The Ford Bronco boasts a rugged, boxy design, a wide stance, and large tires, making it ideal for tackling any terrain. With its removable roof and doors, it is perfect for enjoying the great outdoors. But its appeal goes beyond just its looks and capabilities. For those who are passionate about these trucks, customizing the Ford Bronco is a popular option. One way to customize your Bronco is by adding aftermarket running boards.
What Are Running Boards?
The problem with SUVs and off-roading vehicles is that they are often tall, making it difficult to get in and out, especially if you're wearing shorts or a skirt. Running boards are an additional feature that can be added to SUVs and off-roading vehicles to provide an extra step, making it easier to enter and exit the vehicle.
Imagine you're driving your new 4-door Outer Banks Bronco down a dirt road and come to a stop. While Broncos are not as high off the ground as some other off-roading vehicles, adding running boards can save you from a misstep.
That's where running boards come in. They are long, horizontal side steps that attach to the sides of your vehicle, usually just below the door. They provide a step-up so that you can easily get in and out of your SUV or truck.
Most of them are made from aluminum or steel, and they come in a variety of colors and styles. Some are even equipped with LED lights, which can add a touch of luxury to your ride.
Why Should I Care About Getting New Running Boards?
Aside from the fact that running boards make passenger loading easier, there are a few other reasons why you might want to consider them (and they don’t just pertain to functionality).
1. They help protect your paint job.
You wouldn't want to mess up your new Ford Bronco with a big scratch, would you? When you step into your vehicle, there's a chance that your shoes could scuff the paint. It's not a huge risk, but it's definitely something to consider.
Running boards provide a buffer between your shoes and the side of your car, which can help save your paint job under your door.
When you drive your truck, dirt and debris kicked up by the tire can also scratch or damage the paint. They can save your exterior from that, too.
2. You’ll save your seat from wear and tear.
When you park your Bronco, open the door, and slide out of the cab, it’ll fade over time. And who wants a worn-out Bronco seat?
When you add a running board to your truck, it puts you level with the seat and makes getting in and out easier.
3. You can boost the resale value of your Bronco.
Of course, you’ll never want to sell your Bronco (unless you are selling it to get a new one). But adding running boards can actually increase its resale value, making you more money back later.
Buyers find them attractive because they are seen as luxury items, and aftermarket running boards are not something that comes standard on most vehicles. So if you do decide to add them, potential buyers may be willing to pay more for your Bronco.
4. Quality side steps can help you keep your clothes clean.
Off-roading can get dirty, and so can your Bronco. If you're the type of person who likes to keep their clothes clean, then you might want to consider adding side steps.
They can help you avoid getting your clothes muddy or wet when you're getting in and out of your car. And they can also protect your shoes from scuffs and dirt.
Nerf Bars, Rock Rails, Step Bars, or Running Boards?
When you're shopping for side steps, you'll come across a few different styles. Each one refers to a different type of product with a separate use case, so it's important to know the difference.
Rock Rails: Rock rails are constructed for off-roading. They attach to the underside of your vehicle and help protect your door and undercarriage from rocks, branches, and other obstacles. Your Bronco already has these installed—that’s what our stirrups attach to.
As you can see on the Jeep pictured above, they don't provide as much of a step-up, though, so they are not the best choice if you're looking for something to help you get in and out of your car. If you plan to use your Ford Bronco for extreme off-roading, rock rails will give you the protection you need.
Step Bars: Step bars are similar to rock rails, but they are tailored towards on-road use. They attach to the frame of your vehicle and provide a step-up, which makes it easier to get in and out.
Nerf Bars: A nerf bar is similar to a rock rail in its tubular design. It has a step, but the steps on step bars are usually more pronounced (e.g., hoop steps).
They are shorter than step bars, and they don't attach to the frame of your vehicle. Instead, they bolt onto the body with no drilling required. they are a good choice if you're looking for something that's compact and easy to install without going to the shop.
Running Boards: Running boards are the most popular type of product on the market. they are designed to provide a step-up and protect your vehicle from rocks, branches, and other obstacles.
They attach to the frame of your vehicle, and they are usually made from aluminum, polymer, fiberglass, or ABS plastic. They offer much more protection from road debris than step bars thanks to their flat surface, but they don't provide as much coverage as rock rails.
Different Types of Running Boards for the 2022 Ford Bronco
There are a few different kinds to choose from, and each has its own set of pros and cons.
Here's a look at some of the most popular types on the market, so you can decide what’s best for your personal style:
Fixed Running Boards
Fixed running boards are the most popular type of product. they are easy to install and they offer a wide variety of features. Typically, they have a black or chrome step area with a raised rubber design across the stepping surface for added traction and foot grip.
They can either be flat or contoured to match the body lines of your vehicle. Some have a more tubular design, while others are more rectangular.
The biggest advantage of this type is that they are very versatile. They can be used on a variety of different vehicles, and they offer a wide range of features. And since they capture a wide range of styles, there's sure to be a fixed running board design that matches your Ford Bronco.
The step area is usually made from aluminum, which is durable and won't rust. The rest of the running board is usually made from ABS plastic, which is impact-resistant and easy to clean.
Fixed running boards are the best option if you're looking for an easy installation and a simple, timeless design that looks both professional and straightforward.
Retractable Running Boards
- they are more aerodynamic. Performance is a big deal, and when customizing your Bronco, you’ll want all the extra performance you can get. That way, you can take it out and maximize your off-roading experience.
- they are more convenient. You can extend them when you need them and retract them when you don't. This is especially helpful if you live in an area with a lot of snow because you can retract them to avoid getting them covered in snow, ice, and dirt.
- they are more stylish. Retractable running boards have a sleek, modern look that can't be beaten. And if you want to have the coolest truck of them all, they are one of the best purchases you can make.
They also feature a weatherproof motor that allows them to extend and retract automatically.
The biggest downside to retractable running boards is that they are far more expensive than their fixed counterparts. A fresh set of retractable Ford Bronco running boards will probably run you over $1,000.
Heavy-Duty Running Boards
Heavy-duty running boards are made of metal, and they are made to handle big boots stepping in and out of your truck all day long. Thes running boards are usually made of heavy-duty steel and they have a perforated grate that grips any shoe that steps onto it (except heels). they are also powder-coated to resist corrosion.
they are the best choice if you use your Bronco for work or if you're constantly carrying heavy loads. They are also a good choice if you live in a snowy part of the country because the perforated grate will grip your boots and prevent you from slipping.
They are not the best choice if you're looking for a stylish running board because they have a more industrial look.
Lighted Running Boards
If you're looking for a little extra safety and style, then lighted running boards might be the right choice for you. They have LED lights built into them that turn on when you open your door.
The lighted running boards are a nifty feature that helps you see in the dark and also makes it easier for people to get in and out of your car. The built-in wiring connects to your vehicle's door sensor, so the running board lights will turn on automatically when any of the doors are opened.
Aluminum Running Boards
These industrial-looking running boards feature a "diamond plate" design that looks both rugged and stylish. they are made of aluminum, so they won't rust, and they offer superior traction in all weather conditions.
With splash guards in place, you don't have to worry about gunk being sprayed all over your truck. This is especially helpful in adverse weather conditions when the last thing you want to do is slip and fall.
Plus, the raised diamond details help to provide sure footing so you can easily get in and out of your vehicle without issue.
If you're looking for a tough, durable running board that can take a beating, but you don't need the additional grip of the perforated metal running boards, then these aluminum ones have all the features you need.
Our Ford Bronco Running Board Options
At Archetype, we currently offer a few different options for both 4-door and 2-door Ford Broncos.
Stirrups are a minimalist alternative that is perfect for the customer who wants extra stepping support for their Ford Bronco without adding an entire running board. They are a low-cost alternative that is easy to install and maintain, making them the top choice for a number of customers.
These add-ons are mounted straight onto the rocker rail bar with a bi-sectional clamping bracket. No drilling is needed, either, reducing the margin for error on installation.
The Archetype Stirrup is made from durable 6061 billet material. At about half the cost of running boards, it’s perfect for those who want to save on their costs while making their Bronco more complete. And with its aluminum composition and graphite black coating, it’s even more sturdy than the rail it’s mounted to!
For a 4-door Bronco, you’ll want to order a quantity of two from our store.
Similar to our traditional stirrup, these boards clamp to the bars near your Ford Bronco’s undercarriage.
But our Magnum Sturrip is more like a running board with a few unique features. Made of 6061 billet aluminum, this stirrup is a cut above the rest. Its material prevents rusting and complements the details of any Bronco perfectly, and no metal chafing means it won’t erode your rock rail’s finish.
The clamp-on bracket comes standard for both the 2-door and the 4-door Bronco, and its long, sturdy design makes accessing the cab easy.
How to Find the Right Side Steps for Your Bronco
Now that you know your options, it's time to start shopping for the perfect set of side steps for your Ford Bronco. Here are a few tips to help you find the right ones:
- Check the weight capacity. If you plan on carrying heavy loads, ensure the running boards you choose are sturdy enough to handle the weight.
- Consider the weather. If you live in an area with a lot of snow, grip is more important than style. Choose running boards with a good grip pattern to prevent slipping.
- Think about how often you'll use them. If you only plan on using your running boards occasionally, then you don't need to spend a lot of money on a high-end set.
- Look at the model of your Ford Bronco. If you have a 4-door Bronco, you'll need longer running boards than someone with a 2-door model.
Find the Best Accessories for Your Ford Bronco at Archetype
From deciding on the material to purchasing the right model for your Bronco, there are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for Ford Bronco running boards.
At Archetype, we’re just like you. We’re Bronco fanatics who love to customize and personalize our trucks.
That’s why we make it easy to browse all your accessories in one place. With our huge selection and expert customer service, we'll help you find the perfect set of side steps for your ride.
And once you complete your purchase, we'll ship them to you anywhere!