We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our commenters to our Hiking Footwear post were well-informed, experienced, and helpful. Appreciate all of those offerings. Lots of hikers, hunters, and some field geologists among our readers.
Two basics about boot sizing: Your dress shoe or sneaker size might be small for boots. Try the boot at the end of the day when your foot is most expanded. With the heaviest socks you might wear with them, but unlaced, check to make sure you can fit your index finger down the heel.
There is some good advice here, thanks.
My life requires a lot of walking and hiking just about every day, and my feet have suffered over the years. Doc recommended I use orthotic footbeds in all my shoes and boots, and feet have got wider over the years. I used to fit a 10 D perfectly, now I need a wider width.
Over the years I have had Asolo, Vasque, Danner, Redwing, Lowa, Scarpa, Alico, Zamberlan, Meindl, Merrell, and Hanwag boots, some were better than others, and there is a lot of variability within brands, you need to select a specific boot type based upon your feet and your expected usage.
My current favorites by far are Meindl, with a thick cork insole that molds to my foot almost like a Birkenstock sandal, but firmer, the only boots I do not need to replace the footbeds with my preferred orthotics. The soles are great for traction in the rocks and wet, and for my foot the Meindls are the best. The tops allow some debris to fall in along the sock, but that is about their only downside.
Each individual will have their own needs, and boot manufacturers change over time. Years ago Vasque Sundowners were wonderful boots, but other makers caught up with better designs and Vasque moved the production from Italy to China and they are not anywhere near the same.
If you use boots hard all the time, finding the right ones makes a big difference. If you are just a casual, occasional hiker, get what you like and don't worry about it.
For urban "hiking" I use a walking sandal. My first pair were Source sandals in a basic black-and-beige colour scheme. They were wonderful, and perfect for tramping through a heatwave in eastern Slovakia. My most recent pair are Teva's, again in a fairly neutral colour.
I find these sandals have lovely padding and great soles for sturdy walking. I have done some hiking with them, but watch the terrain. Apart from the lack of ankle support (and the open toes), they've been good where I go.
I have also seen hiking sandals with a closed toe. May look into these. Otherwise, I'm using basic walking shoes when I do the heavier stuff.