Introduced for the 2014 season, several National Football League players wear CarbonTek shoulder pads, which are manufactured by Russell Athletic. The CarbonTek shoulder pads are the first foray by the apparel company into protection equipment. Another top supplier of shoulder pads to NFL players is Riddell.
Officially known as the CarbonTek Shoulder Pad System, the pads feature a lightweight exoskeleton made from 100 percent aerospace-grade carbon fiber material. For added protection, the pads feature an automotive-grade foam beneath the exoskeleton. For versatility, the shoulder epaulets come in three different versions: linemen, skill and multipurpose. The pads attach together through the use of a military-grade buckle system. Holding the padding together and allowing a maximum range of motion is a compression vest that helps keep body odor to a minimum.