I’m a 5’ sturdily built woman with damaged feet, so I need a wider footbed. I feel your “vertical challenge pain.” It has helped me to shop at a place where there’s an expert boot person and a large assortment of boots. I discovered that the more expensive boots fit better- of course. 🙄 Ego 7 and Mountain Horse have had tall boots in a short size that fit me well, but I wasn’t ready to commit to $500+ boots yet, and also wanted the ability to change up half chaps according to the weather. I settled on a pair of Greywal lace up paddock boots and Ariat Close Contact half chaps in a short size. Minimal breaking in time has been needed, they’re comfortable and I didn’t need to break the bank. I’m now considering buying tall boots and know what fits. Hope that helps!