But wait, don't they give shoes to people who need them?
Only in poorly developed foreign countries and that's the problem. The shoe and garment industry are some of the lowest barrier to entry businesses in developing countries and developing markets. They are an essential low rung on the economic ladder and foundation of a national economy. So, when a US company starts giving away free shoes, it undermines the local economy in serious ways. Imagine you are in marketing and a foreign government starts giving away free marketing to one of the best paying customer segments of the industry; politicians. I think you might start to understand how a shoe maker might feel when a Toms truck shows up giving away free shoes.