In case you never paid attention to human anatomy class, the leg is broken down into different parts, which includes the thigh, the knee, the calf, and the shin. You can get inked either on the entire leg, leaving no skin untouched, or only on certain leg parts.
Let’s go over each part of the leg.
The thigh or the upper leg has the most space, stretching from the pelvis to just above the knee. But on the flip side, the upper leg offers the least visibility – unless you typically walk around outside in your skimpy underwear. Meaning, you don’t get to show off an impressive-looking upper leg tattoo on a regular basis. Even if you wear short shorts, your upper leg tattoo won’t get much time in the spotlight compared to tattoos on other leg parts.
The knee is one of the most painful areas to get tattooed on. And we don’t just mean the front side where the kneecap is only covered by thin skin. Getting drilled on the back side of the knee is also extremely painful, again because of the thin skin. And the fact that you constantly bend your knees while walking makes the recovery process really uncomfortable.
The shin is similar to the knee. It features a bone covered by thin skin, which translates to a really painful experience, especially when your tattoo artist is shading. A newly inked shin also makes it uncomfortable to walk around during the first few days of recovery. Your shin would be too stiff and swollen to walk around without a noticeable limp, though this also applies to the other leg parts.
The calf, on the other hand, is one of the least painful areas to get tattooed on. Everyone feels differently while getting tattooed, of course. But in general, the calf registers a friendly number on the pain meter because of the amount of muscle in the area. Compared to the shin, it offers a slightly wider flat space, making it an excellent place for single-piece tattoo designs.
Speaking of which, you have lots of options when it comes to leg tattoo designs for men. You can go for animal-based tattoos like lion tattoos for men or phoenix tattoos for men. You can roll with a full tribal tattoo for men if you want a lot of black ink. You can even go for a panoramic tattoo design on the upper leg or calf, a style which is usually reserved for the back area.
Check out these best leg tattoos for men, which highlights the flexibility of the leg when it comes to accommodating tattoo designs of every shape and size. And if you ever need more space, you can always use your foot as an extension. Though we suggest only doing so when you’re on a long vacation as newly inked feet will make walking incredibly uncomfortable.