My son bought me a pair of "mountain boots" from the UK store called Millets. The brand name of the boots is "The North Face" and they were made in China. These boots were not cheap; costing around 150 GBP, yet have been poorly constructed. The rubber rand at the position of the ball of the foot has developed a long vertical crack at both sides of each boot. This not fair wear and tear, I've had several pairs of good boots which have lasted several times as long. When I check inside the boot I find no leather underneath that part of the rand. "The North Face" used to be a respected brand, but retailers trying to maximise their profits have ruined it.
I'd go as far as saying that I regard the boots as fundamentally unsafe for use on the mountains.