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90 Awesome Foot Tattoo Designs and the Controversy Behind Them


Foot tattoos and the referent foot tattoo designs are not a novelty for anyone. People have been inking their feet for a really long while, so why is there is controversy around them? The beauty of a foot tattoo regardless of its size is incontestable and no one is saying not to get one. However, due to certain risks associated with foot tattoos, there are even some tattoo artists who will refuse such project. The reasons why this happens are: higher risk of infection, higher level of pain, highly sensitive area, increased chances of tattoo spreading, lower resistance to fading, interplay with blood circulation and so on.

Probably the most important thing you should know before getting a foot tattoo is that, combined with diabetes, it can cause serious health problems. People suffering from diabetes have blood circulation problems and they are prohibited to choose a tattoo that is located below the knee. However, if you really want one, you have to talk to your doctor about it and then find a tattoo artist willing to do this for you. The other risks associated with foot tattoos can simply be avoided if you follow the right care tips and if you opt for a professional parlor instead of an amateur guy with a tattooing guy.

Now that you know what you might be getting yourself into, we can talk about the advantages of picking one of these foot tattoo designs or drawing your own! First of all, your foot will look more attractive, flashier and you will feel more confident when wearing flip flops, sandals and other open footwear. Second of all, you can squeeze the small designs that you adore on your feet and save space on the rest of your body for larger designs!

Types of Foot Tattoo Designs

There are several types of foot tattoo designs depending on area and style. For example, some individuals go as far as covering their toes with ink, while others choose a small design for their ankles. The most courageous of all opt for sole tattoos. As for styles, you will see tattoos ranging from traditional, textual, glyph, minimal to ornamental and surrealism. Both black and colored tattoos are valid options for feet, so there’s a wide variety you can choose from. In addition, you should consider designs that flatter your foot’s shape and won’t change shape together with regular foot movement.

Pain Expectancy vs. Your Personal Tolerance

Foot tattoos are among the most painful tattoos along with ribs, sternum and hands. Since this body area isn’t particularly fleshy and there are a lot of active nerve endings, it is not very friendly with needles and vibrations. Also, you might have a problem that isn’t present in case of other body parts, namely involuntary movement. Your feet have reflex points that you cannot control. So, if a tattoo artists touches one, your foot will move and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, most artists who accept to ink a foot tattoo are experienced enough to deal with these normal reactions.

Take the Aftercare Stage Seriously

The aftercare stage is also special in case of foot tattoos. If you walk barefoot, you might get an infection and if you put shoes on, you will have to deal with pain and rubbing. So, what you need to do besides the normal cleaning process is to wear open shoes or flip flops or if you really have to wear normal shoes, to put on two pairs of thin socks. Moreover, the tattoo sheets ideal for the first stage of a tattoo’s healing process are recommended. They don’t fully protect your foot, but at least it is not prone to infections during the first days and your skin can breathe normally even with a pair of socks on.

Break Your Piggy Bank for a Tattoo

A foot tattoo will cost you more than a tattoo on other body parts because the area itself is difficult to ink. In addition, if you’d like a customized design, you will also pay extra. A tiny foot tattoo can cost around $100 if you opt for a standardized design. However, you will be charged by the hour for a customized design and an hour might cost between $50 to $300 or more. Remember not to base your decision on price because you’ll spend more later on socks to hide the mistake you had inked!

1. A minimalist outline


Positioned just below the ankle, this minimalist outline depicts a cat’s head. Such tattoo is too small to hurt or cost you a ton of money.

2. Glyph and spirals on feet


If you want to have matching designs on your feet, you can just duplicate the same design. Most foot tattoo designs are different, but the option of duplication is available.

2. A customized flower pattern


This customized flower pattern is the perfect size for this woman’s foot. It features some line work and shading.

3. The outline of a dove


Another simple and painless tattoo idea is this outline of a dove. Doves are birds with deep meaning, such as hope.

4. Foot tattoo designs with religious meaning


Believe it or not, some foot tattoos have religious meaning. This one is related to Buddhism.

5. The meaning of family


This person chose to express how much family means to her by getting a textual tattoo reading “Ohana”, which means family in the Hawaiian culture.

6. Death by pizza


This humorous foot tattoo depicts a slice of pizza penetrating a heart. The style of this tattoo is neo-modern and very colorful!

7. Different types of wildflowers


You can embellish your feet with different kind of wildflowers, but not complicate things by adding colors.

8. Bats for goth girls


Judging by this lady’s style, she is a goth. The bats on her foot emerge nicely from her sexy shoes and draw attention to her ankles.

9. Two black and white roses


Both women and men find the rose to be a great tattoo motif. They have all the reasons because it is the perfect combination between symbolism and beauty.

10. A rose and rose bulbs


Due to shape and versatility, roses make great motifs for feet tattoos. The rose bulbs have a nice, elongating effect on her foot.

11. Yin and yang or else


Due to feet’s shape, it is possible to go for designs that complete one another, just like in the picture above. The Sun and the Moon or the good and the bad.

12. Set sail in black and white


This is a very fun tattoo of a ship. It could be a marine tattoo, but it is not the old school type.

13. Marine tattoo in traditional style


Some of the foot tattoo designs that you’ll see in this article are inked in the traditional style. They follow all the rules and make use of the right pigments.

14. Cute cactus in a bowl


By the looks of it, this person has a lot of tattoos, so he or she can afford a fun design without deep meaning. However, don’t rush to conclusions because the cactus is a symbol as well!

15. Geometrical roses and watercolors


Watercolor tattoos tend to fade away on any body part and the feet are no exception. You can’t deny the visual effect and explosion of colors though!

16. Believe and spread your wings


Motivational tattoos can find their place on feet too. This is a nice example of a combination between text and three little birdies.

17. The paws of a wild animal


Why have plain feet when you can ink the paws of a wild animal on them? They look so professional that it’s almost mind-blowing!

18. Simple tribal patterns


Tribal tattoos made their way on feet as well! This looks like a customized design for this person’s foot. It does emphasize her ankle!

19. Pretty in purple


There are virtually no limits to color and style when it comes to foot tattoos. The only thing that’s limited is the space.

20. Anchor close to the ground


A small anchor on the ankle qualifies as a design for feet. It holds general meaning, such as stability.

21. Traditional creature and a message


Actually, this isn’t a traditional creature, but it is inked the traditional way. It comes with a message and other fun details.

22. Femininity at its best


Flowers might be the most chosen symbol by women. Some choose to ink them on their feet, others think they look more flattering on various body parts.

23. Two small trees


Almost too small to be a stand-alone tattoo, this one comprises two little trees.

24. Ornamental Sun and Moon


Besides the beautifully inked sun and moon, you should notice that her toe tattoos are fading away. This is something you can expect to happen with yours as well!

25. Decorative mandala for foot


Did you know that you can draw your own mandala? There are indeed standard ones that mean something, but also those made by random people.

26. Matching tattoos on soles


Those foot tattoo designs that are placed part on one foot and part on the second foot are called matching foot tattoos.

27. Small outline of a lotus flower


Small, easy to hide and almost painless, this design holds great meaning and it looks delicate too!

28. A corner of nature


You too can have a corner of nature on your body! Start the composition on your foot and let it rise!

29. Some sort of sugar skulls


Both realistic and traditional at the same time, these tats represent a very successful combination of old and new styles.

30. Dolphin with a fun message


This cute dolphin has a fun message underneath talking about how she can hide her tattoo from her parents with socks! That could totally work!

31. Horns up by skeleton hand


Where else to ink your affinity for rock music than on your ankle? The skeleton hand makes everything more bad ass.

32. Matching tattoos for best friends


This quote is divided in two different tattoos, probably for best friends to wear.

33. A nicely-inked half-moon


This half-moon looks flawlessly inked considering the sensitivity of the chosen area. Professionals can do this!

34. Not all those who wander are lost


A quote tattoo, this one benefits of an artistic photo as well! You should know that avoiding pools, the sea and even sand are recommended until your foot tattoo fully heals.

35. A simple half-moon


Even if some people have complicated designs inked on their feet, you can opt for one that’s simple, but meaningful to you.

36. Alice in Wonderland tattoos


This chick chose themed tattoos for her legs and feet. They are all inked in the same style and looks fabulous, don’t you think?

37. A feather and other ornaments


Instead of wearing jewelry on your feet, you can choose the easy way and get tattoos!

38. A spell from Harry Potter


Expecto Patronum is a spell cast in the famous Harry Potter movies. You must be a true fan to understand these!

39. Perfect framing ornaments


Symmetrical and identical, these ornamental tattoos only have different center pieces. Tattoos that include multiple thin lines tend to hurt more.

40. Stay grounded with Earth


What better way to stay grounded than with the Earth’s outline on your foot?

41. Dark and unique composition


You can use both your feet as canvas for a bigger picture.

42. Feet are for dancing


Including watercolors and text, this design is a great idea for people who don’t take life too seriously!

43. Lizard crouching up


Most of the inked animals on feet tend to be positioned upwards, like they are crouching on them.

44. Ink your spirituality


Your foot is as good as any body part to ink your spiritual beliefs in.

45. A chemical equation


Chemical equations are really popular right now. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when the first person thought of this idea. Now people get it on feet too!

46. Identical foot tattoo designs


For those of you who really appreciate symmetry, you can think of an identical design to embellish your feet with.

47. Opposites attract in ink too


Choosing antagonistic symbols for feet can be easy if you give it some thought.

48. Pretty mandala with orange touches


A mandala can only be prettier if you add a little color to it.

49. Cute animal tattoo


If it’s cute and small, it should go on foot!

50. The great Shiva


51. As small as a coin


That exact spot on the ankle is not really touching any bones, so it’s ideal to ink with small designs like this tree.

52. Mandala spread in two

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Since people got the taste of these beautiful designs called mandalas, they tried to adapt them to fit on various body parts. The design itself is very detailed for feet though.

53. Mandala halves and pretty leaves


Mandalas are versatile designs, so you can add whatever crosses your mind to personalize it.

54. Identical ink garments for feet


These foot tattoo designs are so detailed that they look like delicate garments.

55. Geometrical and futuristic design


Look closely to this design because you won’t find any alike! This is one customized for the customer. It does worth the extra bucks, right?

56. Large glyph tattoo in black and white


57. Large mandala tattoo design


58. Parallel arrows on foot


If you look closely, the size of the arrows decreases when it gets closer to her toes.

59. Traditional rose tattoo in black


Traditional rose tattoos can be done in black and white or with that specific shade of red.

60. Cuteness on a twig


61. Delicate flowers for the foot


Keep in mind that the less the tattoo is outlined, the shorter will be the time when you can enjoy it without fading away.

62. Decorative oriental art for skin


63. Two tiny flowers


This woman’s foot looks far more delicate thanks to those two flowers!

64. A view to remember


The human foot is ideally shaped for multiple types of tattoos. This one is just an example.

65. Astronomy tattoo designs for feet


66. Traditional nautical tattoo on foot


Your pain tolerance and your budget are two things you have to consider before getting a tattoo like this one!

67. A faded away outline


To get a better idea of how a faded away tattoo looks like, here is an example!

68. Beauty is everywhere


69. A complex work of art


70. Traditional rose tattoos


71. Beware of the circle


72. Small traces of paws


73. Delicate vine tattoo


74. An avocado cut in half


75. Watercolor birds and hearts


76. Sexy tattooed feet in sexy shoes


If this is the effect you’re going for and you already have the shoes, the tattoos are the only ones missing!

77. A universe of your own


78. Similar rose tattoos


79. A breathtaking landscape


80. Realistic octopus on foot


81. Moon phases for where it’s dark


82. Tasteful mandala tattoos


83. Send me


84. Time is an illusion


85. A tiny space ship


86. Know your map


87. Feminine design to decorate the foot


88. Gorgeous geometric tattoo design


This isn’t a simple foot tattoo, but a leg design that spreads on the foot in all its beauty.

89. Successful portrait of a wolf


A combination of shading, watercolor and details in all the right places, this is a daring option for a foot tattoo.

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