"This might be anathema, but would it be sacrilegious to take lightweight boots and trail shoes? I recently bought a pair of Adidas Vigor 2 trail shoes. Ultra aggressive and fairly light. I had contemplated taking camp shoes to Philmont but if I use the Vigors as camp shoes, they could also double as trail shoes if I choose to wear them, strapping my lightweight boots to my pack. I know this sounds crazy at first ("Just make a choice! One or the other.") but it might be a way to provide some foot-wear alternative to well-worn trails and rocky scree trails. Or am I just crazy... :)"
I know its really hard, because you have been conditioned by magazines and catalogs and advertisements and observation of countless others that really dont know what the hell they are doing , to believe you must have BOOTS to walk off of the pavement. I see many people wear boots to scout meetings, its part of their "uniform" to them. Thats how strong the association is.
But believe all the long distance hikers on this site, and on Whiteblaze, you do not. Believe people that hike 1000, 2000, 5000+ miles per year, thru terrain far more rugged than Philmont. Boots are not a pre-requisite for hiking, anywhere on trails.
Much of the time they are a detriment. They are at best just heavy weight, at worse, they actually cause foot issues.
You dont need boots, you dont need water shoes, you dont need camp shoes. To think you need all these things, is to have the mindset that will have you lugging a ridiculous 50 lb pack filled with gadgets and "just in case" items. People pack their fears, its lack of experience that causes that.
Water shoes are taken because people are afraid to get their boots wet. Camp shoes are taken because they expect their feet to be sore and tired at the end of a day. Neither occurs with trail runners.
If you have tried them both and one just doesnt cut it for you, great. Try runners on shakedown hikes, you will probably prefer them. The # of people that have but dont is small from what Ive seen.
I think part of the resistance to acceptance of runners by some has to do with the fact that its just so widely accepted that you need boots. Just remember that throughout history, "common knowledge" often gets proven dead wrong.