People often want a tattoo somewhere hidden. This choice could be due to a few different reasons, such as their career or simply wanting a tattoo only they can see. For this reason, people often try to find hidden and often unusual parts of the body that they can tattoo – which leads us to the question, can you tattoo the bottom of your foot?
You definitely can tattoo the bottom of your foot; however, it is not a great place to get a tattoo. Since you will walk on the bottom of your foot every day, tattoos on this area will fade quite quickly, and your tattoo will not last or look good for very long.
To understand a bit more about why it is not the best idea to tattoo the bottom of your foot, let us have a look at the reality of what choosing this area to get tattooed will actually mean for your tattoo.
If you are looking for inspiration before your tattoo, check out my portfolio – you can find my works and projects here – on Instagram.
Do Foot Tattoos Fade Quickly?
Foot tattoos do fade quickly. Foot tattoos will fade much quicker than most other tattoos, such as a tattoo on your arm, for example. They will generally not look nice for very long before starting to fade, even if you have taken care of your foot tattoo properly and allowed it to heal well.
It is not due to one specific reason that tattoos on your feet fade so quickly, but rather due to multiple reasons that can often all add up quickly.
One of the reasons your tattoo may fade quickly is the use of socks and shoes. It has been recommended that you not wear shoes for a week or two after getting your foot tattoo to ensure that your tattoo heals properly.
When you wear closed shoes with a new tattoo, your tattoo is not able to breathe. On top of slowing down the healing process, this also creates a warm, moist environment around a healing wound – which is the perfect environment for bacteria to creep in, which can very easily lead to an infection.
If you did take care of your foot tattoo, to begin with, and it was able to heal perfectly, frequent friction/rubbing will still play a major role in the appearance of your tattoo.
You use your feet every single day, and the bottom of your feet are used the hardest. Tattoos that have frequent friction or rubbing on the area tend to fade relatively quickly.
This is not only applicable to new tattoos; frequent friction is not good for any tattoo and will often cause it to fade quicker than tattoos without frequent friction, whether they are new or not.
What Tattoo Will Last On The Bottom Of Your Foot?
There is no guarantee that any tattoo you get on the bottom of your foot is going to last long. However, there are a few designs that you could try out that may help your tattoo last longer.
You could try getting a tattoo with thicker lines. Any fine line tattoo that has been tattooed well will last just as long as a tattoo with thick lines; however, with getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, the thick lines may help your tattoo stay more defined as it fades.
Avoid Fine Details
Because your foot tattoo will fade quickly, if you have many fine details in it, you will quickly lose all of that definition as the tattoo fades. If fine details are a defining part of your tattoo, this could lead to you having an unrecognizable tattoo in a year or two.
If you are set on tattooing the bottom of your foot, try choosing a simple design without lots of little details to avoid this problem.
A Solid Tattoo
In line with avoiding fine details in your foot tattoo’s design, it may be worth your while to make your foot tattoo solid where possible.
For example, if you have chosen a heart design, consider filling it in to make a solid black heart instead of a simple heart outline. This will help your tattoo stay more clear as your tattoo fades.
Choose A Small Design
There are only so many areas where it will actually be possible to tattoo on the bottom of your foot, as some areas simply will not work – like the heel of your foot, for example.
To ensure you will be able to fit the tattoo that you want in the small space of your foot that you can tattoo, try choosing a small tattoo design.
What Tattoo Will Fade On The Bottom Of Your Foot?
As we have covered already, all tattoos on the bottom of your foot will fade to a certain extent; however, some tattoos may fade more and more quickly than others.
Color tattoos, when mistreated, tend to fade much faster than black tattoos that have been mistreated. Although you might try and take care of your foot tattoo as much as possible, walking on your tattoo all day, every day can be seen as mistreating your tattoo.
Because this tattoo will be mistreated, it may be best to try and avoid putting any color in your tattoo, as it will only cause your tattoo to fade even quicker than it already would have.
If you are completely set on getting a foot tattoo with color, be prepared for the fact that the color will most likely not last longer than a year.
Tattoos That Did Not Heal Properly
If you did not take good care of your foot tattoo during the healing process, there is a good chance your tattoo would have already begun fading.
Tattoo aftercare is absolutely crucial in all tattoos and their appearance afterward. If you do not take good care of your tattoo while the skin is healing, it can cause many negative effects, such as extra amounts of scabbing due to the scabs being taken or ripped off intentionally or unintentionally by socks and shoes, infections, or bad skin healing/scarring which will make your new tattoo already look old.
If you did not take your tattoo artist’s aftercare advice, and therefore did not take proper care of your tattoo while it was in the healing process, your tattoo will most likely already begin to fade while it is still new.
What Can Be Done To Prevent My Foot Tattoo From Fading?
While there is almost nothing that you could do to entirely prevent a tattoo on the bottom of your foot from fading, there are certainly things you could try and do to slow down the fading process.
After your tattoo is fully healed, make sure to moisturize your tattoo regularly to keep the skin that is covering your tattoo healthy and strong. When you take care of your skin, your tattoo will, by default, be taken care of too.
Keep Your Tattoo Out Of The Sun
Make sure you keep your tattoo out of the sun. If you are tanning, make sure you are wearing sandals that cover your tattoo, and always make sure your tattoo is covered in sunscreen when you know you will be in the sun.
The sun is known to fade tattoos fast when they are constantly exposed to it, so ensure that your tattoo stays out of the sun.
Take Those Shoes Off
Try to take your shoes off and walk around barefoot as much as is possible. The less friction that your tattoo incurs from your socks and shoes, the better.
Walking around barefoot will still lead to a certain amount of friction on the bottom of your feet, but not nearly as much as you get while wearing shoes.
It is definitely possible to tattoo the bottom of your foot, although most tattoo artists would not advise it.
It is a painful place to get a tattoo, and you will not reap the benefit of a cool tattoo for very long before the tattoo begins to fade from the “wear and tear” of the skin.
If you are looking to get a unique tattoo in a hidden place, maybe consider putting it somewhere else.
If you have already set your heart on getting a tattoo on the bottom of your foot, be sure that you take extra care of it to try to slow down how fast it will fade.
Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you
Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.
Design and tattoo ideas
For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):
- Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Revised Edition: More than 500 Body Art Designs (Fox Chapel Publishing) Fantasy, Celtic, Floral, Wildlife, and Symbol Designs for the Skin by Lora Irish
- The Big Book of Small Tattoos – Vol.1: 400 small original tattoos for women and men by Roberto Gemori
- Tiny Tattoos: Over 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks by Rebecca Vincent.
If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).
The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):