Unlike some of the others here, I am not able to assess your needs without seeing you. Based on my modest experience, I would tell you this in general:
The overwhelming cause of intolerable ski boot pain is a lack of dorsiflexion. The overwhelming cause of bad skiing and intolerable ski boot pain is an inability to stand at the angle that the ski boot is dictating, which is typically around 10 degrees of dorsiflexion.
A competent boot fitter, physical therapist, or similarly skilled professional can evaluate this easily. It is not how far you can lift the ball of your foot of the ground, as this does not eliminate compensatory movement.
It is most commonly caused by an excessively tight calf or hamstring muscles.
Our voicemail and email get this story on a daily basis. It almost always has the same underlying cause.
Despite the fact that I am kind of busy actually doing this stuff I do have to respond to this:
Originally Posted by DanoT
There are people in the ski biz that will tell you that the difference between half sizes in ski boots is in the thickness of the liner or footbed. They are mistaken.
So if the shop doesn't do a shell fit or thinks there are differences between half sizes, they are red flags that mean buy elsewhere.
Despite the fact that you just said 2 contradictory things, apparently either the boxes or the boots are being mislabeled as this has not been my experience.
I suppose this makes me and Whiteroom wrong as well, as I routinely tell our clients that the half aize is a myth. It would also seem that Lange/Rossignol has missed the boat since they have dispensed with the pretense completely and and have been only offering the .5 variant for a couple of years now.
If I felt it was important, I would probably purchase inventory based on half sizes. But, we don't and it seems to going okay.
The shell fit does have a place, primarily when the skier is between sizes or when checking for width, it is not always necessary if you have done all the other measurements and are familiar with your inventory.
Not being dismissive of it, but you don't have to do it every time if you already know what it will show.