**sigh** I might have the narrowest feet and ankles on the planet. (No, I'm not kidding.) My calves are also fairly narrow until about midway up, then they're about average.
I wear a 7-8 in street shoes. I have been wearing 22.5, 98mm last, 90 flex boots for about 3 years now, 3 different boots. (Salomon Instinct CS which crushed my insteps, Tecnica Crush which were too stiff/cuffs too high, and now a Tecnica Fling.)
I have used Zipfit Diva liners in all 3 of these boots. I am doing OK with the Flings, but have to do a LOT to take up volume even with the Zipfits, particularly around the toes where extra cork cannot be added. I have shims in both boots (fairly thick, have had them for years, don't know how thick.) I have heel lifts (if I don't I find I am standing on my toes vs. flat.) I also have custom Kork footbeds. I just added foam padding around the toes to take up volume there.
These boots are honestly very short-lasted for me. There is maybe a 4mm space behind my heel. My toenails fell off in the Salomon's which were 265mm. The Tecnicas are better at 270. But I still feel like I have too much volume, which rears its ugly head after about two hours when either my feet have compressed or?? I have the buckles cranked down to within one or two of the last notch.
So, my question is what on earth kind of boot or modifications would you recommend for someone like me? I am an upper intermediate skier and am working so hard to push beyond that now that we are living in Utah and I can ski regularly. As a non "expert" or racer, anything above a 90 flex I have found is too stiff. (I'm 5'5" 125-ish lbs.) I am doing OK with the current set up but am frustrated with having to shim and pad, etc. because it seems like I just keep having to add more shimming and padding and also wonder if the shims change the way my ankle flexes the cuff of the boot. Also, even hard foam padding is softer than plastic and seems it could allow for movement, correct?
I would greatly appreciate hearing suggestions on what any of you would do if I walked into your shop. Is there a boot shell out there in an appropriate flex that would even work for me?