Retail sales of fashion footwear in the US returned to growth in 2013, rising 4% to US$41.52bn after a flat 2012, according to information company The NPD Group.

Outdoor and casual footwear recorded the largest value sales growth figures, up 10% and 7% respectively, the company said.

“It’s not surprising to see casual continuing to out-perform dress,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD chief industry analyst.

“The evolution of style from business and dress attire to an ‘anything goes’ look with work attire including a mix of casual and dress has paid off for the casual category.”

Women’s fashion footwear accounted for 57% of the overall market, with sales rising 2% to $23.8bn, while men’s was up 7% to $12.5bn and children’s up 2% to $5.22bn.

Meanwhile, total unit sales were up 4%, led by men’s with a 9% volume rise, while children’s was up 3% and women’s up 2%.

“Men’s fashion footwear styles have hit the mainstream,” said Cohen.

“They aren’t just for fashion-forward shoppers any more.

“This type of momentum means we will continue to see new styles and colours for men that are both versatile and trendy.”

E-commerce purchases accounted for 19% of total sales, rising 16%, with the average price of online purchases higher than those made in-store.