The song was released on June 6, 2011 to rock radio. No physical CD single was released; it is only a digital downloadable single. The song reached number one on the BillboardRock Songs chart on July 20, 2011, dethroning the album's previous single "Rope", giving the band their third number one single on the chart - the most on the chart so far. On February 12, 2012, the song won two awards at the 54th Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. They also performed the song live at the Grammys. The song was a bigger hit from the album than the preceding hit, "Rope" although it charted slightly lower on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 83 where "Rope" peaked at No. 68. "Walk" also had less time at No. 1 on both the Rock Songs, Alternative Songs and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts but it stayed longer on the charts and longer on the Hot 100 and the music video had more views at nearly 30 million views compared to over 10 millions views for "Rope".
According to Dave Grohl, he came up with the verse about "having a trial" after the time he was helping his first daughter Violet Maye on "learning to walk", and eventually she was able to walk on her own. The song was supposed to be on the previous studio album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, but Dave decided to put the final version as the last track of Wasting Light because it "sort of makes sense to the album's theme of time and second chances" and to "end the record on a positive note".
WWE used "Walk" in a video package for Edge's induction into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame. Edge, who is a huge fan of the band, thanked Foo Fighters in his acceptance speech for providing their music and later decided to play the song again after he said he wanted real rock n' roll to close out the ceremony because he got sick and tired of listening to the Hall of Fame music WWE plays.