Barbie Sole Tattoos Are Trending — and Surprisingly Chic

Getty | Christian Adams / Anatartan
Photo Illustration: Michelle Alfonso
Getty | Christian Adams / Anatartan
Photo Illustration: Michelle Alfonso

You know how vintage Barbie dolls of 1960s fame all had the word "JAPAN" stamped across the bottom of their right foot? (No? Just us participating in too many virtual trivia nights?) Back then, it was merely a nod to manufacturing. Now, perhaps thanks to the surge in interest around the Barbiecore aesthetic, the surreptitious placement is getting a long-overdue — and infinitely more modern — resurgence with the latest trend blowing up on Instagram: sole tattoos.

Etched along the arch in the space between your heel and the ball of your foot, these designs are easy enough to hide with a pair of sneakers or boots . . . but are so damn cool, we guarantee you won't want to. Exhibit A: Cara Delevingne has not one but two sole tattoos: the first that reads "BACON" (naturally) on one foot, and "Made in England" on the other. (Oh, and she also got matching "solemates" ink with friend Kaia Gerber back in 2020, just in case you questioned her dedication to the foot tattoo.) Even Madison Beer got in on the fun, getting "Castle Rock" etched on her right sole in the summer of 2023. And there's plenty more where that came from.

The most popular design, by and large, follows that same "Made in [Insert Country Here]" format, but there are countless other iterations that are just as chic. Think: hearts and smiley faces, words of affirmation, cutesy initials, and even the classic "Andy" marking Woody wears in "Toy Story." The soles of your feet, it seems, serve as a surprisingly versatile canvas no matter your style or mood.

The only thing worth noting is that this area tends to fade quicker than regular tattoos, due in part to the constant friction between the skin and your shoe. Still, in good news for everyone, and as evidenced ahead, there's no shortage of inspiration on Instagram. So, should you be in the market for a tiny tattoo that can help you subtly, unassumingly put your best foot forward, take a scroll.

Sole Tattoos: Balloon

Single-line tattoos — like in the case of this balloon design — look especially elegant on the sole area.

Sole Tattoos: "Made in [Insert Country Here]"

The most popular design of sole tattoos is the "Made in [insert location]" format, as seen here.

Sole Tattoos: [Insert Name]

Be it your name or someone else's, there's no better location for a personal tattoo than the sole.

Sole Tattoos: "Andy"

Give a nod to your love of "Toy Story" growing up with this "Andy" design.

Sole Tattoos: Lines

"Fine line tattoos" take on a whole new meaning when placed on the soles of your feet.

Sole Tattoos: Matching Initials

A new spin on matching ink are these sole tattoos, which include each other's initials.

Sole Tattoos: Animals

Sole tattoos can be placed directly on the bottom area or along the side of the foot, like in this case. For an extra special touch, add your favorite animal.

Sole Tattoos: Flowers

Flowers — either realistic or abstract — look infinitely more modern when placed on the bottom of the foot.

Sole Tattoos: "Altrove"

One-word tattoos are especially meaningful, like this "Altrove" design, which is Italian for "somewhere else."

Sole Tattoos: White Ink

The only way to make a sole tattoo more subtle is to use white instead instead of black.

Sole Tattoos: [Insert Birth Year]

Another way to personalize your ink is to honor a year that's special or significant to you.

Sole Tattoos: Why Not?

Sole tattoos make a great place for pondering life's biggest questions.