The notch will actually make the KT-2's feel *less* different from your current boots. That's because your current boots are broken in, so you can bend at the ankle, but new boots are stiff, making it hard to bend at the ankles. The notch makes the ankle bend a little easier, although it still won't be as easy as bending your ankles in your broken-in Riedells. FWIW, I had zero adjustment going from a pair of broken in/slightly broken down Super Teri Deluxe (with no notch in the lace area) to the KT-2. If you've never had bruising during break-in, you never did outside spread eagles in the old Super Teri Deluxe boots, LOL! It's no wonder they discontinued them and replaced them with the better designed KT-2's!