Pulling off your hiking shoes or boots to cross water is literally a pain. A pain in foot and toes. One solution: Crocs Beach Clog Sandals.
I jettisoned my heavy boots years ago, in favor of waterproof tennis shoes. But any water crossing more than a few inches deep requires you to unlace and walk barefoot. I’ve done this many times and I’m almost always sorry I don’t have sandals or water shoes of some kind to protect my feet. Slipping and sliding on rocks in a stream in bare feet can also result in pulled muscles, falls, and injury.
Although I had tried a couple of options, including surf booties, all were too heavy. Storm socks are an option at about 2-3 ounces, but don’t provide much protection. On the other hand, Crocs, those odd slip-ons with lots of holes drills in them, are only six ounces each, provide relief from trail shoes after a long day and can function as a second pair of hiking shoes if necessary.
I think the comfort and safety benefits make them worth the extra 12 ounces.
Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.