None of the ski shops where I live or ski have anyone that I would call a boot fitter, only people who sell boots. It's too bad, but true, so I've read as much as I can and I'll give as much information as I can if anyone has the patience to read it.
I'm 6'0" 160#, not a kid, skied several days total in my life, mostly recently, but I'm skiing easier red slopes with control and speed, carving and/or parallel steering as desired and hoping to progress to be capable at least of skiing anything on the front side (there is no backside here), fast, but just recreational. I've only skied in rental boots. I do get them small enough but I'm usually trying to find ways to tighten the cuffs more (jamming things under the buckles, folding socks, etc.)
From my lousy rental ski experience alone I cannot imagine worrying about a boot being too stiff(yet that's my concern anyway). I feel like I want to lean harder on the front of the cuff and have it access the edge and support my weight much more. This might just be about where I am on the learning curve though. A few days less experience and I felt that way even on green slopes, where now I just don't care either way on a green slope. The snow conditions near home are almost always groomed hard packed though, icy sometimes, but not glass. I think there are some cross country trails, but not much if any backside alpine skiing. I would like to venture out to other venues at some point and try other things, powder, moguls, not freestyle though, but I guess hard resort slopes will be my main thing.
The first boot I tried on was a Salomon X-max 100. The salesman didn't even take the insert out for me to check shell size. I did and quickly figured out to downsize that boot which later I learned is normal for that boot. I measure just barely at 270. I have very long toes, about an E foot width, a high strong arch(HATE supports), and a high but not freakishly high instep. 265 seemed right in this boot, toes touch but pull away with knees bent.
The 100 just seemed too soft in the store to me. The 120 felt better and maybe the 130 felt better yet (it seemed more snug as well as more stiff, milldly excessive pressure under arch but I think this is easily fixed). I now understand that these don't have cuff adjustment. While I didn't notice a problem maybe that should be a concern just in case, but I don't need professional perfection.
I also tried a noridica Dobermann edt 130 (non WC) . The salomon's seemed to have a more active springy (progressive ?) feel that I liked. The dobermann sort of seemed like a better built boot though on first impression. I was surprised that the 98 last didn't bother me.
Just from some reading, I'm worried that I'm getting myself into a boot that's too stiff. I'm not worried at the level of professional perfection. I just want to make sure that I end up way happier than in rentals and not hating my boots later.
I also tried a couple of other boots without paying much attention unfortunately. Some atomic built like a tank put way too much pressure under the inside balls of my feet for whatever reason. Some all-mountain 4-buckle technica just somehow hurt in every way possible in spite of not being too small. And some boot that looked like much like a dobermann edt but wasn't (maybe spitfire) just felt really rubbery and inneficient like wearing rubber gloves, you could actually hear the cuff rubber squeaking over the base as it flexed and I just didn't like that. I'm curious about the Hell and Back Hike Pro for something more versatile and different but the pro version doesn't exist here.
The salomon x-max 120 are the cheapest by a little. Should I just shut up and buy them, and go ski this weekend or what? Thanks for any help and for reading all that.