I will be traveling with my Mom and sisters in Ireland in September. Two of us are avid photographers and wonder if it will be necessary to wear boots when walking off paths or roads to 'get the perfect photo'? If they would be needed would there be a place that lends them or sell them cheap? Obviously they would take up too much space in the luggage...
Terry, You will definitely need something that comes up over your ankle. Especially if you will be walking almost anywhere off a rocky path. At least this was the case in Southwest and West Donegal. There is a lot of bog land and you can easily lose a low cut shoe. Waterproofing is a must also.
I hiked all over and wore hiking boots that were waterproofed. The peat bogs were a bit squishy, but I survived that just fine. Other lovely areas to photograph like Dingle peninsula, the Burren, Dun Aengus, Slaine Castle, etc., are actually quite dry. Be prepared for HILLS--hiking boots will be supportive and prevent twisted ankles.
I wore Columbia lowtop hiking shoes and hiked all over with no problems at all. In fact, they have been everywhere from the rural areas of Ireland to the Great Wall of China and have never failed me. When they did get wet they dried quickly and never slipped on rocks, even hiking through creeks.
I was glad I took my gore-tex hiking boots to Scotland a couple of years ago in June. We had a lot of rain and I even wore them in the city to keep my feet dry on very wet days. I definitely would want them for trail and off-trail. When my feet are happy, I am happy. I also packed very light with a 17" rollaboard and matching backpack. I wore the boots on the plane and anytime I didn't want to stick them in the backpack while traveling from place to place on train or bus.