Chinese Chopine Shoes. Circa 1900. Primarily purple and black, with embroidered bands of flowers and butterflies, on light green background, with cream colored stands. Good. High platform shoes called chopines were popular in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were intended to increase women's stature and protect them from the muddy streets. The Manchu people who ruled China from 1644 to 1912 apparently developed shoes like these as an alternative to painful foot-binding. The idea was that the women with bound feet, or with shoes like these, were so special, so powerful, they did not need to walk.