In the “color us surprised” department, Brooks has added a new trail shoe the lineup with the Divide. This entry-level trail shoe takes its cues from the other staple Brooks trail models like the Cascadia and Caldera but is designed for those who might not need all the frills or are just getting into trail running and want to test the waters with a shoe designed for the trails. The Divide turned out to be a subtle stripped-down performer that really anyone can enjoy and many may find joy in this simplicity.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A budget level trail shoe that can still handle almost anything
- Comes in at 10.3oz or 292g for a US Men’s 9
- Has an 8mm heel/toe drop
- Retails at $100.00 USD
- Comes in 2 colors for Men and Women
The Divide takes a lot of notes from the updated Caldera. It actually has a very similar profile and aesthetic, but comes in with a slightly smaller stack and lacks some of the additional features. That being said, the shoe is very comfortable. I will say the fabrics feel slightly less durable and while I hate to use the word cheaper, remember the shoe is designed for a lower price point and inevitably some sacrifices in durable materials will have been made. I did find however that this didn’t really impact my opinion of the shoe. The interesting part was if I ran the side-by-side with another Brooks model, the differences were very minor and none of them would revolve around quality.
So all that being said, you are asking how do they run and the answer is pretty well. I did find the upper to be a little looser given the difference in material and having a little more of that cushioning from something like the Caldera would be nice or even a stronger rock plate. However, when it came to most normal trails and fire roads, especially well-groomed ones, the Divide did just great. I also would never recommend it as a performance shoe, but for easy runs, they did the job really nicely. One stand out is the toe box and hoping this width makes its way into shoes like the Cascade as it is nice and roomy.
In terms of improvements, this is a tough one because it is designed to be a cost-effective entry-level shoe. It lacks a rock plate, but do you need one? It could use more cushioning, but is it necessary? It could have a more durable upper, but in all these questions the answer is really to move to a higher level shoe not necessarily to blame the Divide. I find it to be very capable for most trail newcomers.
The upper on the Divide uses an engineered mesh and doesn’t necessarily feel as rugged as something like the Caldera 4, but seems to handle most of what the trail can throw at it. It does have a nice wide toe box giving you plenty of toe room and also has a midfoot wrap that proved more side to side stability which is especially nice on technical terrain. It does lack a lace pouch or control which other Brooks’ models do have.
The Divide uses Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA midsole technology which is really designed for comfort and that plushness should help prevent a lot of debris impact through the bottom of the foot. In addition, it does have a lightweight rock plate and this together means you glide pretty well over most problem areas on the trail.
The outsole on the Divide is full rubber and uses their TrailTack design which is supposed to be stickier and does seem to grip really well. The multi-directional lugs are not hyper-aggressive, but are plenty for most environments.
Style & Aesthetics
The Divide comes in 2 colors for men and women and while it might be an entry-level shoe, it definitely doesn’t look or feel that way.
As we said, we were surprised to see the Divide show up on Brooks’ model lineup, but it’s an interesting shoe. Providing an entry-level trail shoe is something a lot of brands are choosing not to tackle, but many people are getting more and more interested in trying to move from road to trail and also want to see what a trail shoe feels like. Spending $50 less and getting something that is the quality of the Divide is a great idea. It doesn’t have a lot of frills, but what it does it does decently.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.