So - I have been looking into footwear quite a bit the last couple days, and I am very interested in the idea of hiking sandals. It's shoe buying time, so I thought I'd ask for some recommendations before I started driving all over looking.

A little about me and my trip, in the interest of informed recommendations:

5'3", 235, shoe/boot size 8 or 8.5 EEEE, neutral stride (according to the nice folks at the local runner's shoe store), and I don't have any foot/ankle issues that I know of.

The trip:
Long distance, almost entirely on roads, starting 1 January in Southern California, I'll be in the desert SW for pretty much the rest of this winter, in California, Arizona and New Mexico. I am still accumulating gear, so I am not sure of my base gear weight, but I am hoping to keep it around 35 pounds or a little less with food but not counting water. I'll be carrying 3-9 liters of water depending on the day and how far it is to the next water source.

Thanks, everyone!