It certainly could be those. But, I've had the issue with multiple boots and multiple insoles, so unknown.it is usually boot fit, boot lacing and foot to boot conditioning problems. . .
I'd probably take that bet - because I also mentioned above I'll occasionally get the sensation with my road bike and bike shoes, or when running in my running shoes, and in both of those scenarios, I can say pretty definitively that's not happening. I'm leaning either towards a fit issue, or mechanics of my foot / arch and the type of boot / insoles that I have.I would bet a steak dinner you have enough room in the toe box to slightly curl your toes in a "gripping" manner and unconsciously you are doing so on uneven or steep terrain because you instinctively think you need to grip that surface with your toes.