Sales of basketball footwear rose 21% in the US in the year to April, outstripping athletic footwear market growth of only 4%, according to new research.

Basketball performance footwear recorded a 12% revenue rise to US$1.83bn, while basketball-inspired items moved up 9% to $1.45bn - giving basketball-related footwear a 25% slice of the athletic footwear category, information company the NPD Group said.

“Just one look at the colours, styles, innovation and launches in basketball footwear this year, and you will see the reason for its higher level of growth,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group.

“The basketball segment is capitalising on brand and star power performance, which is working to its advantage.

“On top of that, all of these features put together add greater appeal and diversify basketball footwear’s place in the market.

“Consumers, whether shoe enthusiasts or not, are drawn to the product launches and styles, which are driving basketball footwear sales today.”

Top-performing brands by dollar share were Brand Jordan, Nike, Adidas and Reebok, while the top three fastest-growing markets were Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas.