I noticed that AE is actually using a different rubber toplift now, at least this is the case with my Patriots. Not sure if you have noticed the same.
That's correct. that the heel stack is leather and the toplift is rubber.
It may be the heel stack that is the issue then. AE can't be faulted for the toplift on your Daltons since they are JRs.
I have noticed that. I'm not as big of a fan of it from an appearance standpoint. I wonder if it may be a tad softer though.