Besides common sense, the three most important tools for maintaining your balance are polarized sunglasses that let you see the streambed, soles that grip the bottom (felt, spiked, or sticky-rubber soles for smooth rocks and moss; rubber cleated bottoms for sand and silt), and a wading staff. Use the staff as a third leg. Establish it ahead and downstream of your position, place your weight on your upstream leg, then step to the staff with your downstream leg. Keep two points of contact with the streambed at all times. Wade with your body sideways to the current to reduce water pressure, and cross at a downstream angle. Avoid stepping over boulders. Take advantage of pockets of soft water and shuffle your feet near the bottom, where the current is least powerful.