just to add to Brian's comments:

He is spot on. But I prefer boots. I probably carry heavier loads than he does, and probably hike fewer miles per day. But I don't like the feel of chunks of granite on the bottom of my feet--I prefer the stiffer soles and protection of boots.

Now you have two perspectives from people who hike a lot (Brian hikes more than I do!) and you can start to figure it out for your needs.

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