For convenience, I just so happened to chance upon a picture in this thread that is almost identical to my issue (post #6442 - thank you @Swede66 for the photo), the only difference being that mine is calf leather + I have yet to try out with an extra insole.
I should also point out that I took a TTS, and that the shoes fit well everywhere else sans the lacing problem. Hence, I have certain misgivings sizing down by another 0.5, as it would then be probably too cramped in the toe box.
Overall, I'm not particularly fussed with having a "perfect fit" because this is not a pair of bespokes and I accept that I will have both hits and misses in certain lasts. I just wish to avoid the situation where the shoes become completely unwearable after breaking in. That said, I was wondering if there are any possible self-remedies? Perhaps I should try out with extra insoles and see how it works out? Apparently Tacco products work wonders for most people here.