Evasion should be your number one strategy during the undead apocalypse but no matter how good you are at evading the enemy, there is always the chance that you will encounter them. It would be wise to wear appropriate garb for the occasion. Walking around in the zombie apocalypse in just a T-shirt and jeans is just asinine and will more than likely get you killed. On the other hand walking around in full tactical gear or a suit of armor might not be practical and most of us will not have access to these sort of things. What I am going to out line here is a cheap and practical set of armor that any individual could afford. I would like to point out that the purpose of this armor is not to wade into the ranks of the undead and dispatch them one at a time. This armor is intended to keep you from being infected by preventing bites into high risk areas and protecting vulnerable places on your body in small skirmishes.
My approach is from the ground up. Start with boots. A good pair of military issue boots that have a steel toe should be your first choice. The steel toe can be used as a weapon for stomping if needed and the tough material that is around the ankle will provide extra protection for that area. Your feet are very vulnerable to immobile zombies so lower legs are high priority.
The next area you should address is your shin and calf. A good thick pair of jeans may not be enough to prevent a penetrating bite from a zombie so you may want to supplement your clothing with Soccer style shin guards. These often have a hard shell on the front and a soft padded side on the back. ensure that your shin pads will work in conjunction with your boots and not cause problems.
Your knees are the next area of concern. A good pair of hard shelled knee pads will not only prevent your patella from being an undead entree but will also assist in the rough and tumble life that you are now living by keeping you from injuring your knee all of the time. I suggest military surplus knee pads because they were designed to be worn in urban environments. Your knee is not as likely to be the target of a bite but it is still possible.
Thighs and hips are protected by the under garment that you are wearing. I suggest that you purchase soccer style goalie padded pants. These are compression garments that have a foam padding built into the thigh areas and hips. This is to be worn under a pair of pants such as denim jeans or some other tough material. It is important to have comfortable pants that do not impede your mobility. Do not wear pants that are loose around the waste or have extraneous materials along the leg. Very baggy legs can be a good hand hold for an undead and it is very hard to runaway from your pants. Saggy jeans can also impair mobility and make you more likely to become lunch.
Your torso has a layer similar to the lower body. Once again I recommend that you purchase a soccer style goalie padded shirt. Be sure to get a long sleeved one as well, they padding that will come in hand on the arms later in this article. On this topic and the previous pants I reccomend the style that is compression, wicking and white in color. White reflects heat and won't absorb as much heat, which will keep you somewhat cooler than if it were a darker color. I also think you should find a life jacket style vest. This will have lots of pockets for the storage of your items and it will add even more protection for your lower torso. Note that this lifejacket vest does not need to have padding around the chest and shoulders. This will impede the chest armor to come.
Your chest can be protected by a combination of many things. First, you can wear a full life jacket. If you do this I recommend a large tight fitting one. Find one that offers a neck roll and ribbing between the back and chest pieces, these will protect your ribs. Second, you can wear hockey chest pads. These pads often have a hard shell that adheres to the upper arm. Third, football pads can be worn. These are very common and inexpensive. It is absolutely critical that you select chest and abdomen armor that does not impede your range of motion and that also allows you to comfortably wear your pack.
Your arms will have some degree of protection from the long sleeved padded goalie shirt. To supplement this you should purchase a set of forearm guards. These will offer protection to your arms which are very vulnerable. Ensure that you have got the type that protects the top and bottom of the forearms.
Hands are very critical. You may have a finger bitten during an engagement and something as small as that can be your undoing. You need maximum protection in your gloves. I recommend a tough pair of leather work gloves. These will prevent teeth from entering your flesh.
For your head I recommend a combination of factors. Odds are if your head is in danger you are more than likely already toast. the first thing is a paintball neck pad. this is a small amount of padded cloth that extends into the shirt and wraps around your neck. You may still have soft tissue damage following a bite but it will assist in preventing the penetration. Second, cut your hair as close to the skin as possible. This will assist in keeping you cool and gives the undead one less thing to grab. This is for both sexes and should not be impeded by fashion sense or gender roles, the biggest fashion statement you can make is staying alive. You should wear a N95 filtration mask, this will prevent blood from entering your mouth during combat. safety glasses will also keep blood from getting into your eyes as well. it is critical to ensure that your safety glasses cover your entire optic region and that there are no gaps. You may substitute the safety glasses with goggles of some kind. Finally, select your self a comfortable wide brim hat. This will keep the sun off of your head and keep you cool.
This is just a personal list of items that i would purchase to help me survive during the zombie apocalypse. This offers you a greater deal of protection than street clothes and is reasonably easy to obtain. Remember that evasion is your first choice of tactics.