Diane, I've always had the same feeling about shoes; wanting them big and wide so nothing touches my toes. I have wide (E) feet, and my toes are also tall, so I need a wide forefoot and big toebox or the tops of my toes get raw. This happens in my work shoes if I need to walk too far in them, because dress shoes have that lower front profile.
So I have always bought my shoes a little big. With this pair, I'm trying to get a better fit, get over my hang up about my toes touching parts of the shoe. I think a smaller shoe would be more lighter (obviously) and more nimble. Because I have to generally buy my shoes a bit long anyways to get them wide enough, they end up extending a good 3/4" to an 1" beyond my toes. I like to think this is what contributes to my occasional stumbling problem rather than innate clumsiness. By my reasoning, my body thinks my feet end where my toes do, where with shoes, they extend beyond that, which causes my mis-steps.
Knock on wood, but I never get blisters, ever. Just the aforementioned problem with low profile shoes. I worry more about toe-bump with too short shoes.
When it doubt. though, it's probably better to go a half-size too big than too small.