The formation of nanostructured porous zirconia catalyst supports using non-ionic surfactants as templating agents has been studied in order to optimize the synthesis conditions without addition of structure stabilizing agents such as sulfate or phosphate anions. The effect of the quantity of added zirconium source with respect to the surfactant concentration in solution has been studied. We also examined the role played by the surfactant during the synthesis. Further investigations have shown that the pore diameters could be increased towards the mesoporous domain if heating time and temperature are raised. The present work reveals that the control of the balance between the precipitation rate of zirconia and the interaction of zirconium source will be fatal in the formation of nanostructured porous zirconia.