They're called Jordans, Retros and Foamposites. They cost $150 to $250 and are often sold in limited editions. And these shoes are such status symbols that many D.C. young people simply have to have them.
"These certain amount of girls gonna be on me if I get these shoes," said Antonion Beynum, a senior at Ballou High School. "I'm gonna look sweet in them."
The high-priced footwear is also the source of threats, robberies and fights among students.
"What if they see the shoes the next day," explained an unidentified student. "They got to try to get it back. Some people get killed over shoes. Some people don't. Some people just let it go."
Early last year in Northeast, 19-year-old David Lee Robinson was shot and killed, his shoes taken. It's a big concern for police, particularly school resource officers.
"My message is more towards the parents," explained Commander Charnette Robinson, Metropolitan Police Department. "Know that if you're purchasing these things for your kids, realize you're making your kid a target."
But the kids want them. And at Anacostia High School, the principal, a former Olympic athlete, understands. Ian Roberts is using a shoe lottery to get students to Saturday School to study for standardized tests.
He said he's seen a 15 percent increase in students attending Saturdays, though he too is alarmed by crime surrounding shoes.