So I just placed my first order via Ascot shoes. Absolute pleasure. They were friendly, knowledgeable, and running a great promotion which I want to put out here for other gents to take advantage of.
£450 GBP - excluding UK Tax for Non-EU clients (approx $695 USD)
+ £35 Shipping, Insurance & Online tracking.
1) Hand Made Vass shoes (on U, K and F Last)
2) Premium J&R Leather Sole.
3) Premium French Aniline Calf.
4) Original Vass dust bags and shoe box.
Everything in Option 1 and the 3 extra items below for
£495 GBP - excluding UK Tax for Non-EU clients (approx $769 USD)
+ £45 Shipping, Insurance & Online tracking.
Just also noting that Vass 'Italian' last shoes are 420EUR plus 25EUR for trees and 20EUR for toe taps for any of their stock ranges in any standard leather (non-shell, non-exotic). That's ~£345 / $530 plus shipping. It also includes taxes, though I don't think there's any way to deduct those buying direct.
For MTO the Ascot prices start to look like a better deal. Not knocking them, but they do seem to charge 2x Vass prices for any of the extras like trees or toe taps...