Hello everyone (who bothers to read this thread and help a noob out)!
I have a story of boot woes that is probably not unlike that of many beginners. I've been riding a pair of Nike Vapen boots, size 8.5 (I wear 9 in my street shoes, but all my shoes are loose). Got them heat molded after buying them (without toe caps the first time - stupid). First day on the mountain with them was disrupted by horrible foot pain. My toes were being squished and circulation was cut off, so... owy! Made an emergency trip to a store in town and got them heat molded a second time, this time with toe caps. Much better! Still not 100% comfy, but much better. A guy at that store said the boots were probably too big for me. Fast forward to this season and after some packing out, they feel more comfortable to wear, but I am seeing the dreaded heel lift. Another thing that I think I do wrong is, I lace them up real tight, which gets uncomfortable after a while. And then I tighten the bindings to an extreme, probably to compensate for the loose boots. Feet are unhappy. My front foot (which stays strapped in for most of the day) gets numb and tingly and sometimes very cold. I can live with it for now, because as soon as I take the boots off, I feel fine, no lingering pain or anything; but I do get a sudden rush of warmth from the blood coming back - I probably should not do this long term.
Another problem that I think I have with my current boots is that the toe box is kind of narrow. I have weird misshapen feet - narrow heel and wide ball/toes. Ugh! So I've been eyeing the 32 Lashed, which are said to have a wider toe box, and which my friend totally loves (she has last year's model, got them online, says they work great for her, how are other people so lucky??). Today I tried the Lashed in size 8 at a local store. I could lift my heel in the liner if I really tried (stand up on my tippy toes and crank my calf to lift the heel - kind of hard to explain). But they felt fine when leaning on them like in a toeside turn - no lift at all. The person at the store said I should probably try a 7.5 as well, but I'm not sure I can even put them on ("my foot doesn't bend that way"). The 8 was a bit of challenge to put on. He also said that with new boots, it's good to have your toes almost crushed to the end of it because you then heat mold them and they pack out. With the 8, my toes were up against the end of the liner, but the boots felt quite comfortable.
So I guess what I will do from here is try to get a hold of a 7.5 pair of Lashed (the store here didn't have them) and see if I can put them on at all and how they feel.
Conclusion: boot sizing/fitting is an utter mess
tl;dr, my questions are:
How much do 32 Lashed boots pack out in your opinion?
What other boots would you recommend I look at for my weird feet (narrow heel, wide toes)?
Is it true that new boots should be tight to the point where they are uncomfortable?
What liners should I be looking at to help with heel lift (either on my current boots or on new ones if it keeps happening)?
@poutanen, I liked this post of yours from a while back - I am still looking for my revelation moment concerning boots