Growth in sales of women's footwear in the US outstripped men's and children's products in 2012 as the sector increased revenues by 3%, according to research from The NPD Group.

Total footwear revenues hit US$54bn last year, including athletic and sports shoes, with women's lines up 4%, men's rising by 2.4% and children's increasing by 3.8%.

NPD Group said fashion footwear sales were flat, despite 2.2% growth in the sales of women's products, thanks to a sluggish performance from men's and children's lines.

Shoe sales were up 7%, but boot revenues were soft, falling by 3.2%, while sandals sales rose by 6.9%.

“For the last couple of years, men gave women a run for their money at retail with growth in sales of men's footwear consistently outpacing growth in women's,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD.

“I believe this is testament to the newness of products offered by retailers that did in fact get the consumer to respond.

“I think this also goes back to the ‘Frugal Fatigue’ phenomenon we have been watching. It seems to have materialised for footwear in 2012 as women finally stepped into new shoes.”