Sole Tattoos Are Gaining Popularity — But They Come With A Caveat

Barbiecore has got us radically pinking up our hair, nails, makeup, clothes, and accessories. But that's not where the trend stops. When we were kids, Barbie, like most of our dolls, had a little stamp on one of her feet that told us what country she was manufactured in. 

This has inspired an impossibly cute tattoo trend. The latest creative inspiration that's spread across the web is the grown-up equivalent of a manufacturing stamp. According to PopSugar, people are getting tattoos on the soles of their feet in droves, a stealth move if there ever was one. This is preferable to the lower-back tattoo, which we regret to inform you is making a comeback.

If you're chilling by the pool, relaxing at home, or hanging out wherever bare feet naturally make an appearance, you can surprise your friends with possibly the best tattoo spot we've ever seen. Or, keep them a secret and then just whip them out for special occasions. If you're already excited and hunting for ideas, Instagram and TikTok provide a huge bounty to choose from.

What's the caveat for sole tattoos?

We think there's more than one caveat to sole tattoos. But the first thing you need to know is that your sole tattoos may fade more quickly than any other tattoo location. Unless you live year-round in an 80-degree climate and your job is to remain barefoot and off your feet, you most likely wear shoes. Like, a lot. And sometimes socks. All the friction from both of those items will, over time, cause your tattoo to dwindle.

Caveat number two: Your feet are more boney than fleshy, so be prepared for an intensely painful experience. Gay Dumaguing shared on that it's a great idea to use a topical analgesic gel, pain relieving cream, ibuprofen, and, we'd add, several shots of tequila.

Caveat number three: Before you start drinking, check in with your tattoo artist and get a clear list of your aftercare do's and don'ts. You may not be able to wear shoes for three weeks after getting work done on the soles of your feet. You could wrap your foot in plastic wrap before putting on shoes and socks but double-check first. Know that peeling is going to happen. We've got some great tips for surviving the tattoo peeling stage.

What types of tattoo designs work on your sole?

You have limited real estate on your foot, so if you like to tattoo words, the shorter, the better. First names are popular, though we reserve the right to issue a cautionary note about getting a boyfriend or girlfriend's name tattooed anywhere, because, well, relationship statuses can change.

In a nod to Barbie's manufacturing stamp, many are using "Made in _____" and filling in the country where they were born. Others get right to the point, just stating their birth country or city. A cute alternative to "Made in" is the latitude and longitude coordinates of your hometown.

We saw one woman with a beautiful, elaborate koi fish design covering the bottoms of both her feet. We've seen a Celtic cross, an image of giant nails crisscrossing each other, tiny panda bear heads, as well as the more common rose, heart, and astrological symbols. There are some incredibly adventurous people getting tattoos over their entire foot — of shoes. After getting different rune tattoos on the bottoms of both her feet (runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet and also used for divination), Instagram user misscandybeth thanked her tattoo artist, "I'm so freaking happy with them, you are amazing." That tells us that for some, it's worth the pain.