It could be a habit too... I used to buy boots that were too big and got used to over tightening to compensate. When I finally bought proper fitting boots it took me a while to realize I didn't need to tighten as much. Overtightening a tight boot hurts just as much as overtightening a loose one!
So I should probably try a few pairs in store again, and have them be 100% snug (but not numbingly so), and not just get on because it's on sale?
Any good brands/boots that cater to wider front feet?