- Ankle tattoos are an excellent choice for anyone seeking a more subtle placement, or contemplating a first tattoo.
- Ankle tattoos come in a wide variety of motifs, styles, and size options. Whether you’re contemplating a larger sized tattoo, or a smaller accent piece, the ankle is a great space to work with.
- Some of the most popular ankle tattoo designs include: flower ankle tattoos, mandala ankle tattoos, snake ankle tattoos, and anchor ankle tattoos.
- Do ankle tattoos hurt? Yes, they are a pretty painful spot, considering that the area is comprised mainly of bone, but the end results are completely worth it!
- Is the ankle a good place for a tattoo? Yes, we definitely think so! Whether you’re seeking a stand out piece, or a subtle, more personal tattoo, the ankle is a great placement.
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on ankle tattoos! Quickly becoming one of the most popular placements for tattoos, the ankle is an ideal space for newbies and collectors alike! Due to the ankles less noticeable position, ankle tattoos are the perfect selection for those looking to get their first tattoo, or for those seeking to have a more personal piece.
Ankle tattoos come in a wide variety of placements, spanning the front of the ankle, to full wrap around ankle designs. They can work to make the feet appear more attractive, while accenting and bringing attention to the legs.
Read on to learn all there is to know about this particular placement including; pain level, aftercare, popular designs and more!
Decorating Ankles since Ancient Times
Ankle tattoos were basically discovered right when tattooing was discovered. We have been talking about how the tech industry is revolutionizing tattoos, but we opened up with a story about Otzi because many of those tech tats, or smart tattoos, are really health based. And Otzi, the ancient mummy, had tons of tattoos that were placed on classic acupuncture points. And, yes, he even had an ankle tattoo. It’s just a few lines, but it proves that this body part has been tatted up way before you ever would have thought!
But, like many pieces, tattoos are ornamental for some people, and ankle tattoos sometimes take on the look of anklets: jewelry just for your ankles. Anklets have actually been around for a long long time. “Barefoot anklets and toe rings historically have been worn for at least over 8000 years by girls and women in South Asia, where it is commonly known as pattilu, payal and sometimes as nupur. They have also been worn by Egyptian women since predynastic times. In the United States both casual and more formal anklets became fashionable from the 1930s to the late–20th century...Anklets are an important piece of jewellery in Indian marriages, worn along with saris.” Dig that. Humans are totally obsessed with decorating everything, even their ankles.
What’s also interesting to note, is that the ankle has long been thought of as a super sexy body part. In Victorian times, it was actually really scandalous to show them off! “London omnibuses had what were referred to as ‘modesty boards’ running the length of the top to hide a woman’s ankles when she sat down and her skirt lifted that extra inch. Glimpsing a bit of ankle was considered far too racy.” Crazy, huh? “The Victorians may have raised necklines, but they were also adamantly against flaunting a bit of leg. Women wore stockings and very long skirts year-round to prevent even a sliver of ankle from peeking out. The legs of wooden tables were even covered because they too closely resembled a female’s appendages.”
Now, we’re fans of the ankle...we think it’s an often ignored part of the body...everyone’s running out to get back tattoos and neck tattoos and hand tattoos, but what about the ankles!! Those things are important too! For what would the leg be without the ankle? We kinda need those to, ya know, walk around....so, what’s the best way to dress up an ankle? An ankle tattoo. Obviously. And we think this collection should be the perfect way to get some inspo. Need more? Make sure to check out our app, and book a tattoo with an artist near you for your dream permanent anklet!
Ankle Tattoos for Men
With ankle tattoos becoming more popular, more men than ever are deciding to partake in this timeless trend. While ankle tattoos used to feel like a female-exclusive placement, masculine design elements and bold imagery have made this placement ideal for both men and women alike.
For men that prefer more discreet ink, or minimalist motifs, the ankle works as an excellent placement, as it is rarely visible, and can be easily concealed in a professional setting. For those seeking bolder and bigger male ankle tattoos, there are a plethora of design options and styles to choose from.
Whether you’re interested in an ankle tattoo for its subtle qualities, or deciding to place imagery within a “filler space”, ankle tattoos for guys are an on-trend, excellent choice!
Ankle Tattoos for Women
Female ankle tattoos have always been a classic and popular placement! Whether you’re seeking something feminine and soft, or a larger piece in a bolder style, ankle tattoo designs for ladies can offer it all. Many women contemplating their first tattoo, or seeking a placement that is more subtle in nature, prefer this discreet area to sport their art.
With minimalist and tiny tattoos gaining in popularity, the ankle is often one of the most coveted placements. If small and simple isn’t for you, don’t be discouraged! We have compiled some of our all-time favorite ankle tattoos for girls that span a wide range of styles, sizes, and color palettes. Many women enjoy this placement as it can work to accent the legs, and bring a feminine element to the feet.
So whether you’re seeking a cute, girly ankle tattoo, or a colorful and bold design motif, we’ve got you covered!
One of the most popular design styles for ankle tattoos is the ankle band tattoo. The great thing about this style is that it looks awesome on men and women alike, and can easily be created to work with a variety of aesthetics and design elements. Whether you’re looking for an ankle bracelet tattoo with flowers, or a tribal or geometric design, this particular style and placement is highly versatile in nature.
When considering your ankle bracelet tattoo, a few key elements come into play. You’ll first want to decide what style you prefer, which can range from an ornamental piece, a geometric motif, a blackwork design, or anything that resonates with your personal taste and style.
Secondly, you’ll want to consider the exact placement you prefer for your wrap around ankle design. Some people prefer to have the ankle cuff tattoo drape down to the foot, or place it a bit higher up on the leg, it’s all up to you and what you feel will best suit your body and preferences.
Lastly, you’ll want to find an experienced artist who has a strong portfolio showcasing work in your preferred tattoo style.
If you’re new to the realm of tattooing, and want to gain inspiration for your anklet tattoo design, you can check out our detailed tattoo style guide!
The 15 Most Popular Ankle Tattoo Designs and Motif’s
Flower Ankle Tattoos
One of the most classic and feminine ankle tattoo designs is the flower ankle tattoo. When designing a tattoo for this placement, you can choose to wrap the flowers around the ankle like a chain, or display a single flower or bouquet in a vertical position. Flower imagery works to represent different things to different people, but many choose a flower that they find beautiful, or which holds special meaning to them. If you’re searching for a flower ankle tattoo to hold a deeper meaning, check out this guide to various flower usages and meanings, and get started on your inspiration journey!
Rose Ankle Tattoos
For those seeking a beautiful ankle tattoo with deep meaning, roses are an excellent option! In Greek mythology, roses were believed to originate from the deity Adonis, who was responsible for plants and rebirth. Different color roses work to symbolize different things, so depending upon your intended meaning behind the design, you can select a specific color rose.
Butterfly Ankle Tattoo
Butterflies are another classic ankle tattoo design, working as a soft and feminine accent, or a breathtaking larger sized piece. The butterfly itself is said to represent the power of transformation, spiritual ascension, change and joy. The process of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly is believed to symbolize an important aspect of our human journey, the process of turning inward to be reborn. If you’re looking for an ankle tattoo that will be both visually memorizing, and highly symbolic, the butterfly ankle tattoo is an excellent selection.
Mandala Ankle Tattoo
Looking for a deeply spiritual ankle tattoo? Mandalas are not only stunning to look at, but work to represent many different esoteric concepts. The intricate design of the mandala works to represent the universe, while its circular shape symbolizes the never-ending journey of life, along with our inherent connection to “all that is”. Mandalas are often used during meditation, to help provide insight into one’s life, and encourage powerful transformation. If placed on the inside of the ankle, this stunning design can be easily viewed while in a meditative state.
Palm Tree Ankle Tattoo
If you love the sun, good vibes and nature, the palm tree ankle tattoo may be for you! This beautiful design works well to accent the ankle, while inspiring imagery of sunshine and blue skies. When designing your palm tree ankle tattoo, you can incorporate a single tree, or add additional design elements like sunsets and water.
Heart Tattoo on Ankle
One of the most popular tattoo motifs has always been the heart, a simple design element that serves to represent the seat of our emotions, passions, heart ache, and desire. Heart tattoos on the ankle can come in a wide variety of styles and designs. Whether you prefer a traditional and bold design, or a dainty ornamental piece incorporating hearts, it’s all up to you!
Sunflower Ankle Tattoo
If you’re searching for a vibrant and cheerful piece, sunflower ankle tattoos are not only visually striking, but full of deep meaning as well. It’s no surprise that the name “sunflower” gained its inspiration from the likeness this flower shares with the sun. A lesser known bit of information about sunflowers is that they are said to symbolize qualities like: longevity, adoration, and loyalty. If you’re in need of some joyful imagery in your life, or you feel a connection with the symbolism of this flower, it works beautifully as an ankle tattoo.
Cross Ankle Tattoo
The cross is one of the most easily recognizable and powerful motifs for a tattoo. Cross ankle tattoos serve as more subtle and personal reminders of faith and inspiration. Since so many variations of the cross exist, the creation of your cross ankle tattoo is entirely up to you. Some prefer a tiny and minimal design, while others incorporate more intricate imagery like rosary beads, doves, roman numerals, and meaningful quotes.
Snake Ankle Tattoo
The snake ankle tattoo is easily one of the most intriguing and fun motifs to work with! Due to the small circumference of the ankle, paired with the snakes ability to twist and turn, your snake ankle tattoo has the ability to dip down to the foot, wrap around the ankle, and easily incorporate additional design elements. Snakes are traditionally said to represent rebirth, fertility and the creative life force. A variation on the traditional snake design is the “ouroboros”, which features a snake encircled, eating itself. While less commonly seen than other snake ankle tattoos, it can be a great selection for those seeking something unique with hidden meaning.
Wave Tattoo Ankle
If you love the ocean, prefer to “go with the flow”, or fall under one of the water horoscope signs, a wave ankle tattoo could be the perfect selection for you! Waves can be depicted in many ways, from detailed and intricate illustrations, to simple and minimalist designs. Regardless of your personal preferences, the ankle works wonderfully to display wave tattoos.
Feather Ankle Tattoo
Feather ankle tattoos can serve to represent a multitude of different things, and can easily be crafted to include various design details like beads wrapping around the ankle, gemstones, and birds. Feathers have held great spiritual importance to the Native Americans and are believed to represent freedom, transcendence, change, and a connection to the divine.
Anchor Tattoo on Ankle
Anchors are typically associated with a sense of grounding, so what better place to display your anchor tattoo than on your ankle? Spanning many different styles and sizes, anchors work well as tiny tattoos, or more intricate pieces. The anchor ankle tattoo works wonderfully for both men and women, as the design itself is said to represent both masculine and feminine energy.
Elephant Ankle Tattoo
Many people feel a positive connection to elephant imagery, perhaps because they are considered symbols of good luck throughout the world. Elephant ankle tattoos are beautiful to look at, but they also possess a deeper symbolism which works to represent loyalty, success, wisdom, and experience.
Rosary Ankle Tattoo
A design that always works beautifully on the ankle, is the rosary ankle tattoo. Whether you opt for a more simple design, or wish to add color and ornamental detail, the rosary ankle tattoo is a gorgeous symbol of spiritual connectedness.
Ankle Wing Tattoo
Wings have always remained a classic staple in the realm of tattooing, signifying everything from angels, spiritual protection, and divinity. Ankle wing tattoos, also commonly referred to as “Hermes wings”, can be used to represent the Greek god Hermes, who was believed to be the messenger for the gods. Aside from being a messenger, Hermes was also considered to rule over trade, commerce, merchants, thieves, and sports. For those looking to create a tattoo with spiritual significance, the ankle wing tattoo can be a tribute to angels, or pay homage to the concepts of freedom, liberation, and hope.
There are so many different motifs that can really create a unique tattoo for you!
Ankle Tattoo Placements
Back of Ankle Tattoo
If you want an ankle tattoo that is seldom seen and more personal, the back of the ankle is an excellent placement. Some choose a single tattoo, while others prefer to have matching or complimentary tattoos on the back of the ankle.
Ankle Foot Tattoos
Many different ankle tattoos feature artwork that drapes down to the foot, whether through rosary beads, snakes, feathers, or any design that you choose. While the ankle is a pretty reliable place to get a tattoo, artwork on the foot can be subject to fading, so it is important to discuss this with your artist before going forward.
Inner Ankle Tattoo
For those who wish to have a discreet and subtle piece of art, tattoos on the inner ankle are a prime location. This area is said to be less painful than the back of the ankle, or outer ankle, so if you’re new to tattooing this may be the best spot to begin your journey.
Front Ankle Tattoo
A bolder and more visible placement for ankle tattoos is the front ankle tattoo. This is an excellent space to create a visually stunning and bolder design. This placement works wonderfully for men and women alike.
Above Ankle Tattoo
This is the most common placement for ankle tattoos, as it can work to be subtle or noticeable, depending upon design elements and level of clothing worn. This placement is ideal for any type of design, as you can make it as big or small as you choose.
Outer Ankle Tattoo
For those wishing to have a tattoo directly on the ankle, rest assured that this placement will display your imagery beautifully. For those who prefer a smaller design, you can keep the artwork concentrated to the ankle bone itself, although this can be a quite painful spot. Thankfully the pain is only temporary, and this prime placement is definitely worth it.
FAQ’s About Ankle Tattoos
Final Word About Ankle Tattoos
Ankle tattoos work as a prime placement for both men and women alike. Whether you want a large sized tattoo that travels up the leg, or a tiny design that feels personal to you, the ankle is an excellent spot to sport your unique design. While the pain level may be a bit high for some, the end results are absolutely stunning. Whether you’re a first timer, or covered with ink, ankle tattoos are an on-trend and gorgeous placement for anyone.