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Trail Running Shoes • January 29, 2021

Brooks Divide 2 Performance Review

divide 2

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.3 oz. (292 g) for a US M9 / 9.2 oz. (261 g) for a US W7
  • Air mesh upper provides a road shoe feel
  • Reliable traction and protection on the trails
  • Beginner’s trail shoe at bargain price

COURTNEY: The Brooks Divide 2 basically begs you to rip them straight out of the box and immediately go out for an adventurous and muddy 18 miler. Not like a regular trail run, but like a cool trail run, where you take a Snickers bar with you because you might stay out past dinner. The first time I wore this shoe was on a particularly soul-cleansing long run and while I questioned everything I thought I knew about myself and life, the Brooks Divide 2 was the supportive friend I needed. I’m well on my way to pulling a T.Swift and writing a song about them.

TAYLOR: Brooks has been making some real improvements in their trail lines over the last couple of years – choosing one or two major issues to address each year and go from there. Progress is slow but sure.

The Brooks Divide 2 is following its predecessor as an “intro-to-trail” shoe. It will provide some of all of the trail-specific anatomy while trying to maintain a fit and feel of a road shoe to make the transition easier. 

If you’re just getting into the trail scene, the Brooks Divide 2 might be exactly what you’re looking for.

divide 2

The Good

COURTNEY: As I alluded to in the intro, the Divide 2 is ready to go straight out of the box and does not require a break-in period. A neutral shoe with BioMoGo DNA cushioning, this shoe is comfortable with a breathable air mesh upper that has reinforcement where trail shoes typically tend to blow out. A secure heel and lightweight rock plate add to the superb protection. Brooks really crushed it in the traction department with a combination of sticky, low profile lugs that create a sense of security as you cruise the trails, yet they don’t make you feel like you’re tap-dancing on the roads. 

Weighing 9.2 oz and with an 8 mm drop, the Divide 2 is a shoe that can do it all. Endurance runs, tempo runs, recovery runs, races. Not everyone has the means for a prominent shoe collection (*cough cough* Thomas) and I certainly appreciate a shoe that can perform well no matter the terrain, distance or pace.

The geometric design on the midsole takes my mind to the mountains, even if I’m not running in them. The black/neon pink color scheme is quite attractive.

Mix it all together and you have a sweet looking, robust, responsive hybrid road to trail shoe with a snuggly fit in all the right places and plenty of space in the toe box.

TAYLOR: The Divide 2 is very similar shoe to last year’s model but has made a couple of major improvements. This shoe set more of its own precedence rather than just being a slimmed-down version of their tank, the Cascadia.

At only $100, Brooks is offering a decent package. If you typically run in something like a Brooks Revel, New Balance 880, or ASICS Nimbus and you run some trails, this is the shoe for you. 

A more secure fit was desperately needed, and Brooks gave it to us. An integrated tongue helps wrap the midfoot from the inside while a strong overlay brings reinforcement from the outside. This setup gave me loads more confidence right out of the box. 

Laces are usually not something I notice, but the Divide 2 has some nice ones. For starters, they give a bright accent to the grey/black colorway. They’re also rougher to the touch which helped secure the fit for longer. A lot of times, after miles on the trail, your shoes will feel looser from all of the lateral movements you do on the trail. It’s much less of a problem here. 

Underfoot, protection is the main priority. You’ll get it with a firm slab of BioMoGo EVA. the TrailTack outsole with an equally aggressive and subdued lug pattern will give anyone confidence running on a variety of surfaces from road to moderate trail.

Shop Divide 2 – Men Shop Divide 2 – Women divide 2

The Bad

COURTNEY: While I believe the Brooks Divide 2 tends to run on the narrow side in the midfoot, the sizing does run slightly large and is noticeable in the wider and longer toe box. Definitely suggest going down half a size from what you typically run in. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s worth noting.

TAYLOR: Maybe it’s because I’m primarily a trail runner these days, but Brooks is reaching a little far with all of the trail-specific components. The Divide 2 is a shoe for those new to the trail game, and it includes a lot of features that many people THINK they need when, in reality, they’re just unnecessary.

Most of my concern is underfoot. A thick protective outsole and near bulletproof midsole don’t need another layer of protection via a rock plate. At times, it feels like you’re running on bricks. The whole Brooks Divide package is a little more smooth all-around compared to last year, but I would have a hard time selling this to someone who is probably used to a softer and smoother ride.

The weight doesn’t help the brick feeling either. 11.2 ounces for a men’s size 10.5 isn’t atypical in a trail shoe. But again, if you’re selling this primarily to road runners, meet them a little closer to what they would be used to in terms of weight.

Shop Divide 2 – Men Shop Divide 2 – Women divide 2

Brooks Divide 2 Conclusion

COURTNEY: Overall Brooks Divide 2 is beyond dope and an exceptional option for any level of trail runner and terrain. As a first trail shoe or another option for a seasoned trail runner to add into their rotation it’s a shoe everyone can appreciate. I was surprised to see this shoe was only $100.00, however, an affordable price point always makes an awesome shoe that much sweeter. Great job, Brooks!

TAYLOR: Overall, the Divide 2 is worth its price point. Brooks has made some small but very positive changes since the first model. You’ll get a nice fitting, well-protected, grippy trail shoe to help broaden your horizons of what running has to offer.

You can pick up the Brooks Divide 2 (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Divide 2 – Men Shop Divide 2 – Women

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