> In short, the trade off of very snug heels vs. enhanced risk of drowning is worth attention.
I have recently put a pair of Bont shoes in my personal boat (I install many different brands in the boats I work on for others) and haven't had any issues.
However - I was advised to go one size larger than you might otherwise pick if you were choosing shoes for walking/running/cycling. I tried on the same size as my Bont cycling shoes (which was lovely) and then bought one size larger.
This was on the advice of the local Bont agent.
What I appreciate from these newer generation shoes is not the snugness as such, but the stiffness of the shoe. It helps prevent me rolling around on the ball of my foot (or at the ankle) and I feel it makes my catches more stable as I'm rolling up to the front with less movement in the feet (and consequently less knee movement and boat wobble).
Getting the right size is not a failing of the shoe.
To be honest I think a much bigger issue is the method of closing and tightening the newer shoes. Quite a few have more straps or velcro (area) than is necessary and I'm not entirely sold on the idea that any of the BOA dial up systems are needed/safe (although the 'hidden' velcro release on the one brand I've seen up close was very neatly done).
Summary: A snug heel isn't as much of an issue as being strapped in too tightly.