My second most favored item.
Boots, because when there is sudden crisis, its generally a good plan to start moving away from something bad and toward something good, and without boots you are not going to get far in most cases. You won’t always have the option of a vehicle and there can be all kinds of stuff on the ground that is hazardous to your health. If you can move you can avoid danger.
In an approximate continuum of worst to best possible footwear for a crisis on land is:
High heel shoes, bare feet, thongs, sandals, office worker shoes, runners, steel cap boots, military issue boots,hiking boots.
What wrong with each:
High heel shoes: make wearer clumsy and prone to ankle damage, uncomfortable after just a few hours.
Bare feet: No protection from cuts and abrasion damage from fire or chemicals. unless you have never worn shoes and you feet are tough, its a bad option.
thongs: very little protection, may become slippery with sweat or water
sandals: better than thongs but only a little better, no complete cover which is lacking.
Office worker shoes: usually have all over cover, not overly comfortable often not very sturdy and usually lacks ankle support.
Runners: no ankle support, synthetic fabrics may be less durable that office worker shoes.
Steel cap boots: the real failing is weight and how horribly cold they can get. terrible if the edge of the cap rubs part of the foot.
Army issue boots: generally good, but designed by a major corporation for maximum profitability in a likely cozy deal with a government employee. Like a lot of army gear, specialist civilian camping /hunting equipment is better. Comfort and lifespan are the two most likely issues.
The hiking boots: Designed for harsh environment forced to compete on the shelf next to all other boots for your money. Hikers and climbers are dam picky and will buy all kinds of ‘snake oil’ like brand names. Fortunately some of the ‘snake oil’ they pay for actually works and there are some great hiking boots out there. comfortable, strong, light, designed to protect your foot. Possibly claiming to made from unicorn feathers that are farmed in a sustainable manner or some other such bold claim, which is hard to believe, but the boots live up to most rational expectations.
Unless you have a strict dress code that you must conform to for work. You have the option of wearing good boots all the time. You can take that option. boots might seem expensive to be wearing down all the time, but because they are made so strongly they will be quite economical compared to cheaper shoes you are forever replacing.
A pair of military boots I had lasted 10 years, and they were second hand. Excellent value for money.
If you are in Australia you will need to make only one major design decision in you boots, wet or dry. look at which side of the dividing range you are on an choose accordingly. Boots generally are designed for only wet or dry conditions. Hint wet boots will be brown in colour, dry boots will be tan in colour.
Almost forgot to mention, shoe/boot lases can be a great source of string.
Boots : you can get moving and keep moving for a long time, the better the footwear the better the shortcuts.
boot size: you will know the boot is right for you if it feels comfortable when you jump up and down in them. should feel snug but not sore. should only feel slightly tight in a few places.
boot breaking in: you will need to breaking boots to mold them to your unique foot shape. The easiest way to break in boots is to wear them in the shower and then walk in them outside until they are dry. Clothing is recommended for this process but if your community is all cool with naked except for boots , good for you.