My Tellman's came in today and fit me much better already (after an hour of wearing) than my Benton's do after a week.
I can't wear a 1/2 size longer as these at 9D are plenty long so the size is right. It will just take some wearing in.
On the tightness you experience in the 8.5D.....how tite is tite?? Kinda tough question eh? If you can get away with wearing them for an hour or two at first I think they will be OK. Try wearing them a couple of hours today, 3 tomorrow, etc. (All on a rug so they are returnable or saleable as new).
If the ball of the foot is at the shoes widest point and the toe is not scrunched up against the front than the length is correct. So as long as the shoe is not way way too tight I think you will find that the leather stretches and makes the circumference of the whole area around the ball of the foot longer and hence more comfortable for you.