Easton and Jen Schroeder Launch New Design of Female-Specific Catcher’s Gear
Jen Schroeder’s name comes synonymous with softball catchers. Now her name — and expertise — comes synonymous with softball-specific catcher’s gear, as the founder of Jen Schro Catching partnered with Easton on a two-year project to create a line of catcher’s gear designed for female softball players.
“I cannot express how important this is and how excited I am for this gear,” Schroeder says. “We have been waiting for this to happen for so many years and I couldn’t be prouder to have partnered with Easton to develop the very first female-specific gear. This will give us catchers a chance to have something of our own, to be proud to wear gear that fits all of our needs and be inspired and confident.”
Schroeder worked with Easton for two years on the project, bringing in experts and players across the sport. After months of trial, testing and approving details, Schroeder says the goal was always to improve the gear to “target areas of concern to make the very best gear.”
The result equals two sets of Easton gear, the Jen Schro The Very Best line and The Fundamental by Jen Schro Catching line.
Both sets of gear come available as retail box sets or individual pieces in a variety of colors, all meeting the NOCSAE standard for all levels of play. As the name implies, The Very Best line includes what Easton calls top-of-the-line advances in helmet, chest protector and leg guard technologies from anti-microbial lining in the helmet, patented silicone grip abs for the chest protector, neoprene knee straps with inner knee padding for the leg guards and all for the female athletes’ body and measurements.
Beyond the technology, the gear integrates visual details and inspirational messages, a signature of Schroeder’s style and teachings.
The Fundamental line offers the “core qualities” of the The Very Best line, but at a lower price point.
“Our goal was to create gear that was designed specifically for the softball player and her body, maximize technology for ultimate safety as well as comfort and, maybe most importantly, help girls feel infinitely more confident when they strapped it on,” Schroeder says. “We can’t wait for catchers across the world to reap the benefits of our hard work.”
With an Aug. 8 announcement of the lines, Easton will make the two lines available for pre-order on Aug. 29 and available for purchase in stores and online on Sept. 12.
“Jen is such an inspiration to young female catchers,” says Dan Jelinek, Easton senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Her strong passion for the art of caching is infectious and her passion for working with female athletes is incredible. Working together, we recognized that no one had ever really offered a line of catcher’s gear that addressed so many unique needs for the female catcher.” He says the resulting collaboration creates a new line of gear that “looks, feels and competes like nothing before.”
Schroeder says the process started by laying out all the issues with the then-available gear, presenting the problems to Easton. Issues ranged from a lack of fit specifically for a softball player and her body, comfort for the uncomfortable moments when wearing the gear for hours, materials in the helmet and technology for blocking. She says that Easton solved the issues — and there was a long list — in the new lines.
“I couldn’t be more ecstatic with the outcome,” she says. “This gear is everything I would have wanted to wear when I was playing and then some.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear for Softball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.