Hiking Boots Recommendation?

Recently, I’ve gotten into hiking more and I also want to start going on shorter backpacking journeys soon. I live in SoCal, so the terrain/ weather of my hikes varies, but I’m most often hiking through mountains and/ or deserts when it’s about 70 – 90 or so degrees F, but I also love to hike through small rivers and by waterfalls( and go into the rivers/ creeks to take photos ).

I had Keen sandals that I loved for most shortish hikes or hikes through creeks, but they ultimately crapped out on me. My feet are currently get destroyed in my gym shoe. I’m believing I want to buy comfy waterproof, yet breathable, boots for my future hikes and camping( hopefully good for going through water and deserts/ mountains ). I’m thinking that the boots will support me much better than the sandals( esp. over longer hikes) and protect me more from snakes/ scorpions/ ants/ etc.

I’m hooooping to spend up to maybe $135( though, I’m cool with spending less ), and I’m all for get older models or stuff from outlets. I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations on what I should get! Also, if I’m altogether off base or being unrealistic, please correct me.

Thank you so much!

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