Traditionally, cricket bats have had varying degrees of round toes throughout the years; however, the recent trend is the square toe.
Our opinion on square toes is that they are entirely aesthetic. They look cool, and it's what the guys on TV use, but they add no functional benefits to the way the bat hits the ball. We're not against them, and we even have bats in our range that come with them as a default, but when choosing a toe shape, there are some things players should be aware of:
1. Square toes add unnecessary weight to the bottom of the bat. The challenge, as always, is to make the bat pick up well whilst keeping it big. Keeping unnecessary English willow at the bottom of the bat makes this a bit tougher.
2. Sharper corners are more prone to damage. More surface area can be hit at the weakest point of the bat. Often when the toe can get the most damage is when you knick it right on the corner of the bat or jam down on a yorker.
3. The entire toe sits on the ground. What difference could this possibly make? If you are going from a round toe to a square toe, it can feel a bit different dependent on your stance and setup. Not a biggy, just something to be aware of that's all.
Well that's our assessment! Love 'em or hate 'em, square toes are here to stay so good luck in making your next bat decision.