Okay, you want to buy a pair of boots but you keep hearing this weird term. Toe box?
What is this?
Some medieval right-of-passage?
Some underground fight club?
Too tight and you’ll be in pain from having your toe crammed against your boot and if you are lucky you’ll get a lovely blister.
Too loose and you’ll feel like you are walking in duck shoes. The best way to find a hiking boot with a toe box that fits is to go to an outfitter and try on several pairs of shoes. This isn’t a fashion competition so style doesn’t really matter. Fit does.
Once you find a pair that fits well all over go stand on that mock hill thingy that they have at the outfitters. Point your toes downhill and let your feet relax into the boot. From the same position, hold on to something (spouses and small children are good for this) and kick the fake rock like you are trying to kick up some dust.
Stand there a few more minutes looking like a dork or a seasoned expert. Hoop down and walk around the shoe area. If you feel any pinching or binding, don’t buy the boots.
Try on another pair, even if it is the SAME style of boots.
A bumble in the stitching might be a small irritant in the store by 4 miles into a 12 mile hike you’ll be ready to try hiking barefoot or on your kneecaps.
Have fun! And try not to take it all so seriously. Seriously.