Sorry to hear about the topline bothering your ankles! In Version 4, we started using a softer piping for the topline, and we also lowered the topline, but apparently not enough. We will lower it further in Version 5.
I know that the topline will break-in to a softness that is comfortable for you. However, I don’t want you to suffer in any way during that break-in! Can I send you a pair of heel grips to try, my compliments? These will create a temporary buffer between your foot and the problem area until it breaks-in after a few days.
How to use: Align the curve of the heel grip with the curve of the shoe's topline.
At left is a typical dress shoe, same size and same Wide width. You can see that it is still 1 or 2 cm longer than ours. Most sleeker dress shoes have a fair amount of unoccupied space in the front. We took advantage of that and used it to give you a wide toebox without looking like it. Dress shoes get even longer if we start looking at chisel-toe and pointy-toe styles. But even though these conventional dress shoes are longer, you still feel cramped because of the heel lift and the fact that their shoes are widest at the ball of the foot. Ours are widest at the toes, as a foot naturally is.
Regarding groundfeel, Chronology's outsole is 4mm thick, with another 4mm of leather and cork between that and your feet. The polyurethane we use for the outsole was selected for durability, which is more important than groundfeel in a shoe like this. The 2-part (polyurethane + leather/cork) design allows for the shoes to be resoled like good dress shoes and unlike most minimalist shoes.