Knee pads. Simple enough. Knee pads protect the knee from injury when a fall occurs. Knee pads can be purchased just about anywhere sporting goods are sold. While not a required piece of equipment, most skaters, even at the elite level, wear them anyway. Incidentally, Long Track speed skaters do not wear knee pads (or helmets, for that matter).

Possibly the easiest to find, and least expensive knee pads
are made by Bike. And they come in pretty small sizes, too.
Trace brand knee pads seem to fit a little better, especially when speed skating calls for a 90 degree bend at the knees.  The open-style back allows them to bend easier.
Knee pads are built right into most custom made skin suits. Here you can see the padding over the knee area.
A different kind of padding sewn-in to a 
custom skin suit is shown here.
Perhaps the best knee protection is offered by an inlining or skateboard type of knee pad, with a hard plastic shell. These pads are not, however, very popular with short track skaters.

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