I have a mostly rigid right big toe that is caused by post-fracture arthritis. The hallux rigidus doesn't bother me too much and I can walk/run/hike/bike without difficulty. My podiatric surgeon says that he would not want to do surgery because I'm very functional and he thinks that the toe will self-fuse given how advanced the arthritis has become (the movement in the MTP joint is tiny).
The difficulty that came up mid-season last year is that pressure on the top of the toe around the MTP joint causes substantial pain due to the presence of bone spurs, especially when skiing on rough hard snow and bumps when the toe strikes the top of the liner. I had my boots punched 2x but this didn't help much. Punching is a bit difficult because the problem area is just under the first buckle. Tightening the second and third buckle helped somewhat by removing any slop, but toe pain tends to progressively get worse as the area becomes irritated across a single day and especially across several days. BTW, the pain also gets worse when sitting in the lodge.
I’m in a Solomon X Max 130 with a fairly tight fit – I used the boots for a year and a half without difficulty until the toe problem popped up. I did not need to mold or punch the boots when new –earlier versions of this model has been my boot for years. I wouldn’t want to heat mold the boot because it fits so well otherwise. I have a custom insole made by a reputable boot fitter.
This year I’m thinking of putting in an Intuition liner and padding the toe area quite a bit during the molding process. I hope that the liner will do two things – 1) remove slop on the inside of the boot which will reduce the chances of the spurs being bounced on the liner, and 2) add some area immediately around the top of the MTP joint/spurs.
Any thoughts about the above? Other options?