Do you know those beautiful leg tattoo models that are perfectly designed to suit men and female legs? If you go to a tattoo artist to get one, you should say that you wish to see leg sleeves, tattoo models.
Now, just like with arm sleeves, leg sleeve designs can also be small or bigger. Furthermore, you can even go with a full sleeve if you are a bold person who wishes to stand out.
But how can you choose a design as there are so many great ones?
This is why I have written this article. I want to help you understand what leg sleeves are and show you some of the most popular designs. Without any further ado, let’s start with a very popular topic.
Leg Sleeve Tattoo: 3 Things You Need to Know
What Should I Know Before Getting a Full Sleeve Tattoo?
First of all, you should understand that not all leg-sleeve tattoos need to be full-sized. You can go with smaller models to get you started. You can add more designs to your initial model and slowly create a full sleeve.
But if you do decide to go full speed, then you should know that you will need more than one visit to the tattoo shop. A normal full-leg sleeve tattoo will require lots of your time, but it will also be an expensive acquisition.
Depending on the design you choose and your body type, such a tattoo should take 3-5 days.
You can create a design that goes from your toes and all the way to your hip. However, you should be prepared to feel some pain as some regions will hurt more than others.
As a general rule, it hurts the most in the areas where you have less body fat, and the needle gets really close to the bones.
What I consider fascinating about leg sleeves is that you can go with independent designs on each leg. Or, if you really want to tell a story, you can create a design that will be completely different when the legs are closed to each other or when they are moving.
How Can I Decide on the Tattoo Size?
This is generally a decision made depending on your personality, gender, and job type. You need to think of how and when you want to display your tattoos.
For example, for people who work a 9 to 5 job and need to display their legs but don’t want to be too shocking, I suggest choosing a small and discrete model. This way, you can hide it if you wish to, or you can just let the world know that you have something to say, but still, you like to keep it in private.
Another case would be to have a normal job and life but wish to stand out in your spare time. Maybe, you want to look exceptionally at the beach. Then you should most definitely choose your thighs as the canvas.
This part of your body is perfect for displaying a tattoo only when you feel like it. Furthermore, it allows you to choose even larger models as it is a wide and permitting area.
But maybe you are not a regular Joe or Jane, and you don’t really care about too many social restrictions. If this is the case, you should not miss the chance to add a nice design to your lower-leg sleeve.
Regardless of the part of your leg, you will decide to go with, remember that tattoos are kind of a forever decision.
What Does the Leg Part You Choose Says About You?
So, if you choose the thigh or the backside of your calves as canvas, you should know that these parts of the leg tend to turn the most eyes. This means that these tattoos suit casual people who wish to draw attention.
On the other hand, the front of the calves or the back of the legs is best for smaller designs and, therefore, more appropriate for those who want to be more discreet.
Also check out: The Ultimate Tattoo Guide And Resources (2021 Update)
50+ Leg Sleeve Tattoo Design Ideas
Now that you know how to choose the perfect tattoo for your leg and where to place it, let’s look at some of the most popular designs.
1. Full Leg Tattoo
A full leg sleeve is just, as its name implies, a tattoo that takes your whole leg, starting with your ankle, going to your calf, knee, and finishing at your thigh.
It is very bold looking. It is almost a statement, but it is great for both men and women.
Furthermore, you can go with a simple black and white model, or a colorful one. Regardless of the design you choose, it will look great on your leg.
Personal opinion: As much as I appreciate a simple tattoo model, I would definitely go with a colorful design for this purpose.
2. Small and Simple Leg Tattoo
When it comes to leg tattoos, people tend to go crazy with their imagination and choose complicated designs. However, a small and simple tattoo on your leg could look just as beautiful.
It can be a word, a simple shape, or a simple band of black ink. These models are perfect for people who like to keep things minimal but want to still stand out.
Another plus for these designs is that they don’t take long to design and make. So, you will not have to worry about the pain for too long.
Personal opinion: I think that small ankle tattoos are perfect for a classy lady. On the other hand, a black band tattoo on a man’s calf is masculine and beautiful.
3. Side Leg Tattoo
The good thing about this type is that you can actually choose if you want to go with your thigh or with your calf, as both parts are perfect for a tattoo.
Also, they are very versatile, as you can show them off with a pair of shorts or you can cover them with a pair of long pants.
Personal opinion: I think that the side thigh is more of a women’s thing, while the side calf is more suited for men. Anyway, it is just a matter of preferences.
4. Lower Leg Tattoo
A tattoo on the lower part of your leg is basically a design that starts below your knee.
You can technically draw anything on this part of your body. You can do a monochromatic design or a colorful one.
Personal opinion: I personally like vertical models for the lower leg. I prefer them as they make the legs look longer and thinner.
5. Front of Leg Tattoo
The front of your leg is another popular choice, especially when it comes to men’s preferences. They look great when wearing shorts and can be easily hidden when the situation requires it.
Bear in mind that these tattoos hurt more than on other leg areas. The reason for that is because the bone is closer to the skin, and there is no fat tissue to take in pain.
Personal opinion: I suggest you choose a small model first and see how you handle the pain and create the full tattoo as you go.
6. Dragon Leg Tattoo
Dragons are fierce creatures that can look amazing on both men and women. They are versatile and can have different meanings based on their origin.
For example, in the Orient, dragons are seen as supernatural powers, while in China, they are considered evil beings.
Whatever the dragon you are going to choose, these magic beasts are perfect for a leg tattoo.
Personal opinion: I like dragon tattoos to be colorful. I think they look better than the black and white ones.
7. Religious Leg Tattoo
There are many ways in which you can express your faith, and tattoos are among the best options. There are many themes you can choose from. You can go with a simple cross or a very detailed portrait.
However, among the most popular ones are angel tattoo designs. If we look at their meaning from an artistic perspective, angels are considered the symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. 
Personal opinion: Don’t go with a religious tattoo if you are not a religious person. It will look false, and it will not suit you.
8. Cartoon Leg Tattoo
These models are sweet, nice, and funny. They can be colorful or not but will bring joy nevertheless. Have a favorite character? Great! Just pick a spot and give it a permanent place on your body.
Personal opinion: I mostly think that these tattoos are suited for young women.
9. Geometric Leg Tattoo
Geometric tattoos combine straight lines to create beautiful designs. You can make them big or small, colorful or just black and white. Furthermore, they look great on any leg part you will choose.
Personal opinion: I like how geometric designs look in just black and white while drawn on the calf.
10. Tribal Leg Tattoo
Tribal signs are amazing when tattooed on your body. They are made using patterns and curved lines. Furthermore, they can be designed in such a way that they will appear as moving as you move.
There are many cultures from which you can choose to get inspired, from Hawaiian tribes to Maori and even Indian ones. Understand their meaning and choose appropriately.
Most often, these tribal tattoos are linked to warriors, so they look great on a man’s leg.
Personal opinion: I think that it needs to be a large one for a tribal leg tattoo to stand out. Small tribal leg tattoos simply don’t look imposing.
11. Japanese Leg Tattoo
This tattoo style is a little different from all the other ones and is known as irezumi as it contains vibrant colors and natural symbols. This means that both men and women can get inspiration out of these designs.
Personal opinion: I think that this is one of the few cases in which you can go with either a small leg tattoo or a full-length one and have the same amazing result.
12. Koi Fish Tattoo
A specific genre of Japanese tattoos is the one representing koi fish. Koi fish are very important for the Japanese culture as they are believed to be the symbol of determination and perseverance. 
They can be drawn either in black and white or in beautiful, vibrant colors, making this tattoo model suited for both men and women.
Personal opinion: I like a small black and white koi fish tattoo just above the ankle. I find it playful and nice.
13. Celtic Leg Tattoo
Do you have a Celtic heritage, or are you simply a fan of the culture? Either way, Celtic art looks amazing when transposed into a leg tattoo. The reason for this is because adding layers of circles and knots will give the sensation of a moving tattoo when you walk.
Personal opinion: I think that this is more of a men’s design, but that doesn’t mean that a nice Celtic cross will not nicely suit a woman too.
14. Biomechanical Leg Tattoo
Another amazing way to design your leg is going with a biomechanical model. These drawings create a badass cyborg effect as it makes you look as if having a machine below your skin.
These tattoos are complex ones, so you better prepare yourself for probably more than one tattooing session.
Personal opinion: If you don’t trust the tattoo artist, maybe you should pick something else. These tattoos need to be perfect in order to produce the desired effect.
15. Lion Leg Tattoo
The lion is a very important figure, so better to choose it wisely. It can have astral significations as it is one of the 12 zodiac signs. However, it can only mean strength and power since the lion is undoubtedly the king of the jungle.
This idea of a tattoo is better suited for men, but ladies can wear them too with pride.
Personal opinion: I think that you should pick your calf or thigh as a canvas as they offer more space for designing a good lion tattoo.
16. Quote Leg Tattoo
Quotes are popular, and they can really be placed on any part of your body you wish for. Therefore, it is no wonder that they make a good leg design as well.
Drawing a quote tattoo on your leg allows you to state what you think and reveal your personality.
Personal opinion: Choose a quote that really represents you and not one that only looks cool to have.
Leg Sleeve Tattoo: More FAQs
Q: Is getting a leg sleeve tattoo painful?
A: This really depends on the part of the leg you wish to get the tattoo on. The calves and the thighs don’t hurt too much as those areas have enough muscle and body fat to stop the needle.
However, once you go lower down to the ankles, the pain starts to grow.
Q: Does it hurt more to get a tattoo on your arm or leg?
A: As a rule, regardless if we are talking about your arm or leg, the inner parts are more painful. The reason is that the other parts have tougher skin and, so, are less sensitive.
But other than that, you should feel a comparable pain when getting a tattoo on both your arm or your leg.
Q: Is getting a leg sleeve tattoo expensive?
A: This really depends on the size of your tattoo. The larger the design, the more expensive the tattoo.
So, for a full-leg sleeve tattoo, you should expect to pay even up to $1500.
Q: How long does it take to get a leg tattoo?
A: As you can imagine, again, this is a matter of the tattoo’s size. If it is a small design, you should finish in one session. But more complex models will require more time, even more meetings with the tattoo artist.
Nevertheless, you should spend more than five hours per session. That is the average tolerable time frame in which one can stand the pain.
In other words
Leg sleeve tattoos can be a real piece of art if chosen right. They can turn a leg into a canvas and can help you have the best posture at the beach or even on the street.