I too have gotten the ultralite backcountry bug and so I decided to set out to find a shoe I could not only hike in but wade in once I got to the river. I bought a pair of Keen's Newport H2's and tried them out on Forney last week. I hiked half way in in trail runners and then the rest of the way with the keens and socks. On the hike out I only wore the keens. First half of the hike with no socks and the latter half with. My pack was probably 25 pounds and we covered 12 miles in the two days, down from Clingmans and then back up.
I was pretty impressed with the Keens when hiking. The toe guard keeps your feet protected and the soles are sturdy enough for rough trails. If you don't feel very confident in your ankles these are not the way to go, but I was very comfortable in them. Traction in the water is not nearly as good as my wading boots, but I just had to be more careful about foot placement.
Anyone else been experimenting?