A little background to start, I'm a hockey player who started skiing in my late teens, skied for a few seasons, then moved to AZ and didn't ski for about 18 years. Moved back to WNY 3 years ago and started skiing with my kids.
I haven't owned a pair of boots since I was about 22 (about 19 years ago). With my children's interest in skiing growing (they have ski's/poles, but we rent their boots on a seasonal basis), I decided to invest in gear. When I purchased my boots in October, I didn't know about Epic and its fantastic resources, so I wasn't up on the best fitting techniques. I tried on several pair (I did have a budget and was trying to stick with it) and of course, most were not comfortable out of the box. I have a fairly small foot (men's size 8) which also seemed to limit selection some. My feet tend to be wider than average toward the toes and I was getting a lot of pressure on my small toe being mashed into the toe box and into the toe next to it. It was at that point that another person who worked at the shop came out and introduced himself. He had been working with another customer and when finished offered to take over and help me. He seemed very knowledgeable as he proceeded to measure my foot again, look at it's shape, asked me about my skiing and budget, discussed the boots I had already tried, and made a recommendation. He brought out a pair of Tecnica Mega 10's and worked with them until we got them comfortable. He did a shell-fit (at least had me put my foot in them without the liner), he also addressed concerns I had about the boot feeling much better in width, but having too much volume above my foot. In the end (after working for a little while with them and walking around for 15-20 minutes in the store), I bought the Mega 10's with 2 shims under (skipped the footbed that he had also put in there...darn it!).
After skiing on them for about 16 hours and reading boot fitting articles here on Epic, What I am finding is 2 things:
First, I think the boot is a bit long. When I shell-fit myself, there seems to be almost an inch behind my heel. The width of the boot seems right on though based on the FAQ and articles I've read here.
Second, is that I really don't know what a boot is supposed to feel like when properly fit . I'm a level 6-7 skier and do all the runs at Holiday Valley, but I can't help but feel that I could be a better skier with better fitting boots (again, mine are certainly comfortable, but I can't help but think they could be even better fit). Am I crazy and spending too much time worrying about it? Is there a magic sensation that I am either missing or should be feeling that I can only get with perfect boots? Is width more important to fit than length overall?
BTW, I am definitely going to try the footbeds...