A strong upward trend in US basketball footwear sales in 2013 continued into this year, with February and January key months for new style launches.

Basketball footwear retail sales in the US jumped 19% last year over the year before, according to research by The NPD Group. Sales of men's basketball footwear increased 17% and kid's jumped 26%, while women's fell 15%.

The cities which reported the fastest sales growth in 2013 were Atlanta (+35%), New York (+20%) and Philadelphia (+19%).

This, The NDP Group said, means the younger consumer who buys basketball shoes has shifted away from the big city markets to more rural areas.

This trend has continued in the first two months of 2014, with total sales increasing 21%, compared to the same time period last year. The kid's category scored high points (+45%) - driving current growth, with men's following in second place (+8%).

Women's basketball sales, however, saw a 21% year-on-year decline. 

"With the spotlight on basketball around this time of year due to the NBA All-Star Game leading up to the NCAA Tournament, January and February are key months for basketball footwear retailers to launch their new styles," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group.

"Along with the already expected healthy momentum, some popular new launches drove sales up even further this year."