Originally Posted by Denny1969
Short answer - no.
Longer answer - Every boot brand has different model series that have different fits. The differences are going to be volumes in different zones of the boot. A Salomon Impact will have a different fit than a Salomon Quest.
You really should go to be fit for your boots. A good boot fitter can narrow down the selection of boots down to a few.
This is an absolutely accurate answer, but I'm going to give a nuanced one as well.
Each manufacturer has a model line with a whole bunch of boot choices, but many of those choices are condensed into a handful of different shell designs (the hard plastic part of the boot). Usually (but not always!!!) the difference in boots that use the same shell is stiffness, and if the extra stiffness is not important you can move to a lower end boot, save money, and still get the same fit. To use the Salomon Quest example, A Quest 120 and Quest 90 use the same shell design, and there is a good chance that a Quest 90 will fit just as well as a Quest 120. Please note that this is just for example purposes and I don't specifically know that they have the same fit, but they have the shell design and Salomon's website shows the same last measurement, so for the sake of this conversation, I am making an educated guess that they are the same. This does not mean that if I fit great into a 120 that I would go order a 90 if I hadn't tested it, but if my goal was to save money and I didn't need performance of a top-end boot, I would definitely try a 90 if the 120 fit well.
While every shell is different, you will probably find that you certain manufacturers will tend to fit you better. In my case, I find Nordica and Head lines seem to fit best out of the box. My wife has a Salomon foot- when I first met her and took her out for her first bootfitting (how romantic), the only two boots that were even remotely close where 2 different Salomon shells. We bought one and at the beginning of this season ended up buying the other as her skiing progressed to where a performance boot was needed. This again doesn't mean that you can buy a boot blind off of the internet, but it does mean the next time you buy a boot, it probably makes sense to start fitting boots from the same manufacturer (within the same category- just because my feet fit well into a pair of Nordica Speedmachines doesn't mean I'm ever going to bother cramming them into a set of Nordica Doberman plug race boots).
So yes, when you find a shell that fits, you can then look at buying a softer flex in the same design, a previous year, and the like.
One more thing- the only way you are going to find a shell that fits is by visiting a bootfitter. If you go spend 3 hours at the bootfitter, find the perfect boot, leave and go buy it from the internet, you are helping ensure the extinction of both your bootfitter and the existence of these experts as a whole. I understand not wanting to be ripped off. What I have done in the past when I have found a boot is done a quick look at what online prices are, and have added $50 to $150 to the online SHIPPED cost (depending on how difficult a fit it was, how much time I spent in the shop, etc.), and if the bootfitter is in line with that, have purchased the boot from them. If they are not in line, I have pointed out the online price, added the $100 or so on top, and asked if we could make a deal. To date, I've never had to buy a boot online because the shop price has either been within spitting distance of the online price, or they have agreed to sell them for the online price plus the "fitting premium."
Even if they couldn't get there, its still tough for me to use an online price as anything other than a negotiating tool.