Originally Posted by dieworkwear
Also, for the bespoke pairs, how many fittings are necessary, and how much time needed between each fitting? If one visited Japan say twice a year, and stayed one week per visit, would they be able to get a pair sent to them after the second visit?
Many Bespoke makers only do once (assuming they fit ok, and usually at the 2~3 months mark), others do twice or more. Lead time for completion is usually 6 months, busier makers take longer. Rarely do orders require 1 yr or more (like G&G) in Japan.
For example, Saion's Bespoke takes only 6 months to complete, but requires a total of 5 visits (first visit, first fitting after 2 months, second fitting+taking home the trial shoes at 3-1/2 months, bringing back the trial shoes at 4 months, and finally receiving the completed shoes at 6 months).
If you plan to visit twice, and choose a maker that does only 1 fitting, then I say technically yes they should be able to send the shoes to you after the fitting. This is assuming your only fitting session came out fine, and you're willing to go through the trouble of shipping the shoes back if you don't like the final product. I also suspect some makers would be apprehensive with the idea, especially for the initial order.
Many bespoke makers offer full-handmade MTO shoes that requires only initial measuring/fitting with gauge shoes. No fitting session for these order. could be a viable option for you. add911_11 may have been referring to these.
Believe it or not YOHEI FUKUDA offers MTO shoes w/o fitting session, and made to same standard as bespoke. Priced at ¥273,000+ (vs ¥399,000 for his bespoke). check out his website. The "Classic Collection" and the "Heritage Collection" are all available for MTO. Lead time is still 1 year for them.