Chinese foot binding was a especially savage process that persisted mostly in rural China until recently. This was primarily a social practice. The practice required the very restricted binding of the feet of little girls and the keeping of them bound to avoid the feet from growing. This is a tortuous practice and ended in substantial deformity and disability. Those who ended up put through this practice had to use especially designed and manufactured shoes. There was quite an art form to this and the shoes that these children were required to wear were adorned quite deliberately and exotically. The reason behind the practice of Chinese foot binding was that smaller feet were considered considerably more attractive in females. A much higher price could be commanded by the family of the bride to be for the dowry. The actual technique was very common in rural China for several centuries and only recently started to die out about 100 years ago due to social pressures that have been brought to bear on the practice due to the pain and impairment that it was creating.
You can still find some older Chinese woman alive right now with these misshaped feet from the foot binding in their youth. The tragedy is because of what happened once they were young children they do need to keep their feet bound as it is more comfortable than not having them bound because the deformity is now so great. There's been a great deal of cultural and psychological research into the foot binding notably in the perspective of this being done too please the men instead of being of any advantage to the female. Of recent interest is the current practice of women using tight fitting high heel shoes has drawn resemblances between Chinese foot binding. Some of the social and psychological evaluation of this have definitely suggested the comparison among the two practices and who actually benefits from the practice. Both of them are painful, both produce foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of the male gender.