There's a conundrum I've wrestled with, which (to strain the metaphor) you could say has successfully dumped me on my butt more than once on the ski hill.
I like my boots (all my shoes, really) tight. Especially for skiing and bicycling, the feeling that my feet can shift around at all makes me reach for the buckles to crank them down. For both biking and skiing, this can lead to numb or sore feet (yes, they can end up tight enough to impede circulation), and not just when it's cold.
My current boots were fitted, canted, punched out, padded around the heel (which was shifting sideways more than I liked), and I've got custom footbeds. I have trouble believing they're too long: my toes definitely hit the front of the liner when I first put them on. And while the boot is wide (Tecnica Phoenix HVL 120), so are my feet (EEE or so, with a narrow heel and lower calf). Actually, the forefoot of the current boots is even wider than they started out---that's one of the areas that got punched out.
All of the bootfitters I've seen have said some variant of "boots should feel like a firm grasp around your foot, not a chokehold." But the way they demonstrate buckling them, while it feels ok in the store, on the hill feels like my foot is shifting around. For example, should I need to settle my heel back and down into the pocket, after getting off the lift or walking around? Should I be able to engage an edge from standing on a flat ski, simply by flexing my foot? Eventually, I end up cranking the buckles tighter, and tighter, and TIGHTER, as the day goes by. The end result can be a couple of notches tighter than where they started in the morning. The third buckle (over the ankle) can end up so tight I really have to strain to get it to close. And this isn't for racing. I'm the kind of "intermediate" skier who can ski (not sideslip) western blues and easy blacks, but worries about getting going too fast.
Or am I just trying to get the boot to compensate for a lack of control/strength/balance in my feet and ankles, and what I really need is to leave them a little looser and build up those muscles?
Thanks for any pointers.