I use a a combination of protective socks (http://www.sealskinz.com/socksand ) and differing shoes to protect my feet depending on the conditions and weather. I hate cold feet.
I have a couple of friends that make fun of running shoes. We have a long granite ridge traverse in the Selkirks that we do in the summer.
Running shoes without sticky rubber can turn that outing into a "run away" mission if you aren't careful. Adding the protection of a good approach shoe for that kind of adventure is just common sense. A hard lesson learned on my first attempt at the traverse.
My Garmont and Selewa approach shoes are better compared to low top lwt boots than my Nike Free running shoes. But they are the appropriate shoe for the Selkirks in comparison to my Brooks Cascadia.
The new to me Salewa Firetail GTX (bottom right) seems to be a unique blend of technology and construction that is a good match to my own needs. I have yet to have cold feet in these no matter the conditions an only regular socks.
Here is the Salewa company line on these:
"The Salewa Men’s Firetail GTX Hiking Shoe represents an evolutionary step forward, the missing link between a technical approach shoe and a lightweight trail runner. Specially-designed Vibram outsoles, climbing lacing, protective rands, and a customizable fit enable the state-of-the-art Firetail to handle approaches and descents on the most technical trails with ease and, thanks to the Gore-Tex insert, in any weather."
•Gore-Tex insert keeps your feet bone-dry on rainy days in the backcountry
•3F System distributes the lacing power over the whole foot for unmatched heel retention, so you enjoy a friction-free, blister-free precision fit as well as excellent ankle support
•EVA midsole and PU Shock Absorber cushion your foot on descents, and the Multi- Fit Footbed allows you to adjust the volume of the footbed in the shoe for a perfect fit
•All-around aramidic fiber and rubber rand protects the shoe from impact and abrasion and provides grip when you climb
•Climbing-style lacing extends further towards the front to allow you to dial in your fit
•Proprietary Salewa Vibram Approach outsole provides maximum grip and edging on rocks and helps you put on the brakes on steep descents
•Armored mesh protects the shoe against abrasion while enhancing breathability on hot summer hikes
There are a gazillion different running /approach and trail shoes available. Everyone has their own favorites and styles. So it is a tough market for them and good for us as consumers. The Salewa version was a new one for me as were the Garmonts previous. I'd rather use a running shoe to be honest and a light weight one at that. But for my own use the Salewa has come up with a good combo of protection, additional ankle support, sticky rubber, excellent fit and may be a link between a "heavier technical approach shoe and a not so lightweight trail runner". It is worth a second look if you require something similar for those full on, long days in the mountains.
Salewa Firetail GTX Hiking Shoe