Agreed, it doesn't sound like a single word. The Google translate speech synthesizer does a much better job with this phrase: http://translate.google.com/#fr/en/La%20chaussure%20est%20rouge.
My translation: 'The shoes are red' was not accepted. Does 'la chaussure' always mean half a pair of shoes in French? This way 'He's wearing the black shoes' translates as 'Il porte les chaussure noires.' Is that OK? (I thought you didn't need the plural in French to refer to a pair of shoes.)
To me, I think of a dog picking up a red shoe. He can pick up just one. On the other hand, he cannot pick up one leg of a pair of pants. (unless a very BAD sewing job). It cannot be broken apart, again, unless very poorly sewn. The shoes can be a pair of shoes, or two left shoes or two right shoes or a bag of miss-matched shoes. Right?