Because of elite zeds, we surely need something with increased melee resistance and, may be, increasing of dodge/evade chance.
May be some "exo-skeleton" (*) based on motorcyclist's "turtle shell", which will increase APS for melee/blunt weapons.
And it is very strange that military helmets have no "anti-melee" stats. IRL it is almost impossible to penetrate or deform steel helmet with blade or even most mauls.
Anything made of steel must add melee resistance with penalty on move speed. (who wore the military helmet, "a hard hat", knew that it makes a neck very tired after a time).
(*) this thing can be crafted using some hard vest as a base, adding some electronic, small motors, batteries and steel rods or haswers.
Stats: adds to APS and melee resistance.
To keep balance, it must be reloaded with new AA batteries after every usage. Also it must lower the ranged combat stats.