My life with ski boots.
First rental experience was with leather boots and cable bindings. Magazines had ads for the new buckle boots from Henke. Early 70s, some lessons, more rentals. Got my own gear just in time for the coming-of-age trip to Vail. Rossi Colorado 76 skis, Humanic soft plastic boots and Jet Stix. I coveted Lange boots, but having the Soft Inside poster on my dorm wall was sufficient. 80s - career, sports cars, career change, met my wife, started a family, little or no skiing. 90s - Every time I think about getting back into skiing my buddies complain about how expensive the gear is, or how expensive it is to take the family skiing. I actually try on some boots in shops. If any of them had felt comfortable, maybe I would have spent the $250 to $300. Nothing fit or felt right.
Late 90s, got some Nordicas at a garage sale for $10, they felt better than any boot I had tried. A little later, got some $15 Salomons which also felt pretty good. I figured out that my wide, flat, and fallen-arch feet had never agreed with conventional overlap boots. My bargain boots were both rear-entry. 00s, my sons become interested in skiing. Online auctions and listings make it easy for me to find equipment for them. I find the SX92 (gray), the Salomon EXP80 (gray, red buckles), and the Raichle Flexon Racer (yellow). With shipping I paid $100 for these three pairs. Two rear-entries and a 3-piece. I tinker and fiddle with lifts, wedges, insoles and pads. The SX92 gets a full insole, the EXP80 gets heel lifts, and the Raichle gets a wedge under the liner. They all pass the full day on the hill test. But the EXP80 gives me a couple of mild foot cramps riding the chair, and the Raichle is a bit snug at the ankle bone (I really like Raichle's eccentric disc method of setting cuff alignment for my mal-pronated feet, but that mechanism takes up some lateral space in the shell). I continue to look for vintage boots I can experiment with.
Recently found the blue Lange CRLs (10, 28, 345) for $12 (twelve) on the clearance table at Sports Authority. They felt great at the store, so I finally had my chance to be a Lange guy. After three runs, my feet hurt, gritting-my-teeth hurt. The front entry gods still frown on me. All is not lost, my son skied a full day in them and he loves them, and I've added many more posters to the Lange collection I started back in the day.
Back to rear entry . . .
Found another pair of SX92s, the white Equipes. Soles are a bit worn, but with the added insole they ski very well, like the gray ones. Just got the dark green Raichle FX7s for $19 including shipping. Again, the very comfortable Flexon tongue makes it easy to get my foot in and easy to pull / insert the liner when I tinker with the pads. I need to take a couple of days in the off-season to get the same degree of cuff alignment on the SX92s and the Raichles. The yellow Racer has degrees of cuff cant, from +4 to -2, marked on the eccentric disc.
Summary: I don't have any French or Austrian Olympic foot markers in my DNA, so I get to go dumpster diving to find those discredited, depreciated, and discarded non-overlap boots which, thank you very much, fit me very well and help me ski much better.