Reviewed & updated: December 20, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
If you want to make some traditional tattoos, then you have come to the right place. We have the best traditional shin tattoo ideas for you!
In the time of contemporary tattoos, the best place to get a tattoo is the shin.
Traditional shin tattoos can be bold and beautiful. Many people like to get full-leg tattoo designs and sometimes end up getting tattoos on the shin that look just as fashionable.
Initially, shin tattoos were made to help the wearer of the tattoo withstand any kind of pain. There were a lot of other reasons why people got shin tattoos. One of them was a rite of passage that would help them pass the village. Shin tattoos were also used as a method to distinguish male warriors according to their ranks. The higher their rank was, the more intricate and intimidating was the tattoo. These kinds of tattoos were also a means of intimidating the people of other clans.
Shin muscles are some of the largest muscles of the body and if you tattoo them, they can be exceedingly painful because the shin is a very painful area. In the culture of modern tattoos, shin tattoos are very much the trend. The process of getting an average tattoo carved with a needle can be painful, however, tattoos on shins are much more painful. People who get shin tattoos show them off with pride because it shows their bravery and strength.
Different parts of the leg have different pain levels. The least painful area on the leg is the outer area of the thigh and the calf. The most painful areas on the leg are the foot, knees, toes, shin, and inner thigh. We have curated some best traditional tattoo ideas that you can choose from.
Traditional knife Shin Tattoo
This tattoo is a mixture of 2 symbols, a butterfly and a dagger.
A butterfly tattoo is often made to symbolize transformation or a drastic change that occurs in life. Apart from that, they also symbolize beauty and feminity in a rare form. They also symbolize that life is fleeting and everybody should be able to achieve what they want and live freely. There are many cultures that believe that butterflies signify got luck or spiritual death.
A dagger represents the virtues that he have withing ourselves and also any kind of adversity that we experience, the biggest experience is death. Dagger may also represent betrayal, sacrifice and loss. The positive things they represent is bravery and protection.
This tattoo is symbolic of both bravery, sacrifice and freedom after death. This tattoo is made with bright colors and has a hint of golden and silver in it to give the sword a royal look. Leg tattoos hurt, however, tattoos like these are cool and worth it.
Traditional Butterfly Tattoo
Butterfly tattoos are one of the most popular choice of tattoos among both, men and women. Not only are these tattoos pretty to look at, they are also symbolic. They are generally associated with transformation and growth. This tattoo is generally made to mark a transition period and a subtle reminder that one is a free person and can accomplish anything they desire. These tattoos are extremely versatile because they look great as small and big tattoos. A great place to get this tattoo is the shin because just like any simple leg tattoo, it is covered and visible when you want it to be.
This tattoo is made like a traditional tattoo with bold colors and borders. The wings of the butterfly are made with thick black ink, and inside, there are shades of purple and red. There are hues of yellow and orange as well. The body of the butterfly is made with shades of black and grey.
Traditional Ship Tattoo
There are many men who like to get symbolic leg tattoos. One of the most sought after choice of leg tattoo is a ship. Ship tattoos generally symbolize new beginnings, good luck, brave heart, honor, and the way of life. This tattoo could also symbolize a great journey that one is going on, an adventure, and a crossing or an exploration that one goes through in this life. This tattoo has great meaning.
This tattoo was made on the shin in a traditional way. It has bold and bright colors that make it look appealing. The detail on the tattoo is remarkable as the mast and sail of the ship is made intricately. There is water below the ship. On the lower portion of the tattoo leaning towards the ankle, there is a sailor’s compass. A compass is usually a symbol of guidance. The bright blue and red make the compass the highlight on this amazing tattoo. A great place for this tattoo could be on the arms, thighs, as a leg or arm sleeve tattoo, or the chest.
Traditional Koi Fish Tattoo
Koi Fish is a beautiful and magical creature that makes for a remarkable tattoo that also has symbolic meaning. The tattoo of a koi is generally found in Japanese tattoos and is usually made with bright colors. The best part about this tattoo is that you can decide the colors and direction of the fish that will provide the meaning of the tattoo. A dark colored Koi represents masculinity, a yellow colored Koi represents wealth and great fortune. If the Koi is facing upstream, it would mean that you face your problems fiercely, if it is downstream, it could mean that you are ready to face the challenges in your life.
This beautiful tattoo is made with thick and thin strokes. The line work on the fish is very intricate. The fish is made with hues of orange and red. The fish is facing downward. There are curved lines that make the waves around the fish. It is not possible to make such a tattoo in one session, it will take several sessions and has to be done under professional settings.
Eccentric Traditional Tattoos
This is a sword and heart tattoo which is portrayed as a sword going through the heart of a person which they are holding in their hand. Such tattoos normally represent a love that is lost, a broken heart, and sometimes betrayal.
The tattoo artist has made this tattoo with a lot of intricacy. This tattoo made with bold strokes on leg is a different design idea and most people avoid getting tattoos because it has a dark meaning to it. This design idea has different colors in it. The heart has hues of red and black showing that the heart is becoming rotten, the sword is piercing through the heart and blood can be seen that is splattered everywhere. This would look great as a sleeve tattoo design as well.
Traditional Tribal Tattoo
This is a unique tattoo design that is tattooed on the person’s leg as a half-leg sleeve tattoo. This can also be tattooed as a full leg sleeve tattoo that covers the entire leg. A tribal tattoo is generally made to represent the culture and heritage of the person. The people generally use symbols like shapes and other designs to show protection and power.
This tattoo is a half leg sleeve tattoo, one of the most sought after men’s tattoos. It starts right below the knee and goes down to the ankle. It is made with only black strokes with different shapes and designs.
Traditional Animal Tattoo
Traditional animal tattoos look good on any part of the body. Animal tattoos have been common among the people who like to get tattoos as a popular choice. These tattoos were initially made with the belief that animals and humans are spiritually connected. They help people reach the spiritual epitome.
Bird tattoos signify independence and optimism. This tattoo shows a bird foot which could mean that the person is trying to hold on to all the good things in their life. It signifies peace and freedom. This tattoo is made with thin and thick strokes of black ink. There is dotwork pattern under the palm. This tattoo will look great on the knee, thigh, or even the calf. No matter the color of the skin, this design idea will definitely attract attention!
Neo Traditional Tattoo- Shin
Neo traditional tattoos are generally made with bold strokes, great illustration, modern and bright colors and a 3-dimensional look. This type of style idea is what many men like to get these days. These designs always have something meaningful to say.
This tattoo is of a frog that usually symbolizes wisdom, protection, transformation, and rebirth. This tattoo is made with bold colors like green, yellow, and red. The brightness of the colors makes it look more attractive. The water effect looks realistic with little ripples of water around the leg of the frog. This tattoo would look great on the leg, arm, thighs, or the calf. These colors look great on all types of skin tones.
Traditional Deadpool Tattoo
Who does not love this quirky Marvel character that made it successfully into the movies in 2016. I became so popular that it was ranked as one of the top grossing movies of that year. Because of it being so popular, more and more people started using this tattoo as a means of showing their love for the character.
This tattoo is made with the traditional black and red ink of Deadpool. It is placed on the shin where it can easily be hidden by jeans if wanted.
Traditional Switchblade Tattoo- Shin
This is a great tattoo which generally symbolizes a person who has severed all his ties with their past or have had a painful experience from which they need protection. This is one of the most popular choices of tattoos for men.
This tattoo is made with shades of black and red ink and is placed on the calf.
Here are some other leg tattoo ideas that you might like to look at –
- Religious Leg Tattoo
- Celtic Leg Tattoo
- Japanese Leg Tattoo
- American Traditional Shin Tattoo
- Geometric Patterns Leg Tattoos
feature image from Pinterest
What is the meaning of a traditional shin tattoo?
A traditional shin tattoo is a type of full leg or lower limb tattoo that is usually done in the Japanese style. The designs are usually intricate and have strong cultural meaning, often representing endurance and strength. Shin tattoos also symbolize courage, loyalty, ambition, perseverance and honor. They can be done as single pieces or combined with other designs for a larger tattoo. Some traditional shin tattoos may also include Buddhist imagery or other spiritual symbols. In Japan, these kinds of tattoos are viewed as a sign of strength and endurance, and often signify bravery in the face of adversity. Shin tattoos can be quite painful due to their size and location on the leg, so it’s important for individuals looking to get one to be prepared for the discomfort.
How long does a traditional shin tattoo last?
A traditional shin tattoo can last anywhere from one to five years or longer depending on how well it is taken care of. To ensure that the tattoo lasts as long as possible, it’s important to take proper care of your skin and the tattoo itself after it has been applied. This includes regularly moisturizing the skin with a gentle product, avoiding sun exposure, and following the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. Additionally, it’s important to avoid picking or scratching at the skin around the tattoo as this can lead to fading or smudging of the design. With proper care, a traditional shin tattoo can last for years without needing to be touched up.
What are some common design elements of traditional shin tattoos?
Common design elements of traditional shin tattoos include waves, dragons, cherry blossoms, and other motifs that have strong cultural meaning. Additionally, these designs may also feature koi fish which symbolize strength and courage. Shin tattoos can often be seen featuring images of samurai warriors as they represent bravery in the face of adversity. Other common elements may include beautiful landscapes, Buddhist imagery, as well as Japanese kanji characters. Ultimately, traditional shin tattoos offer plenty of design options that can be tailored to each individual’s personal taste and preferences.