Re: shooting shoes
I have also been shooting ladies shoes for a long time.
What we do is suspend the laces already set up as if they were been worn.
To do that, we use instant glue to keep the laces in place and then we run an horizontal rod below our main light ( big soft box for zenithal lighting).
Suspended from that rod with red sewing thread ( so that we can see it clearly for Photoshop retouching) the whole structure stays in place and can be properly photographed.
Hope this helps