For the JMT I wore low cuts (Merrell Ventilator), but was thinking I would need mid-height for the SHR to protect my ankles from talus scrapes. Since the Merrells fit well I looked at the mid-heght, but thought the mesh might be torn. I like the Keen Voyageur because it was a bit stiffer and had better side protection. In general I like low cuts, not only because they are light, but because it means less "leather" over skin...less area of the foot to be chaffed by the sides of footwear.
In noticed low cuts in your photos, including one close-up of "frozen shoes."
Were low cuts fine for your hike? I do not think I want gortex.
The sales person thought the Merrells too "sneaker like" and thought a stiffer shoe better on rock. Wouldn't a flexible shoe be better? Rock climbers use what look like slippers, but I do not know about the stiffness of the sole.
Traditional hiking boots have stiff vibram soles to get the "lever effect", so I have been told.
Greg, thanks for your route recommendation for a section hike. I like your loop idea to make transportation easier, but I am considering the Tuolumne to Twin Lakes section. It looks a bit easier with some bail-out options fo my first off-trail Sierra hike. Thought I might loop to Tou. via Matterhorn Canyon Trail as suggested by Roper.