I had the exact opposite thoughts when I wore my first pair of Aldens. Much more comfort than any of my AE's. Are you sure you got the right size?
Going by what I've read over the past several months, I'd say yes. I'm a US 9.5D in most shoes, so I sized down to a 9D for barrie. Unfortunately I don't have a local place where I can go and try on Aldens.
Overall the fit is pretty good. The toe box is perfect. The problem I have is where the front piece of leather meets the rear piece in the middle/waist of the boot. The shell is fairly thick and stiff. I can feel the edges of the inner/rear piece pinching and poking the sides of my feet. If I tie a little looser it's not as bad. There's a little heel slippage as well which is why I've tied them a little tight initially.
I've only had them out for one wearing, and I'm chalking it up to needing some break in time.
I'm new to fine leather soled shoes but understand they are less flexible than most shoes. My AEs are stfff as well but there are no inner seams or edges that can be felt inside the shoe.