Wearing Open Toed Shoes
Kevin Felts 01.15.17
Why do people wear open toed shoes, such as sandals, during outdoor activities? Especially if they are hiking, camping, or doing anything else off the beaten path?
The people wearing sandals, have they never heard of copperhead or coral snakes? Do the people who wear open toed sandals have any idea how deadly the coral snake is?
On January 14, 2017 my fiancee and I were metal detecting where a country store used to be from the 1920s to the 1960s. The store was moved in the 1960s and all that remains is an open field. I ran a brush hog through the area right before winter, so the grass was not very tall.
We were walking through the field with our metal detectors when my fiancee said, “Look at this big worm!” It was not a worm, it was, however, a foot long copperhead snake. Thankfully, she saw the snake before either of us stepped on it.
Your toes and spaces between the toes are perfect for copperheads to bite. This is why we always wear boots and jeans when doing outdoor activities. Boots may not stop a full grown copperhead bite, but some protection is better than none.
Copperheads are named after their copper color and they blend in very well to their surroundings.
This is the second time my fiancee has almost stepped on a copperhead.
Several months ago, I was walking to a shed behind the house when I almost stepped on a coral snake. I was not wearing shoes at the time. It was going to be a quick trip, there and back. No big deal as I have walked the path dozens of times before.
I never expected to see a coral snake in the field right in front of the shed. It was a total surprise and I was caught off guard.
Coral snakes have small teeth. So chances are, wearing boots or shoes could have provided protection.
Coral snakes have some of the most potent venom of any snake in North America. Living in a rural area like I do, chances are I may not have been able to get medical attention fast enough to save my life.
If a hiker, camper, or backpacker were bitten by a coral snake, they may not make it out of the woods alive.
Why Wear Open Toed Shoes?
I ask myself over and over, why do so many outdoor enthusiasts wear open toed shoes? Do they not know, or just do not care about their personal safety?
A regular shoe may not stop a snake bite, some protection is better than none, especially with a coral snake. Their mouth is so small they usually bite between the toes or fingers. How is a coral snake supposed to bite between your toes? When you wear open toed shoes and step on a coral snake, that’s how.