I think I've found my absolute favorite shoe of all time, and it's the Visvim Americana Deck Folk. I have worn these nearly every single day for the past 2 months and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. The Americana is sized just large enough to have a more interesting shape than a typical, everywhere-you-look boat shoe, yet not too bulky for everyday wear. The leather and the construction are holding up excellently, more-so than any other shoe I've ever owned. In fact, they got absolutely soaked today in the NY rain and the only noticeable difference is that they're a lot cleaner than they were before. I've been stepped on about 50 times and no encounter has ever left a mark.
Visvim is a favorite of mine because of how much I love the brand and hate it at the same time. Hiroki Nakamura's devotion to detail, heritage, functionality and socklessness (!) place Visvim's footwear among the best and most sought-after in the entire world. On the other hand, exorbitant prices, often-questionable originality and the occasional design misstep make the shoes hard to acquire and the cost hard to justify.
It's a testament to the brand, though, that if I could only stop by one store during a visit to Tokyo it would undoubtedly be F.I.L. I don't think I've ever been able to leave F.I.L. empty-handed, either, and this last trip was no different. I'd long put the Americana as a shoe I would probably never acquire for any number of reasons (timing, proxy costs, etc.) but it turns out F.I.L. had just done a full re-stock. There they were, tempting me, and my love-affair with all things Chromexcel certainly didn't help matters. I mean just look at the damned things.
Yes, Visvim's pricing is hard to justify, and yes, you can get very similar shoes for a very different cost (that's a full-on rip, by the way). But if you don't mind a little break from tradition (and you shouldn't), there's something to be said about the way these feel each time I slip them on, and that happens quite a bit.
-If you're looking for a pair, the cheapest option is to call up a friend or proxy in Japan and have them either visit F.I.L. in person or scour Yahoo.jp auctions.
-Purchase the shoes a half-size down if possible, even though they fit true to size. They'll be uncomfortable for a bit but they will eventually stretch to a perfect fit. This applies to all Chromexcel footwear, given the leather's pull-up--purchase them too large and you risk marking the vamp with the edge of your toes.