A fundamental goal of lung transplantation is the regaining of functional capacity, yet little is known about what factors are associated with the achievement of this goal. The aim of this study is to test the association of clinical risk factors with functional status 1 year following lung transplantation. We conducted a cohort study of 321 lung transplants and assessed functionality by the distance achieved during a standard 6-min walk test (6MWT). Preoperative recipient risk factors were evaluated for association with functional status and adjusted for confounding using multivariable linear regression models. In these multivariable analyses, recipient female gender (p < 0.001), recipient pretransplant body mass index (BMI) of greater than 27 kg/m2 (p = 0.017) and shorter pretransplant 6MWT distances (p = 0.006) were independently associated with shorter distances achieved during 6MWT after lung transplant, while cystic fibrosis (CF) (p = 0.003), and bilateral lung transplant (p = 0.014) were independently associated with longer distances achieved. Approximately 51% of the variance in 6MWT distance was explained by these risk factors in the linear regression models (R2= 0.51). These findings may have implications in patient counseling, selection, procedure choice, and may lead to interventions aimed at improving the functional outcomes of lung transplantation.