I finally got a chance to try the combination of a lightweight running shoe (Salomon) with the combination of liner sock, warm insulating outer sock, followed by the Rocky GoreTex socks. We set out on the Art Loeb trail from Brevard, NC to the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp, about 34 miles. Normally this would be a two day hike, but the group I was with was a max-10-miles-per-day group, so we spread it out. The first day was freezing rain, which stopped as we set out on the trail. The freezing level continued to rise all day, basically tracking our progress in altitude because the frozen precip was dripping off the trees and onto us. It was a very wet day, with temps around 32F all day. Since the trees had freezing rain on them, they were bent over the trail, so we spend a lot of time pushing through the melting ice, getting out clothes all the wetter. However, my feet were always warm and dry, keeping me happy no matter what. Of course, the sun coming out after noon made things even better.
I think that Roger's comment is right on about feet circulation. The thing I like about the Salomon shoes is the lacing system that makes the shoes very expandable. This allowed good circulation in my feet as we hiked while the GoreTex socks and warm inner socks did their work and kept my feet warm and dry.
I'll be using this combination in the future, with possible modifications for colder snow temperatures (assuming I ever get to see snow again in the southeastern Appalachians).