If base layers are arguably your most important piece of clothing, than your ski/snowboard boots are your most important piece of equipment. They’re the only things that connect you to your skis/snowboard. They are the foundation of your balance, control and comfort. Boots should fit tighter than your street shoes, due to the forces that you face while on the slopes. When looking for a boot, first thing is to start at the bottom, your insoles (foundation). Starting with the insole allows you to support your foot and prevent it from pronating/supinating or restricting blood flow when collapsed. This increases balance, comfort, warmth and reaction time. Insoles come in generic styles that are catered to different arch types and applications, or customs insoles that are molded to your specific feet. Once a footbed has been selected, then you can pick a boot.
A number of things will go into that decision. Most common variables will be skill level, stiffness of the boot, width and volume. A good boot fitter will ask a number of question to help you narrow down your options. A good fitting boot will be tight and a little soft in the store to accommodate break-in and colder temperatures while skiing or riding. It should not require over tightening of the lower level and should feel supportive in all areas.
Paramount has a great staff that has over 60 years of boot fitting experienced combined, we stock a wall full of boots and we offer a guaranteed fit. In which we will address any problem area by manipulating the shells or liners to accommodate any pressure point (wider feet, bunions, bone spurs, past injuries, etc.) We do this after the boot has been used a number of times to insure that we are manipulating the boot after it has been broken in.