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[at-l] boots- foot pain

Has anyone experienced foot pain in the ball of there foot? I am 6'3" 190 #
carry pack wt. around 40-50 # ( I am reeally working on reducing this!!!!), I
wear vasque sundowners which are now 4years old and are not worn badly. I have
tried different sock combinations, and lacing and I still get a sharp numbing
pain in the ball of my feet. I am thinking of up grading to a stiffer boot
(vasque- thru hiker) most sales people I have talked to  advise against
anything much stiffer due to a lack of flexability. I have known several that
use them(thru -hikers) and are very pleased with them right out of the box. I
would appreciate comments etc for help
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