I believe I have a high instep. I never really noticed it, but it would definitely explain the discomfort across the top of my foot. Is there anything a cobbler can do to make more room in the instep?
Next on my list is a blucher or a loafer (Kenwood designed for a high instep).
I'd hate to see these McAllisters go to waste though.
I've never heard of a cobbler stretching the top part...usually just the toe area. I could be wrong though.
I'd try going up a width before stretching or giving up on the McAllisters...if you can still exchange them.