What to Tell Your Customers About Foot Tattoos


What to Tell Your Customers About Foot Tattoos

In this blog, we consider the popularity (or lack thereof) of foot tattoos, including all the things you’ll want to tell your customers if they want a foot tattoo, such as inspiration for designs and myth-busting concepts around heightened pain for this area.

Foot Tattoos and Painfulness

Every tattoo is painful, we know this, and most of your customers will know this before they enter your studio, but precisely how much different people will feel the pain from different tattoos is difficult to discern. As you will no doubt know, there are some areas where tattoos will hurt more than they would in other places, but how do you communicate this to your customers and, if they’re not aware of it, should you?

You should always warn your customers about the upcoming pain they will experience before they get their tattoo. Otherwise, they have might have an unpleasant time and be unable to finish getting their tattoo. You should warn them that a tattoo in a place where bones are closer to the skin is going to hurt more than ‘meatier’ sections of the body, and it’s all to do with where the nervous system runs through your body.

If your customer is looking for a less painful tattoo, you should tell them to prioritise places away from bones with taut skin, away from heightened nerves. This means that a foot tattoo could hurt a little more than an upper arm tattoo because the bones of your feet are close to the surface, the nerves are tightly bound, and the underside of the foot lacks taut skin. This is something that clients should consider before getting a foot tattoo.

The Placement of a Foot Tattoo

Another issue that you will need to warn your customers about is that there will need to be some serious consideration of where they want their foot tattoo to be placed. ‘On the foot’ is simply too broad, as tattooing straight onto the flat surface of the foot is known for being extra painful, tattooing on the side of the foot will cause the design to fade quickly as it undergoes heavy traffic and rubbing from footwear, and behind the ankle doesn’t leave one with a lot of space.

Depending on your client’s pain tolerance and design ideas, you may have to discuss their plans carefully. It is important to remember that many of those going under the needle for the first time are unaware of how tattoos quickly fade in high traffic areas such as hands and feet. This will necessitate future touch-up sessions that will cause the foot tattoo to be an on-going pain.

Since a tattoo in a high traffic area is more likely to fade, it is also more important to go big or go home, since all tattoos bleed ink and tiny tattoos in high traffic areas are soon going to become a dark smudge. On the other hand, someone looking to get their first tattoo on their foot might be feeling a little self-conscious about their appearance – someone who desperately wants a tattoo for themselves, but doesn’t want it to affect their career opportunities, so they want it to be both small and easily hidden. In this case, you might want to suggest an upper thigh tattoo instead as it will hurt less, need fewer touch-ups in the long run, and only be on public show during beach occasions.

Some Great Foot Tattoo Designs


Some tattoo artists outright refuse to tattoo feet because of the number of clients complaining about the pain and the difficulty of placing the tattoo, despite this, there are still many talented artists working with feet and creating some truly stunning designs that we appreciate here:

The Traveller’s Best Friend

This is perhaps one of the few occasions where the placement of the tattoo on the foot can imbue the design with more meaning; this tattoo speaks of the fantastic terrains that these feet have covered, and an aspiration to continue a life walking amongst nature. Sometimes, the foot is the perfect place for the tattoo.

Anklet Designs

These designs which wrap around a joint in such an elegant fashion have a limited number of areas you can stylistically place them. This design would look equally gorgeous snaking down a hand, but if the client already has tattoos on their wrists, or is looking for a modest tattoo space, then the ankles are the place to start.

Gentle Turtle

The filling is notoriously the hardest part of the tattoo to endure, so naturally, any foot tattoo that avoids detailed shading is sure to be more do-able for those with low pain thresholds.

Overall, there are plenty of fantastic designs for feet that you could be pitching to your clients, just make sure that you talk to them about their expectations for pain and designs thoroughly beforehand. In the meantime, we will continue to supply you with all your tattoo needles and supporting equipment, as well as hints, tips and ideas for your studio.