I'm looking for a new pair of ski boots. I've had the same boots for 15 years (since I was 16): Solomon X Scream Boots 7.0. They've treated me well but the soles have worn down so much from walking on hard surfaces that they no longer can engage my binding and I've been told it's not safe. While I'm knowledgeable about skis, I have very little knowledge and virtually no experience buying boots so it's been difficult knowing what I should look for. I've never looked for another pair since they've always fit and have been comfortable. Before I get into some specific questions here's a little background on me:
I'm 30 years old, 5'9", 165 lbs, type III skier. I used to race in low level rec leagues on East Coast mountains, but I also like to ski out west. I love moguls, side country, chutes, small cliffs. I ski Blizzard G-Force Power FS IQ 167 length out East and Icelantic Shamans 173 length out West. My feet are also on the wider side and they get wider towards the front of my foot.
My current boots are about 80/90 stiffness. I originally got these in my younger days when I did table tops and it was a good compromise in stiffness since I liked skiing other terrain aggressively. But I no longer do table tops and rarely go off any sizeable cliffs (Nothing for than 10-20 feet at the most). I think I have room for a stiffer boot (definitely out east). But wondering how stiff I should go. Majority of my skiing is out West. I don't know how much overlap there is from ones preference in skis to preference in boots, but for whatever its worth, even though I ski aggressively I don't always prefer the stiffest skis. My blizzard magnum's are great when I'm skiing top speed and cranking turns, but it's difficult to enjoy them for anything less than breaking the sound barrier due to my weight. And I love my Icelantics, but they feel like they have a real speed limit and could use some extra stiffness when going fast. But I guess this typical since one ski can't do it all which is why I have two pairs. What might people suggest for stiffness? I know the rating system isn't consistent from company to company, but are there any brands, models, or general buying tips?
Also, I've been interested in starting to ski tour, but I haven't bought any gear, since I shelled out a lot of cash on the 2 new pairs of skis. However, I could see myself maybe purchasing a new touring setup in the next couple years for occasional touring. Are there touring boots that can be used with a traditional alpine binding? Thanks so much for your help!