Aside from the chilly toes, I have an additional boot-related issue that I'm hoping you guys may be able to help with.
My current boots are Salomon Idol 8.0s, purchased prior to the 2009/10 season. Shell size is 23.0. It was the first time I'd ever gotten a proper fit with a pair of boots and we did a fair bit of work on them over the first few months, including footbeds and punching out a couple of really painful hotspots at the base of the big toe on each foot. Even so, I've never been 100% comfortable in them. Initially they felt crazy tight; now it feels like to get them snug enough, I have to buckle them down so tightly that my shins and feet are screaming by the end of the day. Loosening the buckles even a touch makes things feel sloppy.
So at the start of this season I went looking for an AT boot, and dealt with a different bootfitter at a local store. He tried me in several different boots in a 22.0 shell, and told me that they're too big. There was noticeable heel lift even in the best-fitting boot. But apparently it's not possible to get women's boots in a smaller shell; he said I'm most likely going to have to go with a kids' boot to get a proper fit. Since working with this bootfitter, I'm much more aware of the fact that my downhill boots aren't working as well as they should.
My questions are:
- Is it true that there's no women's boot available in a 21.0 shell? I seem to recall reading about at least one on here, though I remember it was noted as a rarity.
- If I have to go with a kids' boot, what makes/models should I be looking at?
- Are there any AT boots available in a shell size that would fit me? I'm not aware that this is a big market for kids' boots...
- Are there any liners that would improve the situation if I have to go with the 22.0 shell?
A couple of pieces of possibly relevant information: I wear custom orthotics which I use in my ski boots. I'm a small, lightweight skier (5'4" and just under 120lbs) who likes to charge reasonably hard. My preference is for off-piste skiing in steep open bowls (home mountain is Whistler) and I'm looking to start getting into the backcountry this year.
Advice and suggestions very much appreciated...