I play in a 2 guitar band with shared lead guitar duties and a two channel amp (clean/dirty). I'm basically struggling to find a way to get a nice lead boost, I've tried boost pedals and various overdrives and most are pretty useless (mostly due to high gain playing).I haven't tried an EQ which has been suggested a few times. At the moment I'm running an overdrive pedal on my clean channel for rhythm, then switching over to the dirty channel at a higher volume for my leads. This seems a bit complex, is there a simple way to do this, or do I just put up with it until I get an amp with 3 channels
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get a volume pedal or if your playing two guitars thru one amp get seperate amps
What amps/guitars are you using? What pedals have you tried? (Especially those you thought 'didn't work)
im not sure how an overdrive pedal or boost pedal didnt work for you. a straight up boost might not be best because all it will do is increase the volume. obviously this pushes the amp harder, but if youve already got the gain maxed out then you wont notice as much of an increase. now with an overdrive pedal you can set the tone (add some treble for your lead tone), add some extra distortion, and then add some volume to cut through. an eq will be sort of a combination of the two. it will allow you to shape your sound so you can cut through (like adding highs with the od) and then just boost the volume (like a boost).

out of those options i think an overdrive pedal usually does the job of being a lead boost the best. it currently sounds like you are setting something up poorly (either the pedal or the amp) to be used in a productive fashion. or you dont have a good amp, which makes things like pushing the amp not work as well.

and really, you dont need 3 channels. there are guitarists who have single channel amps who get cleans, rhythm and leads all from just that single channel and the knobs on their guitar.