That was my experience. I had Sheltons in the same size as 95% of my other AE shoes and they were very tight across the top of my foot towards the toes. It was so tight I ended up selling the shoes.
The Carlyle feels exactly like the Shelton when I tried them on at my local store.
Note: I have a relatively high instep and this likely contributed to the tightness.
this is my experience with the shelton as well - tighter across the top than my other AE's in the same size. i too have a relatively high instep.