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Nike has opened up to give us insight into the years of hard work and creative genius that went into designing its innovative new auto-lacing sneaker, the HyperAdapt 1.0.

Though the idea of auto-lacing sneakers was first introduced to public consciousness in the film Back to the Future II in 1989, it was only this year that the idea was finally made a reality on a wider commercial scale. Though the brand’s other auto-lacing sneaker, the MAG, took the big headlines, the HyperAdapt is the one with genuine staying power thanks to its more refined and contemporary aesthetic.

Its good look didn’t come easy, though. Nike’s Senior Innovator, Tiffany Beers, explained that they had three completely different prototypes, only to return to the first one they designed. Here’s what Tiffany said about each one:

Prototype #1

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“The white pair is the first underfoot prototype, which matches Tinker’s first round of sketching. This shoe was a completely new mechanism. We tried some different things, and all five laces were being pulled at the same time in this version. It was also the first time we used Nike Flyweave and Nike Flywire as part of the fit system. The fit on this shoe was incredible,” Tiffany said.

Prototype #2

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“With the next black prototype, we tried to hide the mechanism more. Tinker lowered the collar height from the first round of sketching, and got further from the Nike Mag design,” Tiffany revealed. “This was our first time trying to make multiple mechanisms based on the new tech we built. Only two laces were being pulled, unlike the five in the first prototype.”

Prototype #3

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“Ultimately, we worked to hide the auto-lacing mechanics in the second round. In the third round, however, we went back to the first prototype’s design and exposed it in a plate in order to keep the weight down and have a smoother transition. This particular shoe is one of the final rounds of prototypes that we called the ‘stealth’ we did tons of testing on this shoe with lots of weartesters. We kept it stealth so that people could use it more without getting questions about what they were wearing.”

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In other sneaker news, adidas just gave the Tubular Invader a camouflage new look.

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Life Editor

Daniel is the editor of Highsnobiety Life. He grew up in north of England and is now based in Berlin.

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