Jeep Pimpin' 101: Custom Side Steps for Those Who Don’t Do Ordinary

Jeep Pimpin' 101: Custom Side Steps for Those Who Don’t Do Ordinary

When you're behind the wheel of a Jeep, you're not just driving; you're making a statement. From the rugged trails to the city streets, every Jeep tells a story of adventure, freedom, and individuality. 

And just as every story has its unique twists and turns, every Jeep has its own personality, waiting to be accentuated by the right accessories. 

Side steps are not merely a tool for easier access but a declaration of style, of refusing to be ordinary. Whether you’re looking to amplify your Jeep's rugged charm or integrate a sleek urban touch, custom side steps bridge functionality with aesthetics.

A Blend of Functionality and Flair

For many Jeep enthusiasts, side steps might seem like a standard accessory. But you'll find they offer much more than meets the eye:

  • Safety and Accessibility: Ever had that momentary awkwardness while trying to climb into a tall Jeep, especially when in formal attire or after a tiring day? Side steps offer an ergonomic solution, providing a natural step height for easy vehicle access.
  • Protection from Road Debris: Driving on rugged trails or gravel roads can kick up a storm of debris. Side steps serve as a barrier, reducing the amount of dirt and pebbles that might hit your vehicle's sides.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Side steps provide an avenue for personal expression. Whether you're aiming for a rugged look, a sleek silhouette, or a bit of extra shine, there's a design out there that complements your Jeep's personality.
  • Enhanced Resale Value: Thoughtfully chosen and well-maintained side steps can be a positive point during resale discussions. They signify care for the vehicle and offer the next owner added convenience from day one.
  • Stand Out, Subtly: While Jeeps often share a familial resemblance, it's the subtle touches like side steps that set yours apart, offering both utility and a unique style statement.

Types of Side Steps

Side steps are not just a functional accessory; they're an extension of your Jeep's personality. But with numerous options available, which one aligns with your vision? Let’s explore the various types of side steps available:

Running Boards

Think of them as extended welcome mats for your Jeep. Running boards are flat, wide panels that elegantly stretch along the side, creating a smooth stepping platform.

They’re perfect for those who want a unified appearance that seamlessly blends with the vehicle's design. Their broad stepping surface is especially helpful for grabbing gear down from the roof. 

Nerf Bars

Round or oval, these tubular sidekicks bring a touch of ruggedness. Positioned slightly away from the Jeep, they offer a narrower step compared to running boards.

Ideal for off-road enthusiasts, nerf bars impart a tough aesthetic while providing some shield against side impacts.

Custom Side Steps

Built for the adventurous, custom side steps integrate with your existing rock sliders to produce the heavy-duty champions of side step functionality. They're tailored for off-road escapades and fit seamlessly into your rig as if they were meant to be there.

Custom side steps like the Wrangler Magnum Stirrup or the Gladiator Magnum Stirrup can be removed for heavy-duty rock crawling, and then put back on your Jeep for the other 90% of the time you will be driving. If off-roading is in your DNA, custom side steps are a must-have.


Not quite a full step, but just enough to help access the gear on your roof while not being too intrusive on the trail. Archetype’s Jeep JL Wrangler X JT Gladiator Stirrup is the perfect solution for Jeep owners who don’t want to risk damaging their side step while maintaining roof access.

Retractable Steps

A blend of sophistication and surprise, these steps magically appear when you need them and retract when you don’t.

Offering the best of both worlds, they maintain your Jeep’s clean silhouette while providing a functional step upon door opening. They're the choice for those who love a blend of technology, functionality, and aesthetics.

Drop Steps

An evolution of the nerf bars, drop step bars feature a distinct 'drop-down' step segment for a more comfortable access.

They embrace the rugged appeal of nerf bars, but the added drop-down section ensures entry and exit are a breeze, especially after those long day adventures.

Archetype Racing Side Steps for Jeeps

Jeep JL Wrangler Magnum STIRRUP

The JL Wrangler Magnum STIRRUP is a game-changer for 2018-2023 JL Wrangler owners.

magnum stirrup on a jeep jl wrangler

Key Features:

  • Build Quality: Crafted from clamp-on billet aluminum, this full-length step stands out with both durability and style. 
  • Use Case: Beyond assisting your entry into the cab, they protect your Jeep from unwanted bumps and even make roof rack access a breeze. Plus, they look stellar! 
  • Fitment: Securely attaches to your OEM rocker rail with four clamps each, and the strength of M8 and M10 316 stainless fasteners ensures it’s more robust than the rail itself. 
  • Specifications: With meticulous attention to detail, this product screams OEM+ quality, appearing as if your Jeep Wrangler came with it straight from the factory.

Jeep JL Wrangler X JT Gladiator STIRRUP

Designed exclusively for those with the JL Wrangler or JT GLADIATOR, the STIRRUP emphasizes both function and form.

gladiator stirrup on a green jeep JL wrangler

Key Features:

  • Material: Made from robust 6061 billet, it’s not just another pretty part – it’s a powerhouse. 
  • Use Case: Like its Magnum counterpart, the Stirrup offers a substantial platform for ease of entry and more. 
  • Fitment: With a bi-sectional clamping bracket, installation is smooth without any need for drilling.

Jeep Gladiator Magnum STIRRUP

For those who own a 2020 or newer JT Gladiator, we didn't forget about you. Introducing the Gladiator Magnum STIRRUP.

the magnum stirrup on a green jeep gladiator

Key Features:

  • Build and Design: Boasting the same unparalleled billet aluminum quality, this product is tailored specifically for the Gladiator. 
  • Use Case: From guarding against dings on your doors to simplifying entry, this side step delivers on all fronts. 
  • Specifications: Created with meticulous care, it continues the OEM+ vibe, enhancing the Gladiator's natural aesthetics.

All Archetype Racing Side Steps Offer:

  • Clamp Bracket: Comes standard and is easy to install and remove. Secured with M6 316 stainless steel bolts, and designed with heavy-duty rubber isolation, it ensures zero metal-on-metal contact. 
  • Longevity and Durability: Made in the USA, these side steps promise little maintenance, no rust, and lasting quality.
  • Order Details: All side steps ship in pairs, with free shipping to the lower 48 states. For international shipping queries, reach out to

Whether you’re an off-roader, a daily driver, or somewhere in between, Archetype Racing provides the perfect fusion of style, durability, and functionality. Upgrade your ride with side steps that refuse to do ordinary.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Side Steps

Navigating the world of Jeep side steps can seem daunting with the plethora of options available. However, finding the perfect match for your ride boils down to several key factors. Here's a guide to help you make an informed choice:

Vehicle Compatibility

Not all side steps are universally compatible. It's vital to ensure that the product you're eyeing fits your specific Jeep model. This not only ensures a seamless installation but also guarantees they'll look and function as intended.

Material and Build Quality

Side steps can be made of various materials, including steel, aluminum, and durable polymers. While aesthetics play a role, consider the durability and resistance to elements like rust or corrosion. After all, you want them to last as long as your adventures do.

Design and Aesthetics

Are you aiming for a rugged off-road look, a sleek urban vibe, or something in between? The design of the side steps can drastically alter your Jeep's appearance. Consider options that enhance its natural lines and reflect your personal style.

Installation Complexity

Some side steps require professional installation, while others (like the Stirrup) can take less than 30 minutes. Gauge your comfort level and tools available, and choose a product that aligns with your installation preferences.

Weight Capacity

While most side steps are built to handle the average weight of passengers, if you're considering using them as a mounting point for other gear or foresee heavy usage, it's good to check their weight-bearing capacity.

Safety Features

Some side steps come with added safety features, like non-slip pads or textured surfaces, ensuring a firm grip even in wet or muddy conditions.


Like all accessories, side steps come in a range of prices. It's always a good idea to set a budget beforehand. However, remember that sometimes paying a little extra can mean a significant jump in quality or durability.

Maintenance and Care

Whether you're splashing through muddy trails or cruising clean city streets, your side steps, like all parts of your Jeep, require a bit of TLC to stay in top form. Here's how to ensure they remain functional, safe, and gleaming for years to come:

  • Routine Cleaning: Dust, mud, and grime can accumulate over time. Use a mild detergent and water to scrub the surface of your side steps every so often. For stubborn spots, a soft brush can be helpful. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that might damage the finish. 
  • Check for Rust and Corrosion: Especially if your side steps are made of metal, it's essential to inspect them periodically for signs of rust or corrosion, particularly if you often drive in salty conditions. If spotted early, rust can often be dealt with using over-the-counter solutions. 
  • Tighten the Bolts: Over time, the vibrations from driving can cause the bolts and fixtures of your side steps to loosen slightly. Every few months, give them a quick check and tighten any that seem loose to ensure safety and stability. 
  • Inspect Rubber and Non-slip Pads: If your side steps come equipped with rubber grips or non-slip pads, keep an eye out for wear and tear. Replacing these when they show signs of aging can prevent slips and mishaps. 
  • Touch-up Scratches: Minor scratches can be an eyesore but are often inevitable. Depending on the finish of your side steps, touch-up paint or a polish can help maintain their fresh look. Always ensure that the paint or polish you use is compatible with the side step's material. 
  • Avoid Overloading: While side steps are sturdy, regularly subjecting them to weights beyond their capacity can cause strain. Ensure you're aware of their weight limits, especially if using them to mount or store other equipment. 
  • Annual Professional Check: Consider having your side steps inspected by a professional annually. They might spot potential issues or wear that you might have missed, ensuring that your side steps remain in optimal condition.

Step Up Your Game

Choosing the right side steps for your Jeep isn’t just about functionality—it's a reflection of your personal style and how you choose to express yourself on the open road. Archetype Racing offers a seamless blend of durability, aesthetics, and functionality that stands out in a sea of ordinary.