Hiking / trekking without boots definitely harder on rock slab trail straight up and down & snow condition. Have you ever thinking to trek in far west Dolpo, or Manaslu mountain ranges, or eastern part of Kanchenjunga little different and less crowded remote wilderness area?
Have you seen high mountain people they ware sandal that have no grip. Their balance and strengths is unbelievable they carry more than 35kg on their back using single strap. They get used to and said they are more comfortable walking without boots.
I’d like to share my own experience of trekking in Himalayan with I learned and suffer on Annapurna Base camp trekking 2018. I bought and wore them once and kept in the cell for 4 years. Hiking boots looks brand new has no scratched or clatters. Day 0ne I wore them and hike an hour’s on flat easy dusty graveled trail, the weather was sunny and hot, boots start detached, and segregates.
We shouldn’t trust boots that we stored long period and not has been used for many years. From long period storage often they got stiff both side specially bottoms of the boots and middle foamy part they lose their flexibility and dry glue and eventually they don’t useful anymore become trace. Now I know the result, the hand if we wear them regularly they live more than decade no doubt.
If you are planning to use your old hiking boots has not been use more than 6 or greater months better wear and test before heading out for the long backpacking and hiking trips. The science behind that they lose their flexibility and got rigid. Rigid boots rubber or synthetic now they become break that’s what happened.
Trekking and climbing in Nepal you must have good ankle support hiking boots and wear then before start you’re trekking.
The legend Sherpa and high mountain people born that harsh geography and altitude and learned how to walk ups and down bare feet, and on the snow without proper boots/shoe.
Nowadays I buy branded hiking boots love my feet and want to trekking in Nepal without having any stress on my toes and ankle.