piece aluminum construction. Surprisingly, though, these steps can only accommodate up to 300 pounds, so keep that in mind while you are comparing your options.
A great feature of these side steps is that the step plates include grille openings. These will let water, ice, and other small debris pass through so your steps remain clean and able to provide a safe, sturdy footing for entry and exit.
Ionic ‘Pro’ Series 3-Inch Nerf Bars
Like all Ionic nerf bars, the ‘Pro’ series models also feature corrosion-resistant black powder coating that will keep your nerf bars looking slick for years.
But they’re not just nice to look at; they’re exceptionally strong and durable, boasting a carrying capacity of up to 500 pounds!
Further, they’re backed by a decent 3-year warranty from the manufacturer. Clearly, Ionic knows they produce outstanding products and stand behind them with their warranties.
Tyger Auto TG-AM2F20118 Star Armor Nerf Bars
These Star Armor nerf bars from Tyger Auto are an excellent option if you want something a little more inconspicuous. The bars hug close to the truck’s body and come in an unassuming black matte color.
But just because these excellent nerf bars aren’t the most flashy, that doesn’t mean they don’t boast exceptional strength and durability. Each bar has a carrying capacity of up to 500 pounds, and the textured, dual-layer black powder-coating will provide thorough protection against scratching, rusting, and other corrosion.
But with premium quality comes a premium price point. These nerf bars from Tyger Auto are the most expensive on our list, but we wouldn’t include them if we weren’t absolutely certain they are worth the higher asking price.
What to Look for In Ford F-150 Nerf Bars
Finally, we offer you a list of the most important factors to consider when you’re comparison shopping for nerf bars for your Ford F-150:
- Size: How wide of a step do you need? Do you want the step to run along the whole cab, or just near entry points?
- Weight Capacity: How much weight do you need the nerf bars to support?
- Model Compatibility: Be sure to check that any nerf bars you consider will actually fit your truck’s model. Some nerf bars are only compatible with certain years, and some are or are not compatible with extended cab models.
- Price: The cost of nerf bars can vary dramatically depending on features, sizes, and manufacturers. Be sure to check out a lot of different options to guarantee that you’re getting the features you require at a fair price.