I agree with Blu-bird,well said. The last couple of years I have done a lot more thinking before buying my next hiking boots.All footwear in general actually.After hiking and climbing for a while you get a feel for what you need,based on comfort and performance. Are they comfortable,are your feet sore after a long day?Where are they sore? How do they grip on the surface that matters to you,around here its mixed but on rock you want some good purchase.Winter or summer?Waterproof is good for winter but hot for summer. I like mid high ankle support for day boots,sprained my ankle badly once solo and had to hobble out in the dark.
For many years I used old school leather boots.They took a while to break in to your feet and then were great but heavy.Modern boots are way better,you get the proper fit right away.I have wide feet and get sore arches,always used arch supports.Now the boots have a wider option and I look for arch support built in.
I look for lightweight,modern tech is so good,but too light means light construction,good for trail running but not stiff enough for a pack or for rock.
I personally love Vibram soles,that type of coarse rubber tread I trust on rock.Thats a throwback to my old school boots days,a trust factor.Look at the tread pattern carefully,It will tell you what type of surface it is designed for.
I have a few pair on the go for different applications.My dedicated winter boots are waterproof,stout for spikes or snowshoes.Found those Sportiva on sale in the summer. They have a winter Vibram snow tread.
I use mid high ankle support .It a good compromise for me,full high boots are good for certain applications but a bit cumbersome for mixed days.
The last couple of summer day hikers Ive tried GTX type.First ones were Scarpas mid highs,comfy but not stiff enough for my style of hiking.Sore feet from the light shank.Sole wasn't Vibram type rubber either,slippery on rock.
Last spring,I did a lot of reading on summer hiking boots,honing in on my needs.All round,light, up and down mixed,sometimes bike-hike,proper sole and tread. Still on the GTX idea for lightness but looking for more stiffness.You can study the tech but you really cant buy boots without trying some on,twisting the shank for stiffnes,etc.I went down to MEC and tried a lot,found one I hadn't read much about.Vasque breeze II GTX. A bit stiffer GTX shank design.Vented boot for cooling and some elastic flex in the boot. Vibram tread for mixed and a stiffer shank than other GTX.Wide foot for me and arch support.After a summer and fall,my research paid off for me.
So everyones different,try and hone in on your personal needs.As far a hiking,your boots are the most important piece of gear!