Despite its jaw-dropping and versatile appearance, the Toyota 4Runner has a little problem… its height. For someone short, whether a child or an adult, or older people getting in and out of the 4Runner can be a bit challenging as the vehicle is quite high. So when the issue came up, our team decided to look for the best running boards for 4Runner.
But the problem is, there are hundreds, if not thousands already, running boards available in the market. And a great deal of them are compatible with the Toyota 4Runner. And surely, you cannot buy any random running board just because it seems to fit the vehicle.
The good thing is, that our team consists of people who are closely working with vehicles, testing the parts, and writing articles on them. So naturally, we knew what to look for and where. But that was over 2 years ago.
Finally, we tested all these running boards, analyzed our experience with their various features, and made a list. And today, you will find our reviews for the top 4Runner running boards. So let’s not waste any more time and check out our top picks for 2023.
Why Do You Need Running Boards?
Running boards are installed on both bottom sides of the vehicle at the base of the doors and we realized over time that they offer several advantages.
Primarily, these boards are highly useful to climb in and out of the 4Runner with more ease, whether you are a short, young, old, or ill person who needs assistance. Other than that, the boards also work as mats because as you step on them when climbing onto the vehicle, it helps remove the mud, dirt, and debris you are carrying in your shoes. Thus, it helps keep your vehicle floor or interior cleaner.
Moreover, the running boards work as a shield between your vehicle and the road or gravel. If you are driving on rough roads loose stones, gravel, or objects, there is a chance that they might hit the truck, side panels, or the door. But with the running boards installed on either side, they often protect the vehicle by minimizing the impact.
Our Recommended Top 3 Product Comparison
- Rating: 9.3/10
- Size: 6.6 inches wide
- Compatible with: 2010-2023 4Runner Trail Edition
- Material: Carbon steel
- Exterior: Textured
- Weight: 41.9 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
- Rating: 9.1/10
- Size: 6-inch wide
- Compatible with: 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
- Material: Aluminum, partial metal
- Exterior: Aluminum
- Weight: 38.9 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 500 Pounds
- Rating: 8.8/10
- Size: 5-inch drop step
- Compatible with: 2010-2023 Toyota 4Runner
- Material: Carbon steel
- Exterior: Painted
- Weight: 44 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 465 pounds
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Top 5 Best Running Boards for 4Runner Review
Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20148 Star Armor Running Boards
We cannot talk about car accessories like tonneau covers or running boards without mentioning Tyger Auto. This brand is one of the very few that has managed to hold one of the top positions because of its best aftermarket products. And we ended up selecting our best pick from this brand.
The Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20148 Star Armor is classy, reliable, robust, and among the top-rated 4Runner Running Boards. The tube you see is a carbon steel molded structure with a massive 6.6-inch width to step comfortably with more ease. The e-coating powder finish leaves a textured surface, which offers non-slipping reliability by ensuring a better grip.
According to one user, “They provide great protection against door dings and look great on the 4runner.” And we completely agree with that because our team tested the grip by driving our 4Runner slightly off-road on gravel and watery areas and found the outcome astonishingly good. The bars helped protect the doors from getting scratched and becoming too muddy which it usually does.
These bars are compatible with the 2010-2023 4Runner Trail Edition. They are also compatible with the 2014-2023 4Runner SR5 and TRD Pro vehicle models. However, if you own any 2014-2023 4Runner Limited or 2019-2022 Nightshade and TRD Sport models, these running boards are not for your vehicle.
As for the price, these Tyger Auto running boards are expensive compared to some other excellent aftermarket running boards in the market. But we are ready to compromise with that with its excellent performance and longer durability that they offer. Besides, they come with the necessary hardware for installation.
Talking about installation, even if you install them on your own, it is unlikely that it will take more than an hour. Get an extra pair of hands to help you with the weight and it can be done in less than half an hour. You don’t even have to make any drills to install them.
- Material: (9.7/10)
- Performance: (9.8/10)
- Value For Money : (9.6/10)
Why We Chose This Product
The first thing that caught our attention was the running boards’ design. And when we tested the boards, we found the textured exterior is very reliable, especially during the rainy season. Besides, when we made industry visits or checked websites and forums to find ideas and suggestions, this turned out to be one of the most recommended running boards for 4Runners.
2. 6-inch Aluminum Running Boards
When discussing running boards for 4Runner, we visited some industry experts for their opinion. And several of them suggested this APS iBoard 6-inch aluminum running board. It is made in China but is made of solid material, wider, classy, and reliable for long-term use.
Made with heavy-duty aluminum, these running boards are 6 inches wide, which makes them easier to step on when getting in and out of the vehicle. We found the width of the boards very convenient for kids who are always in a hurry and elderly people who need something safer to step on. According to many users, the boards are pretty solid and improve the vehicle’s outlook.
Moreover, because of its high-grade aluminum material, each of these running boards has 500 pounds of weight capacity. That makes them go head-to-head with the Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20148 Star Armor running boards. And the boards are compatible with 4Runner 2010-2016 Trail vehicles. You can also install them in 4Runner 17-23 TRD Off-Road and 2014-2023 SR5 models.
The plastic cap and triple layer design consist of metallic material, pre-treatment, anti-corrosion primer, and powder-coated surface to make them corrosion-resistant and weatherproof. And the padded design ensures the running boards are slip-resistant. Besides, we found that the lined surface makes them pretty easy to clean. We just performed a few swifts of the cleaning brush and the boards were good as new.
As for installation, the boards are easy to install and took around 30 minutes when two of us installed them. Just like many users, we also found the installation process quite straightforward. And the good thing is the boards come with all the necessary hardware.
- Material: (9/10)
- Performance: (9.3/10)
- Value For Money: (9/10)
3. N-Fab 710416412 Nerf Steps RS: Best Overall Quality
Rather than having traditional long-running board designs, these N-Fab 710416412 Nerf Steps RS have a drop-step design. The steps are 5 inches wide with 2-inch painted bars. But how convenient are these types of steps when it comes to getting on and off the vehicle?
Well, since the steps are installed right beneath the doors, stepping in and out of the vehicle becomes a lot easier. And talking about installation, these running boards come with a bolt-on installation system. So you won’t require any drilling.
The welded mounting brackets make sure the steps are installed strongly and do not budge under heavy weight. According to one Amazon user, “They do not rattle or budge.” See what we were talking about?
Although these carbon steel steps do not have the same weight capacity as our previous 2 picks, they still have an excellent 465-pound weight capacity.
We also loved the overall modern sleek design. It is comparatively a little more costly than the APS iBoard 6-inch aluminum running board. But with its overall performance, we can say that these are the best running boards for 4Runner when it comes to reliability, performance, affordability, and quality.
- Material: (9/10)
- Performance: (8.7/10)
- Value For Money: (8.8/10)
4. TAC 3″ Black Nerf Bars Running Boards: Best Price
Other than some of the widely used running boards, we wanted to pick something more budget-friendly. Then we came across these versatile running boards from TAC. And you should know that these are also among the best-selling running boards out there.
Though it comes in 3 different designs and texture variations, we chose these 3-inch bars with a glossy finish because it felt more suitable for 4Runners to boost its appearance. And even though the bars or stepping spaces are comparatively smaller than our previous picks, stepping on them when getting in and out of the vehicle hasn’t been an issue.
The Nerf bars are made from durable alloy steel, which we all know for being robust and able to handle heavy weight. The non-slip step-pads are also reliable to offer excellent grip in snowy or rainy weather. The bars have multiple layers to resist rust and corrosion.
And wanna hear the best part? These running boards also can be installed in compatible 4Runner models without any drilling or cutting. You can install them easily with their bolt-on design. One buyer said it was “Sturdy and all-weather great, the grips make it so your feet don’t slide off in the rain or snow. Easy to clean too.”
However, these running boards are not comparable with various 4Runner models, such as the 2010-2013 SR5, 2010-2023 Limited, 2020-2021 Nightshade Edition, along with 2022-2023 TRD Sport Models. It was a bummer for some of us who wanted to include them on the top list as it comes at such a good price.
- Material: (9/10)
- Performance: (8.7/10)
- Value For Money: (8.8/10)
5. AMP Research 75155-01A PowerStep: Also Great
There are not many electric running boards compatible with Toyota 4Runner models, but we found these AMP Research 75155-01A PowerStep electric running boards to be better than the other models we tested.
Unlike other running boards, these electric boards will stay folded beneath the car door area, maintaining a low profile. And they open as soon as you open the truck doors. Moreover, they have integrated LED light systems that turn on automatically as the boards get extended.
Their sleek and stylish stepping boards are also weather-proof. Besides, they are manufactured maintaining industry standards. But the drawback to these running boards is that they hang about 2-3 inches below the car body. And because of that, they reduce ground clearance as you keep the doors open.
Nevertheless, though they are very expensive, most users are loving them for their look, performance, and incredible durability. One user said, “The sleek design and ease of use is awesome. I can’t imagine owning our truck without it.” Another user said, “I had the power steps for 8 years on my last truck before I sold it. Never experienced any problems.”
- Material: (9/10)
- Performance: (8.7/10)
- Value For Money: (8.8/10
TAC Black Vs AMP Research – Which One to Choose?
Our top 3 picks are our most recommended running boards for Toyota 4Runner. But other than those, here are two more that we also would like to recommend.
|TAC 3″ Black Running Boards
|AMP Research Electric Running Boards
|2010-2021 4Runner Double cab
|Aluminum, Stainless Steel
Why Should You Trust Us?
So why should this article be reliable to you? Let us explain then.
When it comes to picking and analyzing auto parts or vehicle upgrade parts, Darek Shiekhi is a known name. Previously known for his on and off-road driving skills and experience with automotive parts, he worked as an editor for various reputed automotive article publications before joining us. And now he is assisted by our other expert writer David Ciminelli.
Moreover, our entire team has in-depth knowledge regarding the vehicle and is pro when it comes to ensuring the products picked for review are highly reliable. We collect data from various articles, and published analyses, to make sure we know what to look for. Then we start visiting websites and forums to get product recommendations. After that, we visit vehicle professionals and users and interview them to get more in-depth knowledge from their experiences before we test the products ourselves.
Everything we do is to get the most accurate information regarding any product for our readers’ convenience. So we can assure you that all our products are hand-picked by us and reviewed based on our first-hand experience through professional research.
How We Picked the Top Running Boards?
So other than checking different review articles, or going through user forums, what else do we do to pick the products? Well, we look for certain features in the running boards that make them the best running boards for 4Runner. And here they are-
We found both vehicle-compatible running boards and “universal” ones. The vehicle-compatible boards fit the vehicle as they are. And the universal ones usually come with mounting kits to ensure the right fitment.
Material And Design
There are running boards of various materials, such as fiberglass, stainless steel, and aluminum, with rubber surfaces or padding. We mostly aimed for ergonomic designs that would allow the users to step with more ease. They also needed to be waterproof or weatherproof and slip-resistant.
Durability And Load Capacity
The material mostly determines how long the running boards may last. So our preferences were mainly steel and aluminum which are more durable. And they also have more load capacity than other materials.
Forum Discussions And User Feedback
Most of the running boards we initially picked for testing and reviewing were more than just the 5 mentioned today. We checked various forums for suggestions and went through users’ feedback sections on the websites to know which ones are most recommended to pick the best ones.
FAQs About Toyota 4Runner Running Boards
How much does it cost to add running boards to Toyota 4Runners?
The cost to install running boards to 4Runner depends on the vehicle model, running board types, installation complexity, and a few more things. It won’t cost you anything extra if you install them yourself. However, hiring a mechanic or professional to do that can cost $100 to $500.
Does installing aftermarket running boards void the vehicle warranty?
It is unlikely that installing aftermarket running boards would cause any warranty issues. However, it is best to discuss the matter with your dealer before installing the running boards. And if necessary, you can purchase and install factory running boards.
What is the weight limit for 4Runner running boards?
The weight limit for 4Runner running boards varies depending on multiple factors, such as board material, design, compatibility, etc. Nevertheless, most of them have a weight limit of 300 lbs-500 lbs for each side.
Are steel or aluminum running boards better?
If you want running boards that have better weight capacity and are stronger, steel ones can be an excellent option. On the other hand, if you want running boards that are weather-proof and corrosion-resistant, aluminum running boards are a far better choice.
How to Install Running Boards on Toyota 4Runner
As you can see now, we chose a wild variety of running boards for various Toyota 4Runner models. They are the ones we chose from dozens of running board models because they offered the most satisfying and reliable performance.
So if you are looking for the best running boards for 4Runner, you can choose easily based on our well-researched reviews or quickly compare them from the comparison tables. Nevertheless, make sure to look for all the necessary features and details before you make your final decision.