The wild card is the kind of snow on which you anticipate hiking. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it's usually pretty heavy and wet, so a big snowshoe isn't always necessary. In the Rockies, where you get dry powder, a big snowshoe is necessary. What do you typically get? I haven't hiked in New England in the winter, so I don't know. But from what I've read, you tend to get a big snowfall that then freezes up and hardens for a few weeks. So you probably could get by with a snowshoe designed for 180 pounds or less capacity.
The fact is, years ago I bought a pair of Redfeather mid-sized snowshoes. I've used them for day hikes, for climbing Denali, for backpacking. I put them on, then deal with whatever snow conditions come up. The idea of having three or four pairs of snowshoes sitting around so you can tailor them to the load and the snow is, to me, ridiculous - although snowshoe makers would no doubt like it.
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Filed To: Hiking Shoes