Time for new boots. But before beginning the arduous, I would like to narrow the field and start with a list of lasts to try. I am so very grateful for you and your expertise in helping make this a little more efficient.
Current boots: Nordica Dobermann Jr. Race boots, size 275 mm with Zip-fit liners. (the stock liner did not take up enough volume even in the race boot.)
What I like about them: They are narrow enough; they are responsive and have a good snow feel.
What I don't like about them: Despite the best fit I've ever had (the only boots that didn't cause real pain) my big toenails go black every season. They have horrid, perfectly smooth soles that build up ice. I do a fair amount of hiking and boot packing and if I'm not very careful about getting the ice off, I get pre-releases which have been dangerous in the past. (not to mention treacherous in lodge) I'm not exaggerating here; they quickly build up large ice (not snow) clumps that practically require a pick-axe to get off - which is usually not available on a windy ridgeline....;-P)
My foot: very, very narrow with a high, bony instep and unusually long toes (hence the black toenails). (may be that they are short to get the lower volume.)
What I'd like to have: An equally narrow fit but with room in the toe box. equally good or better performance. A walk mode that is suitable for light touring and boot-packing. Soles that won't build up ice like the Dobermanns.
There are good boot fitters around here, so I'm not adverse to something that may require being ground or punched. I would have just gone with the Fisher vacuum but the 100s of pages of complaints about them give me pause.
So can you all help me start this adventure with a list of potentials?
Thank you so very much!