Much as I hate ot make this recommendation, I must do so. Find a good local store where you can try on the boots, walk around a bit in them, and preferably stand on a slope, facing upslope then downslope (or vice versa), and sideslope. Different people have different shapes for their feet, and different companies use different shaped lasts for their footware. What works for your buddy may not work for you. Other than custom made boots, I know of no other way to get a good fit.