I've had this discussion with my friends numerous times. Many of them have not read Max Brooks' seminal work, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, and that'll probably bite them in the ass (or hand or wrist or neck; anywhere lovingly exposed to wretched death breath). Certainly this book is not the end point of zombie survival discussion, but it is the jumping off point for trendy, informed discussion salons around town. I highly recommend it if for no other reason than that it systematically dismisses many of the mind numbingly stupid ideas which we've been conditioned to think would be effective against the dead who walk. (Shotguns? Seriously, we still think they're the best way to go?)
The word armor conjures up idyllic images of a medieval knight, resplendent in shining armor astride a mighty steed. More like Spam in a can on top of an appetizer to unending hordes of blood mad undead. Consider that all armor designs throughout human history were crafted to protect one man from excruciating pain long enough for them to inflict it on someone else, thus disabling the other from continuing to attack them. As zombies feel no pain, it makes no sense to make that the basis of your conceptual apocalypse armor. Your main concerns should be durability, bite resistance, availability and maneuverability.
So let's suit up. Starting from the inside out, you're going to want anti-microbial underwear. It's a zombie apocalypse, who knows when next you'll be able to change your most personal of garments when you don't even do it daily now! Over that you'll want loose fit, boot cut denim jeans. Skinny jeans are just begging for a crushed nut whilst fleeing (and you're going to need to repeople the earth eventually). Avoid pre-distressed styles - they're going to get fucked up enough over time without giving in to foolish fashions (which are more like feeding holes to happy zombies).
And, of course, you're going to want a sturdy pair of hiking boots. I know you're thinking steel toed work boots would be boss but consider this: have you have had to walk for twelve hours in steel toed work boots? It sucks. Hiking boots are designed for all manner of conditions and for you to be in them all day.
Shirt choice is up to you, really. We recommend something that wicks sweat but vintage tee's are obviously cooler to be found reanimated and walking around in. You'll provide a great comic relief moment as the director pans across zombie you in your XXXL "Make 7/Up Yours" t-shirt.
Next up is the meat to keep your meat safe, actual armor pieces. You're going to want the lightest material you can find that's going to resist bites. For that you want motocross armor. It's incredibly strong composite plastic construction repels lethal infections with great ease and it's available at most sporting goods stores. Not the chest piece though, we'll get to coverage there in a moment. You want the arm to elbow and the knee to ankle coverage afforded by these (now) wonder materials. Since the wrists and hands are highly vulnerable areas, especially when engaged in CQZC (Close quarters zombie combat), It's advisable to wear thin, fitted leather gloves as well, preferable ones that cover to the elbow. You can usually find these in a....
...Leather jacket store: Where you can acquire a motorcycle style leather jacket. Why this style? A fitted, button up neck may just save you from the dreaded corroded dinner bell bite (as in: ring-a-ding-ding, this warm meat sack is going down). This style is also more fitted, giving zombies more trouble in grabbing hold of you and pulling you down to your doom.
So there you have it. High mobility, great durability, near complete bite protection from components which are easily available in most places. The jury is still out on best head wear. A cycle helmet or a riot helmet would seem to grant the most protection but at great cost: vastly diminished hearing. Perhaps it's time to determine the bite resistance of neoprene head socks....
Think I'm crazy? Tell me why!