I think I'm gonna go with the snugger 42's. All my other boots, hikers, trail runners, everything, fits that way so why would these be any other different? It's a question I finally asked meself this morning (must have been the coffee?) To me foot slippage or movement leaves you open for rubbing. I'm one of those guys that also tests the tensile strength of his laces
. On more than one occasion while driving to my morning elk hunting spot my feet have almost fallen asleep because the boots were laced so tight. 5 mins down the trail and they are perfect. I've also drawn blood from pulling so darn hard on the laces.
I think I was trying to make these boots do too much. No boot of this type is going to work with a hiking sock, a heavyweight mountaineering sock or maybe even 2 medium weight socks or any combination of them. I'm a one pair of socks kind of guy and always have been. So these need to work in that scenario and that scenario only. If I feel my feet run cold in them in extreme weather than maybe I'll have to look into an overboot or another pair of mountaineering boots with more insulation (yay more gear!).
There still room in the toe box to wiggle my toes and from what I can tell by imitating toe kicking (inside the house) or utilizing the toe area for climbing, my toes don't mash to the front of the boot. Could I make the larger size work? Absolutely but I think I may have to wear a light and heavy pair of socks, which would be warmer and leave more room for sock compression. While it may only be small, say 1/4 of a size, anything would be too much.
Man I hate being overally anal about gear, especially footwear. For whatever reason my ankles seem to be somewhat smaller too so the extenders help keep that part of the boot snug. I've noticed before on certain boots.
Pvnisher, those Crispi's look like a nice tweener boot. And if I ever see you on the trail don't be surprised if I point over to the mtn range next to us and ask you "do you see that?" and then quickly reach down and tie your boots tight