After working with Veterans for seven years in the Physical Rehabilitation Program at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock, Saprina “Rene” Butler, R.N., had an idea about how to better help those with mobility issues.

“I worked with hundreds of Veterans who were unable to lift their foot off the ground because of their medical condition,” said Butler, whose career with the VA is going on 12 years. “I struggled transferring them from bed to chair, risking injury to my back and their knees. [I] knew there must be a better way.”

Taking that extra step to make a difference in her patients’ lives, Butler turned into her idea to reality by developing the Shoe Slide.

Placed on the shoe, the veteran is able to glide his/her foot across the floor without lifting it, allowing for improved stability and ease in walking.

The Shoe Slide is a device that straps to the bottom of the shoe. With it, the patient is able to glide his/her foot across the floor without lifting it, allowing for improved stability and ease in walking. It is also very beneficial for physical therapists, letting them keep their base stance and easily move the patient’s foot back into place when a correction is needed.

“While we may not be able to correct the underlying medical cause, we can correct the friction problem,” said Butler. “Another benefit we are very proud of is increased patient motivation. If you are trying to learn to walk again and you’re constantly stumbling, it gets into your head that you’re failing. However, with the Shoe Slide and the constant smooth flow, the patient feels successful and is encouraged to continue therapy.”

Efficient and safe

The Shoe Slide improves safety for both the therapist and the patient, and it’s cost efficient, too.

“The device has a grip that stops you from slipping,” said John Martin, a patient who has used the Shoe Slide. “You notice that it slides where you want to go. It allows you to accomplish exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.”

See the Shoe Slide in action.

Story and photos via Public Affairs Office, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System

Share this story

Published on Dec. 14, 2019

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 302


  1. thomas w hawk December 20, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I am a USAF retired veteran. I get some of my medical treatments at the Durham VA hospital. I am currently confined to a wheelchair following back surgery. My surgeon thinks more Physical Therapy may improve my ability to transfer/walk.
    Your Shoe Slide device looks like it would be a great help in my rehab.
    My wife is a retired USAF civilian Physical Therapist (27 years) from the Wright-Patterson AFB Medical Center. She thinks this might be very helpful for my rehab.
    How would we obtain the Shoe Slide device ??????
    Thomas Hawk, USAF, Retiree

  2. Roland E Trimmer December 16, 2019 at 1:43 pm


  3. saprina renee butler December 15, 2019 at 4:58 am

    Feel free to contact me at for more information.

  4. paul Signet December 14, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    The apparent simplicity of the shoe slide and the great positive impact on ones life is amazing. I hope that she is really recognized in/by the VA.

  5. Leroy Owenz December 14, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Amazing! There are so many deserving veterans without help many who are too proud to ask. Fortunately some people take their time to help them out.
    God bless their souls and the nurse that started the above program.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • PTSD Bytes: Host Pearl McGee-Vincent discusses PTSD and relationships with Dr. Leslie Morland and Dr. Kayla Knopp, clinical and research psychologists.

  • Clinical simulation training has expanded rapidly and nearly any clinical scenario can be created and taught. Orlando VA trains of hundreds of professionals in their labs.

  • How often do you make things harder than they must or should be? This week's episode of #LiveWholeHealth is a progressive muscle relaxation to reduce stress and lighten your load.