1996 GMC Sonoma

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What Are Rock Sliders?

Whereas running boards emphasize easing entry into the cab, rock sliders are all about protection. After all, why beat up the Jeep® or pickup you’ve dumped hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars worth of suspension, wheels, tires, and other upgrades into? 

Rock sliders, like nerf bars and running boards, sit just below your vehicle’s rocker panels, guarding the sheet metal against damage from rocks, felled trees, and other obstacles while wheeling. Rock sliders typically feature heavy-duty tubular steel construction for robust strength and durability, ensuring maximum protection and minimal body damage.

How to Choose Rock Sliders

With so many products on the market, how can you choose just one pair of sliders? When browsing our extensive inventory, consider the following factors:


How would you like your sliders to fit? We carry various fitments at RealTruck®, including cab length and wheel-to-wheel. While most Jeep sliders, like the Fab Fours Tube Rock Sliders, stretch from tire to tire, truck sliders come in two configurations. 

Cab-length rock sliders extend the length of the cab, covering the front and rear doors (if applicable). Alternatively, wheel-to-wheel rock sliders, like the Smittybilt M1 Series Sliders, extend from the beginning of the cab (just behind the front tires) to the beginning of the rear wheel wells, covering the front section of the bed as well as the cab.

RealTruck Expert Pick—Cab Length: Go Rhino® Dominator D1 Side Steps

Why we love it: 

  • Robust all-steel construction

  • Stylish and corrosion-resistant textured black powder coat finish

  • Offers exceptional rocker protection

  • Sleek, cab-length design

  • Full-width, 5.5-in. wide, non-slip stepping surface

  • Simple, no-drill installation on most applications

  • Limited lifetime structural | 5-year finish warranty


Rock sliders come in several sizes—some are beefier than others, featuring wider-diameter, thick-wall tubing. Others rely on comparatively thinner and narrower tubing to maintain a sleek, low-profile appearance. 

Sizing also pertains to the height of the sliders, as some extend lower than others to provide more protection—at the expense of ground clearance.


What’s your preferred aesthetic? Rock sliders come in various styles, ranging from angular, square-tube to round tubing. Some are minimalistic, featuring only tubular frames, while others feature welded-on step plates to ease entry into the cab, like Havoc Offroad TrailCrawler Steps.

RealTruck Expert Pick—Minimalist Design: N-Fab Rock Rails

Why we love it: 

  • Snug, tightly-tucked profile

  • Robust 1.7-in. tubular steel construction

  • Sleek and corrosion-resistant textured black powder coat

  • Optional RKR bolt-on steps bolster accessibility

  • Simple rocker-panel-mounting

  • Limited lifetime structural | 5-year finish warranty


Rock sliders are all about durability---some materials are more durable than others. While most rock sliders feature high-strength steel tube constructions, others sacrifice durability for lighter weight and corrosion resistance, like the aluminum APS Truck Armor Side Steps.


What’s your preferred aesthetic? While most sliders emphasize off-road durability, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looks. While most sliders come exclusively in black, others feature raw or brushed elements for added styling, like the Smittybilt Apollo Rock Sliders.