A particularly drastic example of how badly the foot’s development can be interfered with is the binding of girls’ feet in China. Until the 1930s, tiny “lily feet” were considered beautiful in China. Little girls’ feet were bound to resemble a fist, the toes curled in until they pointed back towards the heel. After this treatment, women could only walk when accompanied, but at least they fulfilled the standards of beauty of their time.
Acquired disorders of the foot are practically non-existent among tribal or indigenous peoples. Given that they wear no shoes, this is not surprising. Of course, the risk of injury or infection is higher if the foot is unprotected, but feet allowed to develop in this way are much stronger and more resistant.