I work at an outdoor gear store that sells a lot of backcountry and crosscountry ski gear in addition to many other things. I would consider myself a novice boot fitter. I've done a couple dozen foot molds for customers. I've also molded about 5-6 rental boots for myself trying to figure out the best fit, trying boots too big, trying boots too small, and somewhere in between. I eventually purchased a pair of scarpa T2's that seemed like they would be the best option for me.
The issue for me is that a plastic boot that's snug enough for secure downhill control puts too much pressure on the top of my left foot and I get a lot of pain in the muscles on the top of my foot. If I go any looser with the fit, my foot slides around too much causing arch pain and I have to really tighten down the buckles which puts uneven pressure on the top of my foot, causing the same pain issue. It seems like there is no fit balance between being too tight and too lose that won't cause issues. Also should mention that I started out this season in alpine boots and parallel turns cause extreme debilitating foot pain which was the motivating factor in switching to tele.
I've had issues with that foot in the past. I've been on backpacking trips where I put in too many miles and stressed out that foot. I ended up limping around in pain wearing soft trail running shoes but when I switched into flip flops in camp, there was no pain at all.
I'll give my T2's another try next season. The stock liners were too tight even after a mold and I tried some medium volume intuition pro tour liners that were a little too small for the shells but gave my foot more room, but my foot ended up sliding around in those too much. I may try the high volume intuition pro tour liners next year, which have a roomier toe box than the stock T2 liners. I have a wide forefoot which is a big issue with scarpa boots and I struggle to mold them out enough, but that's a separate issue from pressure at the top of my foot causing pain.
Either way, my goals are wilderness travel and using skis as winter backpacking tools and I've determined that the long process of learning to ski on leather boots will benefit me in the future. I've been motivated hearing about andrew skurka's ski portion of his long yukon trip, hearing about a guy who skiied the JMT in a backcountry nordic setup, seeing one of the freehill life guys ski some pretty steep stuff in leather boots and skinny skiis, and meeting some crusty old dudes who still shred in leathers. I've heard too many stories of plastic boots wrecking people's feet on long distance trips. If I can learn to get down moderate terrain in leather boots, even if I ski like a sissy with lots of long traverses and abrupt stopping turns instead of s-turns, the efficiency in touring will make up for it. I did an overnight ski trip this year with a lot of forest flat, rolling, and semi-steep drop offs and besides my T2's causing pain in my feet, it was a total slog. The entire time I wished I was in a backcountry nordic set up, I would have been kicking and gliding and having a much better time. Just need to figure out the downhill part.