When I put them on they feel quite tight but not uncomfortable. After a little bit, the tightness turns to discomfort. It feels like my feet have been wrapped in a tight bandage from about the ball of the foot on towards the back. After about an hour, I felt like they were throbbing.
Like I said, I have never really had "nice" shoes before and I am a late switch Cher at 43.
It is not unlike wearing very tight hockey skates if that helps the analogy.
Hmm... an interesting case. First obvious question, have you done everything you could with the lacing?
It could be an issue of:
a. Shoes not having been broken in properly
b. Shoes being tolerably tight in some areas (after all, there's no perfect fit in RTW)
c. Shoes being intolerably misfit in some areas
d. A combination of the above
The exact cause is something only you will find. Most people when they get a new pair on an unfamiliar last will try a few break-in sessions before deciding to keep, return, or re-sell (one of the reasons you see so much shoe on B&S).
I would suggest (in case you aren't doing them already):
1. Condition and polish shoes. Maybe this will soften the leather just a little so it's less stiff
2. Put in shoe trees when your feet aren't in them. And in your case, find shoe trees with really good spring.
3. Break in the shoes gradually, some thing like 1 hr on carpet, 3hr on carpet, 6 hours on carpet, a whole day on carpet, 6 hours outside and in the office, etc.