Chinese foot binding was a particularly savage technique which persisted mostly in rural China until recently. This was largely a cultural practice. The practice involved the very restricted binding of the feet of girls and the maintaining of them bound to stop the feet from developing. This was an agonizing process and brought about considerable deformity and disability. Children who were being subjected to this process had to use specifically created and manufactured footwear. There was quite an art to this and the shoes that these children were required to use were adorned quite purposely and exotically. The main reason for the technique of Chinese foot binding was that smaller feet were considered considerably more attractive in women. A much better price could be demanded by the family of the bride to be for the dowry. The technique was very widespread in rural China for several centuries and just recently began to die out about 100 years ago resulting from social pressures which were brought to bear on the practice a result of the pain and impairment it has been creating.
You can still find some older Chinese woman alive right now with these deformed feet from the foot binding when they were younger. The tragedy is because of what happened once they were young children they do need to keep their feet bound because it is more at ease than not having them bound since the deformity is now so great. There have been a great deal of cultural and psychological research into the foot binding particularly in the context of it being carried out too please the male as opposed to being of any advantage to the female. Of contemporary attention is the current practice of females using tight fitting high heel shoes has attracted characteristics with Chinese foot binding. Some of the social and psychological analysis of this have actually suggested the analogy between the two practices and who actually benefits from the practice. Both are painful, both create foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of the male gender.