Shoes are meant to be worn. When I first started out on SF I thought like this. But then I realized, I bought my shoes to wear. And I didn't want to wear ugly beaters to and from work everyday - lest I had an appointment/meeting before or after. Use taps to extend the life of the toes and heels, but if you're buying good quality and have a sufficient rotation, your shoes should last 8+ years, if not much more. I speak from experience commuting around NYC and I have yet to buy a 'SF-Approved shoe' and toss it b/c of it's condition.
Now, the caveat being that on rainy or snowy days, I wear 'beater' or topied shoes and use Swims.