With the exception of mountaineering and winter backpacking, the trend is people switching to trail runners. I myself was a 'boot person' for MANY years and noticed that hundreds of folks doing thru hikes used trail runners. So I've tried them, and haven't looked back, for about 4 yrs. Ankles in tact.
I also own a pair of merrell boots for my winter treks. To make them water proof I slather on mink-oil or sno-seal, I also have some water proof socks and some neoprene socks for warmth.
Anyhoo...I'm telling you, you cannot buy a more sturdy, better fitting, with the absolute most cushion available on the market than the hoka one one. I'm using the stenson atr 5 with the "plush" cushioning. You can get Hoka's at REI or the hoka web site, both allow unquestioned returns within a specified time period, i.e. both will let you take them on a trip and return them if you don't like them. The stenson also has a good-wide toe box.