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Brooks Divide 2 - Women's Review

If you are looking for an affordable shoe to run light trails and fire roads, look no further because this is the perfect shoe for you
Brooks Divide 2 - Women's
Credit: Brooks
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $100 List | $99.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Affordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners
Cons:  Not rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitive
Manufacturer:   Brooks
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 18
  • Foot Protection - 25% 6.0
  • Traction - 20% 7.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 6.0
  • Stability - 15% 8.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

While the Brooks Divide 2 didn't knock our socks off in most of our testing metrics, it is a solid shoe that rightfully earned its honor as a Best Buy award recipient. With the BioMoGo DNA cushion that Brooks is known for, a mesh upper, and plenty of lateral support, the Divide is a great trail shoe for beginning trail runners. Its mildly supportive arch and gentle, protective elements provide a comfortable ride that can crossover into the road running realm with ease. The lugs are long enough to provide more grip than a standard road shoe but not burly enough to tackle tough terrain. If you are in the market for an affordable shoe that can take on light terrain and the occasional road run, the Divide might be the perfect shoe for you.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $99.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$130 List
$130.00 at Amazon
$124.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$129.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$124.75 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Affordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runnersLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableWell-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high valueGreat traction, streamlined profile, encourages speedExcellent traction, great foot protection, specific fit, durable outsole
Cons Not rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitiveNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-inStack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebedLess protective, runs narrowHigher heel is less stable, lugs wear down on pavement, fit won't suit everyone
Bottom Line If you are looking for an affordable shoe to run light trails and fire roads, look no further because this is the perfect shoe for youStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeWith a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mileWhen you are looking to ratchet up the speed on technical trails, this is the lightweight and snug-fitting shoe you'll reach forAn aggressive trail shoe that is built for steep, technical, and sloppy trails
Rating Categories Brooks Divide 2 - W... Dynafit Feline SL -... Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Saucony Peregrine 12 Salomon Speedcross 5
Foot Protection (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Traction (20%)
7.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
Sensitivity (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Stability (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Comfort and Fit (15%)
7.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Weight (10%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
5.0
Specs Brooks Divide 2 - W... Dynafit Feline SL -... Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Saucony Peregrine 12 Salomon Speedcross 5
Measured Weight (per shoe) 8.0 oz (size 7) 9.45 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
7.41 oz (size 7)
8.6 oz (size 9)
7.76 oz (size 7) 9.52 oz (size 7)
10.7 oz (size 9)
Heel-to-Toe Drop 8 mm 8 mm 5 mm 4 mm 10 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 20 mm, 12 mm Not disclosed 31 mm 26.5 mm, 22.5 mm 35 mm, 25 mm
Upper Synthetic mesh Mesh, continuous nylon Engineered mesh Recycled polyester Air-mesh Nylon mesh, sythetic overlays
Midsole EVA Feline SL midsole EVA PWRRUN Injected EVA
Outsole Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer Rubber PWRTRAC rubber Contragrip
Rock Plate? Yes Not disclosed None Yes Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No Yes No
Sizes Available 5 - 12 5 - 11 6 - 11 5 - 12 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

We awarded the Brooks Divide 2 our Best Buy award because of its more accessible price point. It provides a supportive and stable ride, though predominantly on mildly technical trails. The Divide boasts an 8mm drop, with the heel standing at 20mm off the ground and the toe side of the shoe at 12mm. These kicks feature Brooks' standard BioMoGo DNA loft, a protective rock plate, and solid breathability. We will be recommending these shoes to our friends who are looking to get into trail running without a huge upfront cost.

Performance Comparison


Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - with the feel of a road shoe and the traction of a mild trail shoe...
With the feel of a road shoe and the traction of a mild trail shoe, the Divide can tackle mellow trails with ease.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


Upon first feel, the protective elements of the Divide 2 don't really feel like much, especially compared to some of the ultra-rugged trail shoes we have tested over the years. However, once we put these shoes to the test, they performed better than we expected.


These shoes feature a rock plate and strong outsole design, protecting your feet from rogue rocks and sticks. The toe bumper is the most subtle out of all of the shoes we tested but provides enough protection to make you feel safe when cruising over rock-laden terrain. It is soft enough to not feel cumbersome while in motion but provides adequate coverage in case of an accidental toe stub.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - the toebox of the divide is about as spacious as a standard road...
The toebox of the Divide is about as spacious as a standard road running shoe with a rubber toecap to protect your feet from accidental rock kicking.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

If it starts to rain while you are out on your run, the Divide will do a pretty good job at wicking moisture off the shoe's outer. All bets are off if you stomp through a stream on your run, though, as your foot will end up pretty wet. Despite their breathability, these shoes also didn't dry as well as others. This is one of the multiple reasons why we don't recommend the Divide for epic, rugged terrain. That said, we love the underfoot feel of these shoes while running across sandy beaches, and they did a pretty good job at keeping sand and other small particles out. The synthetic mesh upper has two layers of a tightly woven textile that allows airflow while still preventing dirt from infiltrating.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - soft, sandy trails felt just right in the brooks divide 2.
Soft, sandy trails felt just right in the Brooks Divide 2.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Traction


If you get caught in the rain on a road run, these are the shoes you want strapped to your feet. They provide excellent traction across slippery, wet, flat surfaces. The rectangular lugs are pretty modest, but they are patterned in such a way to create a solid connection with whatever surface is beneath you. We love the way the lugs extend to the very edge of the outsole.


When compared to burlier options, the Divide 2 doesn't quite hold up across granite or scree. This is the main reason why we recommend this shoe for light trails and fire roads, predominately. The Divide holds its own on flowy, well-traveled trails, but it isn't tough enough to be a true mountain running shoe. That said, its DNA loft and modest lugs make it a great crossover shoe.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - not the burliest lugs we've seen, but they do the job on moderate to...
Not the burliest lugs we've seen, but they do the job on moderate to light trails.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Because the lugs are flat out of the box, we didn't notice them wearing down like the textured ones on other shoes we tested. Brooks markets the Divide 2 as a shoe built for light trails, and we can agree that it lives up to those expectations. If you want traction that can get you through rock scrambles, this isn't going to be your best bet. But if you are interested in trying out a shoe with enough traction to keep you upright on a gentle trail, we deem the Divide a solid investment.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - the rectangular lugs are well-spaced for providing grip on wet...
The rectangular lugs are well-spaced for providing grip on wet surfaces.
Credit: Ally Arcuri


Sensitivity


Despite having a rock plate, the Divide 2 lost us in terms of sensitivity. As we ran over sharp rocks on central California trails, we became intimately acquainted with the sharp rocks we landed on and found that we had to pay really close attention to where each footfall landed.


If you are looking for a trail shoe that allows you to feel every rock and bramble that you run over, you'll like the feeling of this shoe. Our caveat here is that if you are only looking for something to take on hard-packed dirt trails, the Divide will allow you to feel the undulations in the trail more than a traditional trail shoe. In short, the base of the shoe rides like a road shoe, and when it comes to trail sensitivity, it just didn't feel quite right.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - the underfoot sensitivity of the divide just wasn't what we have...
The underfoot sensitivity of the Divide just wasn't what we have grown to desire in a trail running shoe.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


In our road running review, Brooks shoes reign when it comes to stability. Time after time, Brooks releases shoes with exceptional lateral stability, and this feature is exceptionally valuable for runners who tend to run (or fatigue) into over-pronators or ankle rollers. While the Divide 2 has an 8mm drop, the width of the platform allows for plenty of stability.


The Divide is engineered with reinforced mesh and other elements laterally, which add to its support. Because of these stability features, we could award the Divide a relatively high score in this metric. Though other shoes ultimately beat it, we recommend the Divide for over-pronators looking to take on some smooth trails.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - the divide offers great stability for runners looking to keep their...
The Divide offers great stability for runners looking to keep their form intact while bombing down well-groomed trails.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Comfort and Fit


Putting the Divide 2 on is like slipping your foot into your favorite pair of Brooks road running shoes. It is shaped like many of their road runners with a slightly tapered toe and standard-sized toebox.


This shoe feels a bit less plush than other Brooks models that we have come to know and love, but the underfoot and heel cup cushion provide an incredibly comfortable running experience. This might not be the shoe for you if you have a wide foot, even though it isn't quite as narrow as some of the agility-promoting shoes we have tested. Overall, the comfort and fit are pretty standard and way less niche than many of the other shoes in our lineup.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - we do love the shape and responsiveness of this light trail shoe.
We do love the shape and responsiveness of this light trail shoe.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


The Divide 2 weighs 8.0 ounces per shoe in size 7 US, which is definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum. This is to be expected since it isn't made to take on super rugged terrain.


The Divide provides a comfortable and evenly-weighted ride. The weight is distributed in such a way that we never felt like we were imbalanced or lugging extra weight around. Though it isn't the most lightweight option out there, its relatively low weight impressed us.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - the modesty of the protective features helps to keep this trail shoe...
The modesty of the protective features helps to keep this trail shoe on the lighter side.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Brooks Divide 2?


If you are new to trail running and want to dip your toes into trail shoes without breaking the bank, we absolutely recommend giving the Divide 2 a chance. Even if you are a veteran trail runner who is looking for a crossover shoe or a shoe to take on light trails, the Divide holds up. It fits like a road running shoe, which makes it a great gateway shoe for trail running. The affordability and features come together perfectly to make the Divide a choice worth considering.

Brooks Divide 2 - Women's trail running shoes - if you want an affordable shoe that can handle mild trail demands...
If you want an affordable shoe that can handle mild trail demands, the Divide is the shoe for you.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


As we have mentioned, the Brooks Divide 2 is not the most aggressive trail running shoe on the market. If you want a shoe that can propel you through rock scrambling and up the techiest trails, look instead at the Salomon Speedcross 5, the Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3, or the HOKA Torrent 2. The Torrent 2 offers a somewhat similar fit to a road shoe but has beefier protective elements and traction than the Divide. But if you want a shoe that does it all for less money than most of the high-scoring options, the Divide is solid.

Ally Arcuri
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