Some Pros and Cons of Foot Tattoos

Girl with a seahorse foot tattoo

Foot tattoos can look very striking: the foot provides a nice flat place for the tattoo to lie. They have seen a serious rise in popularity the last couple of years, especially among woman. It's easy to see why, a foot tattoo peaking out of a shoe can be very attractive.

The most popular foot tattoo designs are usually small in nature, such as flowers (especially cherry blossom and lotus flowers), words (and quotes), stars and butterflies.

There are some good reasons not to get a tattoo on your foot though, in fact, there are some tattoo artists who won’t even undertake them.

Here's why:

  • For a start, tattoos on feet and hands tend to be more painful than tattoos on other spots.

    The general rule is this: if a tattoo is done on a place where the skin is close to the bone, it will hurt more. If it’s on a fleshy part of your body, it’ll hurt a lot less. That’s why a shoulder or upper arm might be a better place for a first tattoo – if you’re a little worried about the pain and not sure what to expect.

  • There is also a greater incidence of ink migration with foot tattoos. This means that the ink is likely to spread over time, blurring your tattoo design. This is possible with any tattoo, on any part of the body, but it’s more common with foot tattoos.

    If you get a foot tattoo, be prepared to go back and have it re-inked if need be. The top of your foot is the best place with the least blurring, avoid other places like the sides or the toes.

  • Then there’s the issue of healing. A new tattoo should not be allowed to rub against clothing while it heals, which usually takes two to three weeks. For most tattoos, this is a pretty simple matter, but not for foot tattoos! Basically, depending on the placement of your tattoo, this may mean that you can’t wear shoes or socks for the time your tattoo is healing!

  • Going around barefoot can lead to one more problem – infection. Feet, as we all know, are harder to keep clean than other parts of the body. Though it’s fairly rare to get an infection from a professional-quality tattoo, it is possible, and having a tattoo on your foot makes it slightly more likely.


Stars tattoos on feet


Here are some foot care tips for a shorter healing period:

  • Wear flip flops or other open shoes during the healing process so the shoe doesn't rub against the tattoo. If the flip flop touches the tattoo, then it's advisable that you get a pair of Down Unders, a kind of topless flip flop. If you really have to wear shoes, then wear 2 pair of light socks.
  • The best time for getting a tattoo on your foot is in the summer, it might be a bit cold without shoes in the winter.
  • Roll up your trousers if they touch the tattoo.
  • Keep your new ink out of the sun.
  • Keep your feet clean. This means you have to take regular foot baths with warm water and a mild soap. Dry them by dabbing with a towel, don't rub.
  • Keep the tattoo moist by applying a good ointment (Lubriderm). Don't make it too moist or the colors will bleed.
  • Never rub the tattoo.
  • Don't swim until the healing process is over.
  • Keep in mind that walking could be difficult the first few days because of foot pain. If possible take a few days off from work.
  • Find a tattoo artist who has experience doing foot tattoos. Ask him for advice.


So, the cons:

  • Foot tattoos are painful.
  • They blur more easily than tattoos on other places, especially large areas with a solid color.
  • The healing process goes slower.
  • There's chance of infection.
  • It's not advisable for diabetes patients to get a tattoo below the waist, it can affect blood circulation.

And the pros:

  • Foot tattoos are easy to hide, in case you work in a place where ink is not accepted for example.
  • A tattoo on the foot looks very striking.

With all of these cons, you might wonder why anyone bothers to get a foot tattoo. Well, they are cute and easy to hide. For some of us, that’s reason enough.


Here are some ideas and designs:

Click to enlarge...

Virgin Mary tattoo Flowers, vine and stars Black rose
Text tattoo: Be the change Flowers tattoo on foot Rose foot tattoo with 2 birds
Butterfly tattoo on foot Names tattoo on feet Swirly butterflies and flowers
Swirly flowers Butterflies and stardust Blue flowers tattoo on foot
Plumeria tattoo on foot Hakuna matata and ladybug tattoo on foot Cherry blossom design on foot
Lettering foot tattoo Quote tattoo on foot Quote tattoo on foot: This too shall pass
Butterfly tattoo on foot Swirly flowers on foot Kanji and flowers on foot
Love tattoo on foot Writing on foot: Luck runs out Swirly foot tattoo with flowers
Simple foot tribal Quote on foot: Hate is easy, love takes courage Sister tattoos on feet
Latin quote tattoo on foot Purple flower design on foot Text  on foot: Never settle
Quote on foot: Stay strong Key tattoo on a girl's foot Swirly flower tattoo on foot
Dragonfly tattoo on foot Horseshoe and anchor on feet Butterfly tattoo and flowers on foot
Vine tattoo Quote tattoo: Be as you are Wings and quote tattoo on foot
Foot tattoo Butterfly tattoo on foot Swirly flowers
Ornamental foot tattoo Butterfly tattoo Black rose tattoo on foot
Quote and butterfly: Forget Regret Black shooting stars on foot Stars and butterfly tattoo on foot
Cherry blossom tattoo on foot Swirly stars tattoo on foot


 You will find more pictures of foot tattoos in our Foot Tattoo Gallery
 Make sure you check out our Ankle Designs as well...



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