This has been a problem for me, also. I swapped out my heavy waders forregular hiking shoes. I use the leather, Timberland Chocorua Trail w/ Gore-Tex®Chuka. I have used these for around ten years. They are a bit heavy at 3lb per pair, though. Not a traditional boot, they are well ventilated, soo, hiking through a stream or hiking over dry land they work pretty well. They also cover my ankles so the usual slips on submerged boulders, rocks don't tear at your ankles.
The leather is well treated. After about a week of wearing them in, I use 40 or 50wt motor oil, thickly over the leather. Then let them sit in the sun for several hours or on several layers of news papers for 24 hours. Then I wear them for another week or two and apply heavy past wax, Nikwax or the like. Again, this is applied heavily over all the leather. After a couple days I brush them with a horse hair brush. This treatment lasts about a year-year and a half. The tread seems to wear out faster than the leather.
The boots themselves last about 4-5 years, but I have three pair. One pair was tossed because the tread was worn so badly. Generally a good value at $108 (I think these were from Dicks Sporting Goods.) These are NOT stiff soled, rather a cross between flexible and stiff. (Stiff heels, flexible fronts.) Get them a half size larger, generally. They adjust within about a full size range, but two thick socks is about 1 full size range. The inserts are loose and come out. The scree colar is excelent. The fabric venting alows your feet to pump any excess water out after 50 steps or so. Or, you can add an eyelet to help.
For stream hiking, bushwhacking, and/or wading (usually a combination) I add a piece of scrubbie. Use Weldwood Original Formula contact cement, not water based contact cement. This is applied from the heel to the start of the front tread. It takes a couple coats on the scrubbie. (I smooth the label and first "dot" off the bottom with a dremel tool...grind, it away if you have a grinder handy.) The Vibram is terrible for wading in. Rock snot and slick worn rounded rocks need extra purchase. I use the scrubbies because they hold up OK and don't interfere with normal hiking. They can build up a little ice and snow till they get worn, though. They grip on your arch, which may be a bit uncomfortable, but far better than no grip on streams like the Ausable(High Peaks of NY), Salmon River(NY), Upper Mohawk River and tributaries, Beaverkill, Lansingkill, and upper Hudson River system. I have used these extensivly throughout most of the ADK's (unknown streams), Vermont, along the NFCT (Northern Forest Canoe Trail), the NCT (North Country Trail) and hiking the NPT. They work.
I use two pair of thick wool socks for 40+ degree water. They soak water, then warm up from body heat. They pretty much prevent water exchange, soo, they stay fairly warm. Colder, but not aching cold in 40F water...Fairly well at 50F.
As trail shoes they work as well as any. And protect my ankles from scrapes and bangs. They are a bit heavier than trail runners but the convienence of using them far outweighs the additional weight for most hiking. I have Keens but they are as heavy as the Chukas. I also have used Montrail, Soloman, New Ballance, Tevas and Merrils. These do not hold up as well as the Chukas but are lighter. My boat shoes are Merrils at 9oz each. But, these do not protect my ankles very well and they consistantly fill with muck and sand when I get out of the boat. I use them for jogging these days prefering the Tevas instead.
Anyway, at camp, after 6-8 hours of fishing, I take them off and pull the liners out. I remove my socks and generally do not put my feet into the boot except for chores (firewood, getting water, cooking, etc.) I slip my feet out putting them on top of my boots to dry. If I were to hike out, I would simply replace the socks with dry ones after drying off the liners with a bandana, and, wiping out the insides of the boot. My feet get damp, but they would anyway from sweat, so, no big deal. If I am staying at camp, I put them where thay can get some heat from the fire, but not much. The welts are glued on and can be easily ruined with heat. 5-6' away and about 16-24 inches up is usually close enough for some trickle of heat. The leather may stiffen and the welts loosten if you get them too close...ruining the shoe. After brushing my feet off, I slip on dry socks to sleep in. My feet have been pounded and wet all day, they LIKE dry socks.
About half my hiking I intend to do some sort of fishing. Soo, I wear these when I go. A bit heavier than a trail runner (2+lb vs 3lb) but lighter than bringing two pair. With no plans for fishing, I use trail runners (Solomans) for hiking or Tevas sandals for canoeing. For the past 5-6 years the wife cannot get out due to arthritis in her knees, soo, we have been doing more and more canoeing. (Never thought I would be married to an old woman. Ha, ha...)
Note that I have also used the liner as sandals. By punching a couple holes between your toes and simply wraping around the heel before tying them, you *can* use these as walkers for around camp. Not really good for much else, though. I put a nasty blister on one toe when I decided I could hike 4 miles (2 miles each way) to take a shower at Fish Creek Ponds one evening.