As temperatures drop, most of us begin digging out our winter clothing, but for some people, finding the gear to stay warm and dry isn’t easy. More than 300 people got a boost in that direction on Monday when they received new, warm winter boots.


The boots were distributed at Bean’s Cafe, donated by the Las Vegas-based charity SAVEarth.


Mike Baumbach got a pair. Baumbach said he walks about 20 miles every day, from Bean’s to a part time job in Spenard, around town, then back to the Brother Francis Shelter at night. Most of the time, he said, his worn-out sneakers serve him well, but not in the wintertime.


“These shoes aren’t made for walking in the winter, no. They’re a little cool, especially at night when the wind blows,” he said.


Dr. Mike Barry, the head of SAVEarth, the charitable group that has made the boot distribution its mission, said it’s the second year they’ve come to Alaska.


“People will lose toes to frostbite if they are in a pair of running shoes and its 20 to 30 below,” Barry said.


He said the boots are extra warm because they’re stuffed with new liners from downhill ski boots.


“They’re brand new, warm, super comfortable ski boot liners,” Barry said. “Some of them are a little stiff so we improved on their flexibility by making some minor modifications, then put them into the PVC rubber boots.”


Boots were distributed on Monday at Bean’s Cafe, the Downtown Soup Kitchen, Covenant House and the Brother Francis Shelter. Barry said the group had 1,100 pairs to give away.


KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.


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