I don't know about the specific traits of hiking boots, but for me the key to a good all-weather all-activity boot (in my case camping and hunting - the latter of which involves a fair degree of walking over open varied ground, though walking is not the purpose) are a durable upper and a synthetic sole with some tread. Leather soles in the field are just absurd.
My CXL AE Bayfields served this purpose for many years:
I still think CXL is nearly unbeatable as a choice for the uppers - and the Carmina Jumpers that have replaced them are of that material:
But if you happen to luck into a pair of genuine Heather Gorse (Zug!) Veldtshoens, that's probably the cat's pyjamas right there.
absolutely love those carminas! when did you get those? and is that the Oscar last?