I am looking for some help/opinions from all you experienced skiers out there. But first my info: I am male, 25 years old, 180 pounds, and have size 10.5 feet. I consider myself a moderately aggressive(liking speed and hard turns 80% of the time) and high advanced level(hard blues and blacks, some bowls) skier. I ski mainly groomed runs about 70% of the time, but I like to venture off in to the trees and bowls when I can break from the less-adventurous crowd. I don't do the terrain parks. I ski Keystone, Breckenridge, A Basin, and Vail. I am from the midwest and have skied, on average, one week a year in Colorado, starting when I was 5. I have always rented the advanced level ski package from the local Silverthorne, CO ski shop. I am to the age where I have a job and money and plan to start skiing more often. I intend on making trips out west 2-3 time a year, and hitting the hills around Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin while travelling for work when tickets are cheap. I have always had issues when renting boots as they are all too wide for my feet and allow the boots and skis to rotate around my foot. They work for the week, but I have to over-tighten them causing my calves to be tenderized by weeks end. I am considering buying my own equipment to avoid the steady payout to the rental places, and to get quality stuff that fits me well.
Now for the questions...given the few amount of times I ski a year, is it advisable to purchase my own equipment? Just skis, just boots, or the whole package? I know boots are the most important, but I have never heard of someone owning boots and renting skis to use them in. Is that a good idea or not? I am willing to pay what is needed to get the appropriate gear, so price is not super important as long as its not a ripoff. I have been looking online at equipment, but with all the options, and not knowing what to look for, I am sort of at a loss. Boots are the biggest problem, because obviously you can't try them on online, and we don't have much(if any) in the way of ski shops here in the flat land. Any tips or recommendations would be much appreciated. If looking to give specific advice, any purchases would most likely be done in the Denver/Silverthorne/Breckenridge area on my trip out there in January. Thanks for your time!