TinMan...I've been on a boot quest of my own...so far I really admire John Morin's forceful/determined all weather barefoot stride approach (his feet are as tough as kevlar and he can do hot cinders, broken glass, and rusty tacks with hardly a grimmace)...I can't, at least not yet!
I have a heavy pair of river boots that would not be a good thing to wear to the beach...TOO HEAVY...next case...
I've tried the Patagonia Marle Walkers and, while the support is excellent, they do tend to get heavy when wet, and do allow some sand to enter which will build up to a point of discomfort, at which point I must empty them to continue walking and fishing with a smile.
I've tried the typical flats-bootys and, while they don't afford the same support as the Walkers, they are NOT BAD and I can fish for long periods in relative comfort. Some sand does enter which can be removed with less fuss than the Walkers (although the zipper can become "sand-impared"...needs a squirt of clean water to clear the sand from the teeth).
So, what I have decided...I wear the highest bootys I can find to accommodate my sock waders (and keep as much sand out as possible...sooner or later they will have to be emptied)... AND, I bring an "amphibious" pair of shoes (and socks) to change into should another "death march" be in order. (Lesson learned on the last RipTrip walk)
As the summer progresses and I wet wade a la Morin, and my feet toughen up, I hope to go natural, but when it's cold and I need to cover up to chase away the chill, high bootys (like Juro's and Jim Doogue's) over sock-foot waders are my answer to the temperature-sensative-tenderfoot-enigma. John (my HERO!) still has the best solution! My .02 ...