Ideal Fit for a Hiking Shoe?

Ok, so this might be a silly question, but I’m a complete novice when it come to taking hiking/ backpacking seriously.

For day hikes and car camping, I have been wearing my keen hybrid sandals or my old gym shoes, but I’ve decided to get more appropriate( i.e. stable, protective, dependable, comfortable) footwear. I ordered a bunch of shoes( all the same sizing) online after doing some research, and they all fit differently, but I’m not sure exactly what fit I’m ideally looking for.

The Addidas are too narrow and didn’t conform to the arch of my foot too well, so I’m sending those back.

The Salomon X Ultra 2 fits very snugly, especially on the sides and where the top of my foot meets my shin, which is not what I’m used to when I wear my dress shoes to work or even my casual gym shoes. However, there seems to be ample room in the toe box( between. 5 to under 1 inch from the big toe) and the heel doesn’t move at all( or practically not at all) when walking. Also, the longer I have the Salomon’s on, the less I notice the snugness, though they are still firmly hugging my feet. I will probably order another pair a half size up to see if they fit better( especially, since I really like the construction of the shoe ).

The Merrell Moab 2 is very comfortable right out of the box for me and fits/ feels more like the gym shoes I am used to wearing. They seem a bit wider than the Salomons, and also softer/ more flexible. However, I do get a very small amount of heel lift when stepping( though, in every day use, I likely wouldn’t even notice this ).

I plan on testing these shoes( and a couple others) out on the treadmill before decided what to keep, but I’d love your experienced insight as to what I’m looking for.

What is the ideal fit of a hiking shoe? Do I want something that’s quite firmly procure or a bit snug around the sides/ top of my feet or do I want something that’s a bit more casual impression? Also, is the firmness/ snugness of the Salomon do at all to needing to break them in?

Sorry for the long post, but I truly appreciate any help you can give me.

Thank you!

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