Soccer footwear and apparel sales were up a respective 14% and 57%

Soccer footwear and apparel sales were up a respective 14% and 57%

With athletic apparel and footwear sales on the rise in the US, soccer is outperforming sports including baseball and American football, new research shows.

According to a survey by information business The NPD Group, soccer footwear sales in dollar terms increased 14% during the 12 months ending March, compared to 2% in the same period of the prior year. Men saw the strongest growth (20%), while women and children were each up 8%.

Apparel soccer sales jumped 57%, but was flat in the prior year, with men again driving growth (85%), children up 46% and women up 12%.

NPD Group sports industry analyst Matt Powell described the results as "encouraging", with the 2014 World Cup spurring a jump in interest in soccer, both as a spectator sport and in terms of participation

"With this level of heightened interest, the soccer category is one to keep an eye on," Powell said.

"The soccer shoe business in the US is largely confined to children’s and young adult sizes, while the growth in soccer apparel is generally more about fan wear than actual participation," he added. "With Generation Z the most diverse generation ever, it is logical to expect an increase in an international sport like soccer."