>>1813347>Are boots really the best for hiking? Like what advantage does a boot have over something not as heavy?
Personal experience here. NZ /OUT/ guide and instructor.
You can’t do anything but the most maintained tracks here without solid footwear. Anywhere you go, South Island at least, you’re going to get wet feet on a river crossing within an hour.
If it’s well maintained with bridges I’ll just wear sandals.
As soon as I have to cross a river, I wear boots to protect my ankles from rocks. Nothing more painful than wedging your ankles between rocks.
I have shoes for a few niche tracks that are the exception.
In winter I’ll wear sandals and socks to the snow line, then put my dry boots on because then I’m on rocks/snow and need rigid soles, protected ankles, and the height helps prevent ingress of snow.
Most guys think this is mad until we’re 6hrs in and they’re wearing wet boots in snow.
Anyway... do whatever suits you and your environment.