I hate to be contradictory to almost everything posted so far, but here it goes.
I own both the Korker boots and shoes. I wear the shoes over the boots 10 to 1. I like the smaller profile and weight of the shoes. I also backpack in running shoes, so I'm not the typical person in the woods. I like the idea of switching soles with the Korkers and that is why I buy them, but in all honesty, I never change them out. Once I put in the felt, they stay in until they wear out, then I just buy a replacement sole.
Stick with smaller streams. It's much easier to read the current and flows of a smaller stream than it will be with some of the larger streams. WPLR, Anthony's Creek, Jakes Creek, Roaring Fork, about any brookie stream.
Tremont is a beautiful stream, but don't go there expecting to have a stellar day. It gets a lot of notice on these boards and gets pounded by tourists. Basically, its about as technical of a stream as you can get in the Smoky's. As a beginner, you need dumb fish.
Don't worry about how ugly your casting is. You could be the most graceful caster in the world, and after fishing a week in the Smokies, your cast will soon be as ugly as mine. Your whole goal just needs to be to get the fly out of the trees and in the water somewhere in front of you.
Good luck and have fun
My posts are worthless without pictures