Easton Baseball Mako Leg Guards
Eaton-Bell Sports (2013)/User Research, Insights Generation and Prototyping
Project Lead: Dmitry Rusakov
Design Team: Rayyan Toh, Giovanni Guidetti
A longtime player in the sporting goods industry, Easton-Bell Sports wanted to make a statement of intent with its 2014 Baseball lineup.
This led to the birth of the Mako line: providing industry-first innovations on all areas of the field.
For the Mako chest protector and leg guards, this meant tearing up the playbook returning to square one. I was responsible for creating a brand new approach to leg protection for the catcher's position: I translated the insights gained from my field research with sponsored athletes into building a proof of concept that challenged conventional wisdom on how a leg guard is supposed to look and perform.
Observing how sponsored athletes interact and use their gear in-game was crucial. Their constant habit of wearing leg guards off center and biased towards the inside of the leg led to the realization that an asymmetrical design was needed - a unique feature that would provide catchers with more targeted protection and freer range of movement.
This functional prototype was pivotal in providing a point of reference which the design team used through the rest of design process, from aesthetic development to communicating with manufacturing partners.
The result was the most advanced catcher's gear on the market; packed with tech features unique to Easton. The gear was released to much fanfare and continues to receive rave reviews from players at all levels.