Thank you. I have narrowed the possibles down to three from everyone's input: 1) Merrell Ventilators, 2) Vasque Breeze, 3) and the Zephyrs. I need to go by my local REI and see if they have my size in stock/how it feels on the Lowas. If I go with the Zephyrs, I'll PM you and if you still have the discount available, thank you! And if it is used or given away, still thank you for offering!
If you're not wearing thick wool socks, in any sort of wind (Desert, etc) you will feel a breeze blowing across your feet in Ventilators. They're damn near 2/3 vents and in 100-130F type temps, if you're wearing some sort of wicking sock your feet will be quite cool. I wear mine every day in normal day to day use and aside from winter (where I use merino wool thicker socks due to the vents) my feet breathe very well in them. I've had issues from wearing combat boots for years and similar where my feet couldn't breathe, the Vents were recommended to me and have overall, done very well in that regard.
Good recommendation. These will be daily wear for me also.
Why not go with a pair of old school jungle boots (panama sole) and Super green feet?
Both are fine, and both will suit your purposes - EXTREMELY breathable, comfortable enough for general use, yet capable enough to carry weight over distance.
Thank you. The breathability and the skeleton (basic stability when not straight and level) are the primary criteria for me and I appreciate the time you took in responding.
The first question to answer is boot or shoe?...
I've had good luck with Garmont Eclipse shoes for ultralight, fast hikes. Great grip, excellent ventilation but sometimes too light and soft for heavy loads on rocky terrain.
...but I must at least partially attribute that fact to sock choices.
The Vasque's look appealing as well. Never had a good fit with Merrell's. Plus, they seem too soft and floppy to me - not happy with the soles either.
Bottom line, buy the coolest boot that fits your foot and based on your planned activities.
Good copy. But a mid boot to shoe in my case is personal pref only. With what I'm using the shoe / boot for (daily wear and day hikes), breathability and a bit of lateral stability (versus dedicated backpacking which screams for a much more built up boot) are my primary considerations. Everyone has assisted with personal knowledge versus my looking at pictures / manufacturer descriptions, so it is all good / has worked out.
I like Garmonts too (Flash XCR III / T-8 are currently owned/wore out several pairs of approach shoes previously), but I can see where the Eclipses would lack in lateral stability (just like my Teva Rivas). Otherwise, they would be in consideration.
Also agreed on socks (I don't believe I have a single pair of cotton socks to my name) and the varying densities of them apropos to environment . I'm a runner and live in coolmax Injinjis for that and my daily wear are very, very light (breathable) versions of Darn Tough, Smartwool, and Bridgedale merino socks. Uncle Sam has also blessed me my time in the Mojave although the western and eastern sections are certainly different (done both and being currently in Henderson, NV which isn't bad at all).
Thank you to all. Personal knowledge / recommendations are so much better than guessing at what might work. You have made this relatively easy on me.