I've got both. 1 Pair unlined, 2 lined. Never noticed that there was a difference other than the lining, and the stitching on the tongue that necessarily goes with it. Unlined 9.5D (TTS), Lined 9C. Maybe could have gone smaller with the unlined, but the 9.5D works fine. Could not have gone larger with the lined, as I tried when I was dialing in. Started 9.5D, then tried 9D, finally arrived at 9C.SNIP (Click to show)
The length seems pretty similar despite being different sizes. At times I have wondered if BB adjusts their sizing .5 size to compensate for the spacious nature of the Van.
Edit: I recommend the Unlined where possible. Pardon the inappropriateness of my analogy, but the unlined feels like having unprotected sex with a pair of shell shoes. (even if you have socks on). The lined version feels like having unprotected sex with a pair of wooden clogs, at least until they are well broken-in. (Even with socks on).
(and yes, I do know from experience because I have actually tried it! I don't recommend it however, as its a great way to spread disease, like athletes...
Thanks your responses. Bakes, I appreciate your colorful analogy. I like a shoe with more structure, so as someone who doesn't (always) go for instant gratification, if breaking in the lined pair yields a good feel in the long run, I might still go that route. And as for size, the differing testimony makes me realize I may have to try these on in the flesh.
Profligate: very sharp.