Can I use sneakers instead of hiking boots/shoes when backpacking?

I am not comfortable wearing a pair of hiking boots when backpacking because they are heavy and I have never found a pair that fits me perfectly as compared to wearing sneakers. Do you think hiking shoes really outdo wearing sneakers for backpacking? And what brands do you recommend?

Hiking boots are definitely heavier than your sneakers especially when the trail or the terrain you came upon is rough. Consider wearing hiking shoes instead of the heavier hiking boots which is stiffer for people who needs more ankle support.

It all comes down to what you want to wear. Sneakers are not automatically bad when you wear them to hike but wearing shoes that are make for hiking purposes will give you trail comfort that sneakers do not have. I recommend that you look at the shoe selection offered by Merrell.