Hey all, I just wanted to update you on my bindings stuff. I was all set to take your advice and I was hoping my local shop would carry some of the bindings suggested in this thread. Unfortunately they didn't carry any of them but there was a huge garage event thingy to get rid of last year's gear. A few companies were also there to promote their gear and offer huge discounts. I had my board boots with me and I figure it wouldn't hurt to look.
I took the bait and decided to try some GNU Weird bindings, since the men's medium fit my boots and the guys said that their women's line are essentially identical. I wouldn't have gone that route if they weren't only $75 (used only a few times for demo). The ones I have are this year's model
(They aren't the ones that were recalled last year, so....that shouldn't be an issue).
I took them out to Steven's Pass last Saturday to try them and now my feet feel like they are floating on nice, warm pillows!!!! I have the toe cap set tight-ish so it requires a little force to pull the back up---a bit awkward at first. But it means that the ankle strap can stay relatively loose and my feet are put!
I can tell that it's won't be easy to strap into them on a steep hill though I wonder if I can circumvent that by swinging around toe-side to stick my feet in.
I do like that I don't have to continuously readjust them once they are set. They should last a bit longer if I don't always have to mess with them. I like that I can pop the ankle strap for the chair lift. The position of the back also makes it easy for me to slide my free foot in the other strap. I hope the cable lasts. I hope the straps, adjustments, etc don't loosen up over time.
So compared to my old bindings (where my boots were basically on plastic and metal) these are like floating on clouds. We'll see how I feel about them at the end of the season. I still should get another or extra insert for my right boot at some point. And my dad's gonna send me some heated insoles! I didn't realize this until a couple weeks ago but it turns out his company actually makes these guys
So I'm keeping this thread bookmarked in case these bindings do crap out on me. Thanks again for your help!