Chinese foot binding had been a especially savage practice that persisted largely in rural China until recently. It was primarily a social practice. The technique involved the very tight binding of the feet of little girls and the keeping of them bound to prevent the foot from developing. This is an agonizing practice and resulted in significant deformity and handicap. Children who were being put through this process had to wear specifically created and manufactured footwear. There was quite a skill to this and the shoes that these children had to wear were embellished very deliberately and exotically. The main reason for the practice of Chinese foot binding is that smaller sized feet were regarded as far more desirable in females. A much higher price can be required by the family of the bride to be for the dowry. The actual technique was very widespread in rural China for several centuries and only recently started to die out about 100 years ago as a result of social pressures that have been brought to bear on the practice because of the pain and disability that it was creating.
There are still some older Chinese woman living right now with these misshaped feet from the foot binding when they were younger. The tragedy is caused by what happened once they were children they do need to keep their feet bound since it is more comfortable than not having them bound since the deformity has become so great. There has been a great deal of cultural and psychological analysis of the practice primarily in the perspective of it being carried out too please the male rather than being of any advantage to the female. Of contemporary attention is the current practice of females wearing tight fitting high heel shoes has drawn commonalities between Chinese foot binding. Some of the social and psychological evaluation of this have actually suggested the analogy among the two practices and who exactly benefits from the practice. Both are painful, both create foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of the male gender.