Wear your gravel guards.
I never really appreciated this item of equipment before I ran into trouble in the gravel strewn and soft sand riverbed of the Pataspco up off Marriottsville road. It was a hot summer day when I drove up there to check it out (I'll post the trip report later), and I decided to just wet wade in my boots with normal socks. As usual, I walked in as far as I could stand with the itch to fish getting larger with every step. At two miles, I dove for the river.
Within a few steps, I knew I had really screwed up. There was just enough of a gap between the top of my boot and my leg for sand and gravel to just pour in. Of course, the largest chunks of gravel immediately found their way to the front of the boot to snuggle in right under the ball of my foot. Ouch.
I slogged back to the bank and emptied everything out. When I put my boots back on, I tied them as tight as possible and rolled the top of my sock to try and fill the small gap that remained. It worked OK, but I wish that I had either pulled the guards off my Hodgeman waders or had worn my neoprene socks that came with a guard built in.
I had never realized what a critical function this small piece of equipment filled until this. Up until now, it was - ok - this thing is attached so just hook it up to keep it out of the way.
In hindsight, I probably should have just gone in sneakers, but this was the first time on this river and I did not know how the wading would be.
So - bottom line - think about this when you go wet wading! You can get a really cheap pair from Amazon - 7 bucks for these