Where to Get a Leg Tattoo


You’ve decided that you want to get your first or next tattoo somewhere on your legs. But given that for the average person legs make up half of one’s height, you’ve got a lot of canvas to work with. Should you get inked on the front or back of your thigh or somewhere below the knee? There are a few things to consider before committing. Let’s review.

What You Need to Consider Before Deciding Where on Your Leg to Get Tattooed

Back of the Calf

The back of the calf muscle is a great spot for someone’s first tattoo. For one, it’s one of the least painful parts of the body to get inked, which is a big bonus for those with a low threshold for pain. The shape and elasticity of the calf is also more resilient against changes in body size and body-fat-to-muscle composition. If you anticipate significant weight gain or loss at some point in the future (i.e. due to pregnancy, etc.) the look of the tattoo will not be impacted as much as may be if it were located on the thigh. A calf tattoo also allows you to show off your body art when you want to (while wearing shorts, a skirt, etc) and hide it (while wearing pants or a long shirt) when you don’t want the world to see.

On the Shin

You’ve heard that the ribcage is the most painful part of the body to get a tattoo. Well, the shinbone lies just beneath an equally thin layer of your epidermis, which makes it almost as painful (or as painful) as it is to be tattooed over the ribcage. Regardless, it’s an impactful place to get tattooed that says something about your commitment to body art. Plus, given that it’s on the front of your lower leg it will be visible to you, and not just others.

The Knee

The skin on your knee is also very thin, which makes this tattoo about as painful as it is with the shin. The only other caveat, is that it can be harder to maintain the integrity of a tattoo on this part of your leg since the knees are highly susceptible to scrapes, bumps, and bruises for active people. That said, it’s certainly a statement making spot for a tattoo which works well with circular designs or artistic concepts with a center-point.

The Thigh

The thigh works well for people that need to keep their tattoo hidden in the workplace and other environments where body art may be frowned up. This part of the leg is also perfect for large tattoos as it has the most canvas area. On that note, it also makes sense for those who want to start with a modestly sized tattoo, with plans to expand the design further when ready for more. The thigh is also the “meatiest” part of the leg, and is therefore typically less painful.


Now that we’ve helped you decide where to get a leg tattoo, it’s now time to decide where (in your city) to get it done. If located in the BC Lower Mainland, book a consultation today at our downtown Vancouver tattoo shop today.

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Sleight of Hand

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