Looking for hiking boot recommendations

Are beefy hiking boots worth the extra weight or are trail running shoes good enough? Which do you prefer?

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  • If you have not previously worn hiking boots, suggest that you check with your local outdoor store, REI online, or similar and talk to someone who is an experienced boot fitter. Not all stores, even sporting goods stores, have sales folks who know how to fit hiking and outdoor shoes. Happy trails/sidewalks/etc.
  • My go-to boot for warm weather is Merrell. Comfortable right out of the box and comes in Gore-Tex for waterproofing.
    For cold weather hiking, LL Bean Snow Sneakers are very warm and quite comfortable, also waterproof. They also come with the new Arctic Grip soles which reduces chances of slipping in icy conditions.
  • I like my Merrills. My feet never get tired in them. Unless you know, that you will be walking through lots of water, I'd recommend skipping the water-proof boots. Your feet don't breath in these.
  • I have gone on three RS hiking trips, and have never needed boots. I prefer Saucony trail shoes, with adequate socks and trekking poles. Every boot I have tried (in my dotage) has abraded the bunion, while the Sauconys don't.