Thieves have made off with 337 pairs of military boots destined for British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.
The delivery - valued at £31,000 - was stolen from a lorry parked in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Thieves slashed the side curtain of the lorry overnight between 6 and 7 February. The lorry was transporting a consignment of Nato desert boots.
Police said the theft was "despicable" though the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it would have no impact on troops.
Witnesses are being urged to come forward.
Pc Chris Field, from Thames Valley Police, said: "This is an utterly despicable and selfish crime as this equipment was intended for British troops serving in Afghanistan."
A spokesman for the MOD said there was no impact on operation capability.
"Any theft of goods is deplorable," he added.
"Three-hundred-and-thirty-seven pairs is a drop in the ocean compared to some 70,000 pairs of boots purchased by MOD each year.
"The boots had not been delivered to MoD and were therefore not our property."
- 15 February 2008