Alot of info. here so I can't add much but some fine points. 1,as has been said good liner socks, 2 instead of wool outer socks go with synth. blend. Wool when wet dries slow, synth. alot quicker, also recomended by meindl. 3 boot, lots of good ones but if room for only 1 then Kenetrek. One thing not mentioned here is type of sole. any good traction type with the exception of air bobs they don't work in snow, they plug up and won't clean out. I had them put on my meindls and that was a mistake. Think alot on water proof boots nothing worse than wet boots. Pretty sure though have not tried them is Kenetrek, I have Melndls and though on the heavy side those are like a sherman tank when it comes to water.
Sounds like u got it down to a science. If I were you I'd do two last things.
1: try both sets of final choice boots on before buying to see how they feel. Research is great, but your feet are what's matters most.
2: make sure you buy a little larger size. Especially if you use inserts. Inserts normally for my feet make me need a whole size bigger sneaker or shoe. Orthotics add bulk.
I agree with the polyester type thin liner and Dr. Schols foot powder as a baseline for my own feet on heavy walking days. Foot powder does have scent but there is nothing worse then having your feet on fire from walking. That's why I like the thin liner on my feet skin and merino wool over them.
Under Armour makes a heavier polyester sock in exchange of the merino that I like for mild weather that I will wear direct on my feet skin and drop the liner and the merino. I would also do some jogging to get the feet in shape callous wise. You don't want no tender feet !!!!
I have Lowa Men's Tibet GTX . If you are looking for a pair of boots to "flash" Rim to Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon, or do the 220 miles of the JMT in 2 weeks these are not it. Consider the Lowa Renegade for this purpose (or a pair of grippy lit weight hiking shoes that will fall apart after one of those uses). I like the Renegades too, but they are not built for heavy duty hiking and climbing like these are. Many light weight boots will not give you the proper ankle support required when carrying a heavy pack over rough terrain and long distances. These boots do. If you are considering adventure backpacking off trail - buy these boots If you are considering climbing moderate angled snow couloirs - buy these boots If you want to do "scrambling" on rock (class 3 / 4) and don't want to bring rock shoes for a wilderness trip - buy these boots If you travel in areas where the trails are wet, ankle snapping rocky conditions - buy these boots. If you want a boot to last for YEARS - buy these boots. If you wonder what to bring on the around the world adventure where you don't know what to expect but know you are going wilderness trekking - buy these boots (and bring a pair of sandals). Going to Nepal in the fall - buy these boots If you understand that quality footwear is NOT found at a bargain price and you have to pay for the kind of quality that does not let you down in the middle of nowhere - then buy these boots. Need something other than a boot that is the now-standard "wide" - buy these in the medium width. I usually wear a narrow and using a foot bed makes these work well.