I can't question the OP's motives, but my 5'4" 74 yr old mother has gotten into my TJ with 33's and a 4" lift on quite a few occasions. Not that easily I guess, but she can. She gets into my sisters TJ pretty easily with a BB and 31's. Neither of us have side steps.
So unless one has a disability or is unusually short, under 5', I can't see side steps having any utility, but neither of those were mentioned in the OP's post so who knows?.