I don't get why people think they have to tolerate uncomfortable boots ? Whether it be for a day, week, or as some people here seem to think, 50 days, to several seasons - I just don't get it ? Now I'm not criticisizing anyone here that made those statements, just wondering why some people think that this amount of discomfort is a necessary / acceptable part of skiing? If you have 'normal' feet, you should be able to find a boot off-the-shelf that fits AND performs well from day 1 - granted, it may take several days of skiing to get them 'dialed-in', finding the right buckling tension that works for you (and initial break-in). Now, if you have feet 'outside' of 'normal', than the services of a GOOD bootfitter can be very beneficial. Why would anyone spend $300, $500, $1,000 or even $2,000 for boots and tolerate pain and discomfort ?
My boot buying and fitting thinking is:
Try on as many boots as necessary, until you find one that is comfortable and snug and meets your skiing type / needs. A good ski shop / bootfitter can look at your feet, legs, stance, shell fit, etc and direct you to brands / models that 'should' fit you well and let you know if you can find 'off the shelf' or if you need special attention.
If you start with comfortably snug, wearing thin socks, low thickness footbeds, with buckles on the 'looser' side - than you've got plenty of ability to snug up as liners pack out:
1) Tighten buckkles
2) Thicker socks
3) Higher thickness footbeds
4) One of my boot-fitting favorites - area rug anti-slip tape (available at Home Depot) - Cut and stick on where you need to fill in volume as boots continue on their pack-out progression.
I've got 200+ days on my current boots and original liners. They were painless from day one, and yes, they've packed out plenty, but I've been able to do all of the above to keep up their performance and keep a snug comfortable fit. There can certainly be a few days when I'm trying to fill in fit voids, where there's a little trial and error until I get it just right, but it's just a day or two - what is comfortable in your living room or even at your bootfitters shop, may not be as comfortable once skiing hard on them, but that should be just minor tweaks to get it just right. I have purchased boots in the past that were uncomfortable on day one - and they NEVER broke in, they were always uncomfortable or worse, painful - I only purchased them because they were super cheap clearance prices. Once I craigslisted these boots and got proper boots - never would I go back to tolerating uncomfortable poor performing boots. And as many people point out, which took me time to learn - "the most important piece of ski gear is your boots, get these first, get these right, than go shopping for skis, etc".