Originally Posted by Ski-Bahia
I thought I'd share my experience in case someone out there finds themselves in the same position:
After considering all replies here, I decided to go see Jeff Rich this morning even though I wasn't going to buy his orthotics nor get the boot work done with him because I couldn't afford it. I wanted to hear what he had to say about my foot, and his boot recommendation – because my intention was to ultimately buy new boots, and not only footbeds.
My idea was to get his recommendation, and his opinion on what would have to be done in terms of customization, and buy the boots at a shop that he recommended and have all customization done at the shop (even a footbed). I was betting that he had the right answer on what boot to buy, but based on his reputation I thought my risks were minimized.
He measured up my foot, said that I had a difficult foot because of a combination of high instep, narrow foot and what he called "chicken legs." But in the end he reccomended me the Salomon Falcon CS, he said it would be the only boot that would work for me. And if any work would be needed, it would be making more space in the toe box. At first I was suspicious, thinking that there would be too much pressure on the instep. And also unsure because he was only giving me 1 option.
But anyway, I had to try the boot on to find out. So I went to Paragon, and tried the boot on with a guy that Jeff recommended called Doug. This was comforting because they knew each other, and Doug seemed like a very knowledgeable guy, and trusted Jeff's Judgment.
Fortunately after having the boots on for 30 minutes or so I was happy to say that Jeff nailed it. I must say I was impressed. The boot felt great, no pressure on the instep and snug overall. Just a little pressure below the ankle that Doug was able to fix with a little canting (Jeff also observed that I have slightly bowed legs).
About the footbed, Jeff said it would be good to have a custom made one but not absolutely necessary. So I decided to have it done by Doug with the instaprint system at Paragon for $75 – this price is considering that I applied a $50 gift card I got by buying the boots, to the original $125 price of the custom footbed.
Living in New York where there aren't many options of boot fitters, I definitely think it was worth having the consultation with Jeff Rich, I spent $150, but he was right in the first try. While when I went to paragon in the beginning of my boot search, they put me in 3 or 4 boots that weren't right for me, and were suggesting some adjustments to a boot that was too big for me.
Can't wait to try them on skiing. Thanks for all the help here at Epic!