I've found that I need a wide toe box.
La Sportiva Wildcats. (https://sectionhiker.com/la-sportiva-wildcat-3-0-trail-runner-review/ )
Wide toe box ++
Update of November 12, 2019
Ok. I'm on my second pair of Wildcats. Maine really tore them up, the rocks were sharp and I abused the shoes all to heck. Ended up wearing Merrell's to get me through the Whites and into Vermont. Now back to Wildcats which really fit my feet well.
I've gone with the GTX version both times.
Merrell Moab 2 (https://www.switchbacktravel.com/reviews/merrell-moab-2 )
Brooks is ever changing.
Not much in the way of reviews.
Ratings compare it to the Wildcat as not quite as good.
Stick with North Face.
Well, I did for a while. All the way to mile 710. The Gortex kept failing after about 100-150 miles on the trial (it lasted for hundreds of miles when just worn around town.
Conclusion: perfect casual wear, not good trail wear.
The Top Footwear Brands
As in years past, Salomon, Brooks, and Merrell were among the most popular footwear brands of AT long-distance hikers. Salomon was the top brand, as before, but Altra entered the running, from being worn by less than 4 percent of hikers last year, to over 12 percent this year.