When we decided the time was right to reintroduce the Hutton Playtime chukka we managed to find an original unworn pair of Playtime.
Around that time, photos of the any original Hutton chukkas were few and far between.
Finding actual boots and shoes, near impossible, and one of the reasons why so many copies are 'just not quite right.'
But, one surviving pair of shoes was already famous in online circles.
This fantastic original pair belonging to long time shoe obsessive, Ivyist and vintage racing cycle restorer, Rob van Driel (you can find him on Instagram under the handle @cyclolala) from the Netherlands.
Rob's pair was found on eBay more than a decade ago, and he was intrigued by the model but didn't know much about it at the time.
Posting them on vintage clothing forums, they caused a sensation, being so incredibly rare.
Dating from early 1960s and made for long defunct British high street retailer Dolcis, they are the only surviving pair of Playtime derby shoes that we've come across from that vintage.
So we were incredibly lucky that Rob agreed to loan them to us for our Hutton in-house 'museum.'
There are a few things that stand out as incredibly fascinating about this shoe.
There are rumours online about a certain someone (you know who I'm talking about, the legend & King of Cool himself - Steve McQueen) wearing a pair of Hutton's original Playtime boots with black soles in the movie 'Bullitt'.
The soles of Mcqueen's Huttons look incredible dark in many pictures, and in some even go so far as to look jet black, though we've always been convinced this is due to the lighting as Hutton has never used black crepe for its soles.
Oddly enough, the crepe soles on these original, vintage Hutton Playtime shoes do look black as well - but only until you look closely.
Definitely brown, not black. But then there's also further evidence they weren't even originally this colour.
For that, you have to turn over the shoe...
See that spot of particularly light brown right in the center by the heel? Where the crepe soles would have been worn considerably less than anywhere else?
They're a much lighter shade of brown than the rest of the sole.
Not quite as light as undyed blonde crepe is straight out of box, but not very far off, and most certainly much lighter than any part of the sole that has a lot of wear.
Meaning these crepe soles went very dark with age.
The crepe soles didn't start out black, but by the time you'd worn them considerably - nearly black is the shade they pretty much ended up.
All this goes to show you just how much Steve McQueen must have worn his original Hutton Playtime shoes. He clearly wasn't wearing new ones whilst filming, and stills from the time on and off set show them to be comfortably worn in.
There's also the matter of the dark brown welt, which is considerably darker than the shade of the colour of the suede.
It's also apparent that the dark brown welt has faded over the years as these shoes have aged.
To be honest, in select spots, the welt is not only faded, but has even reverted back to tan welt entirely.
This aging process is stunning, and only adds to the charm of the shoes.
There's nothing better in our books than shoes that look plenty worn in - and yet have the incredible appeal that only quality footwear can have after so many uses.
There's plenty else of note, but we'll leave this post here. We'd love to hear what you think about these original, vintage Hutton Playtime shoes.