We always play with armors being +1 Armor save, while shields have normal save. This is both to make armor a more viable choice. Also, the Toughened Leathers retarded rule can be discarded. This way, armor actually becomes a part of a strategy, and not just a life insurance for your best heroes.
But the one thing I like the most about it, is that it makes other weapons more relevant! Blackpowder weapons become a viable choice onver crossbows and bows when the opponents rocks better armors. A warrior with Grom armor and shield would get a 2+ save, which is basically inpenetrable to arrows, and crossbows would still have a 3+. A BP weapon, though, would lower it to a 5+ (-1 for S4, and -2 as per the rules of BP weapons). Also, axes become much more useful in close combat.
Making armors better just overall balances the game mechanics more, IMO.