Joel Miller, the hardscrabble everyman thrust into unthinkable circumstances in HBO’s smash-hit adaptation of The Last of Us, has been teaching us all a thing or two about surviving the apocalypse for the past few Sundays. For one, you need to have a rough-and-tough exterior (complete with the right jacket). You need to be willing to make a few kills (for the right reasons). And, apparently, you need a damn reliable pair of boots.
Joel’s boots of choice, luckily, are available even to those not in a fungus-ridden, zombie-plagued environment (it would seem he went shopping before cordyceps was a thing, maybe?). They’re the 10-inch, waterproof Elk Tracker leather boots by Irish Setter, and, to be honest, they pretty much are the perfect survival boot.
Not only do they pair nicely with Joel Miller’s apocalypse jacket of choice, but they’re pretty much impervious to the elements, with a durable sole, steel shank, and—get this—odor control technology that kills bacteria. Pretty fuckin’ handy in a world where the zombie apocalypse is spread through fungi, no? Good thinking, Joel.
As reliable as these boots are for a traumatized, jaded, half-deaf apocalypse survivor in an alternate 2023 where a totalitarian regime reigns supreme and humanity’s survival seems to depend solely on a teen girl, they’re also, by the way, just as worthy an investment for a guy in this version of 2023. You know, the one where hard-wearing boots are meant for living life to the fullest—not avoiding the essentially undead.
And, yeah, these boots are arguably overbuilt for everyday life, but they’re also adaptable to your environment. They’re sturdy and waterproof, with a calf support and a shock-absorbent midsole made of cork, so even if you’re on the most rugged terrain there is (i.e., the rubble of a once-booming metropolis), you’re going to be walking in comfort. Let’s not even get into the rugged coolness of them, the weathered leather that looks oh-so-handsome with a vintage jacket of the same aesthetic. Joel Miller’s nailed it. If only he had the time—or the timeline—to appreciate it.